This guide is designed to show you basic steps for browsing your library's OverDrive website with a screen reader like NVDA or JAWS.

OverDrive is in the process of updating its library websites, which means better accessibility for newer library websites. If your library has updated to the new OverDrive (learn more about the new OverDrive here), then you can skip to the section below to learn about navigating your library's new OverDrive website with a screen reader.

Old OverDrive library websites

Signing in

When browsing for digital titles, it's always best to sign in first so you can access all of the features on your library's OverDrive website. You can do this from the Sign In or Account link. Use the TAB or arrow keys to find the appropriate link from the home page of your library's OverDrive website.

If your library is a part of a consortium, you'll be taken to a page to select your library from a combo box. Press your combo box key (usually the C key) until you hear "Select your library below to sign in."

Focus on the combo box, then type the name of your library or use the arrow keys until you hear it. Press Enter on your keyboard to go to the sign-in page.

On the sign-in page, the focus is automatically put in the "Card Number or Username" field, so you can enter this information first. If a PIN is required, press TAB to navigate to the PIN field and enter it after your username or library card information. When you're done entering your login credentials, press Enter on your keyboard to sign in.

Note: If one of the fields loses focus, you can use the field key (usually the F key) to find it again.

General browsing tips

OverDrive library websites are set up to be easy to navigate using shortcuts, headings, lists, and appropriately labeled links.

Browsing the home page

  1. Use the heading key (usually H by default) to browse through available headings.
    This will take you through the top headings (like "Featured Collections," "eBook Fiction," "eBook Nonfiction," etc.).
  2. When you hear a heading you want to explore, use the link key (usually the TAB key) to browse through available links. These can include:
    • Collection types
    • Actions for individual titles within a collection (Borrow, Sample, Add to wishlist, Share, and Title details)

Searching for titles

  1. The first form on a library's OverDrive website is the search field. When the page loads, simply press the field key (usually the F key) to navigate to the search box.
    Note: You may have to focus on the field to edit it by pressing Enter.
  2. Use the "Skip to page content" link to skip to your search results.
  3. From there, you can TAB through the available actions for each title in your search results.

Borrowing titles

When you borrow a title, it is automatically added to your Checkouts page, located under your Account. From there, you can download or open it.

  1. From your Checkouts page, tab through the links, then use the "Skip to page content" link.
  2. From there, TAB through the links until you hear the name of your chosen title.
  3. For an audiobook, press Enter after you hear "Download MP3 audiobook." You'll get a compatibility prompt that tells you what software or application is required to listen to the audiobook on your current device. Then, it will download.
    If you'd like to read an eBook in the Kindle format, press Enter after you hear "Read now with Kindle." You'll be redirected to Amazon's website to complete checkout and send the eBook to a Kindle device or reading app.
    For other eBook formats, press Enter after you hear "Download." Then, you'll be able to TAB through the format options available for that title (like EPUB eBook). Select the one you prefer by pressing Enter. You'll get a compatibility prompt that tells you what software or application you need to read the eBook on your current device. Then, the eBook will download.
    Note: Some eBooks are only available in one format, so you can select the download link to open or download the title.

Enjoying borrowed titles:

More information

Windows users

We've tested NVDA and JAWS, and recommend either as an excellent option for Windows-based screen readers. In both cases, Mozilla Firefox is the recommended web browser.

You can find keyboard shortcuts and commands in the NVDA and JAWS user guides:

Mac users

If you're using a Mac, you may want to try VoiceOver, which is built specifically to work with Apple OSX.

New OverDrive library websites

General browsing tips

OverDrive library websites to are set up to be easy to navigate using shortcuts, headings, lists, and appropriately labeled links.

Browsing the home page

  • Use the heading key (usually H by default) to browse through top headings, such as menus, search and account options, and the library's home page collections.
  • When you hear a heading you want to explore, use the link key (usually the TAB key) to browse through available links. These can include:
    • Collections by media type, collections curated by the library, or standard lists like "Most popular."
    • Title information, including name, author, the title's availability, and an action link (like Borrow or Place a hold). Or, press Enter to go to a title's details page to read a description, choose a lending period that's different from your default lending period, borrow or place a hold on the title, and more.
  • Use the elements list feature of your screen reader (usually Insert + F7) to browse all headings or links on the page, including book titles and authors.

Signing in

You can sign into your library website using the Sign in link on the home page. Or, you'll be prompted to sign in (if you aren't already) when you try to borrow a title, place a hold, or add a title to your wish list.

When signing in, you'll be asked to select a sign-in method, which can be:

  • A library card
  • An OverDrive account
  • Facebook

Learn about which sign-in option is best for you here.

If you sign in using an OverDrive account or Facebook, you'll be asked to save your library card to your account. This way, you won't need to remember your library card credentials on future visits.

If your library is a part of a consortium, you'll be taken to a page to select your library from a combo box. Press your combo box key (usually the C key) until you hear "Select library" and the instructions to use the drop-down menu.

Focus on the combo box, then type the name of your library or use the arrow keys until you hear it. Press TAB to focus on the "Card Number or Username" field (this varies by library). If a PIN is required, press TAB to navigate to the PIN field and enter it after typing your username or library card information. When you're done entering your credentials, press Enter on your keyboard.

Note: If one of the fields loses focus, you can use the field key (usually the F key) to find it again.

Searching for titles

  1. Press the heading key (usually H by default) until you hear "Search and account."
  2. Press TAB to focus on the search option, then press Enter to open the search field.
  3. Enter your search terms, then press Enter.
  4. From there, press the heading key until you hear "List." Then, TAB through each title in your search results.

To narrow your search results further, press the heading key until you hear "Filters." Press Enter, then use the TAB or arrow keys to navigate the filters.

Borrowing titles

When you borrow a title, it is automatically added to your Loans page, located under My account. From there, you can download or open it.

  1. From your Loans page, press 1 to skip to your borrowed titles, then press the heading key. You should hear "List of" and the number of items you have checked out.
  2. Then, TAB through the links until you hear the name of the title you'd like to read or listen to.
  3. For an audiobook, press Enter after you hear "Download MP3 audiobook." You'll get a compatibility prompt that tells you what software or application is required to listen to the audiobook on your current device. Then, it will download.
    If you'd like to read an eBook in the Kindle format, press Enter after you hear "Read now with Kindle." You'll be redirected to Amazon's website to complete checkout and send the eBook to a Kindle device or reading app.
    For other eBook formats, press Enter after you hear "Download." You'll get a compatibility prompt that tells you what software or application you need to read the eBook on your current device. Then, the eBook will download.
    Note: Some eBooks have multiple format options. In these cases, you'll be able to TAB through the download options available for it (like EPUB eBook). Select the one you prefer by pressing Enter.

Enjoying borrowed titles:

More information

Windows users

We've tested NVDA and JAWS, and recommend either as an excellent option for Windows-based screen readers. In both cases, Mozilla Firefox is the recommended web browser.

You can find keyboard shortcuts and commands in the NVDA and JAWS user guides:

Mac users

If you're using a Mac, you may want to try VoiceOver, which is built specifically to work with Apple OSX.

Last Updated: Dec 13, 2017 12:44PM EST