Skip to Main Content


eLibrary Help

Glossary of Terms

Tech speak can be difficult, frustrating, and confusing! Here is a glossary of common terms used in the eLibrary services.

  • App - A self-contained program or piece of software  designed to fulfill a particular purpose; an application, especially as downloaded by a user to a mobile device. 
  • Device - the machine that will be used to access the material, which can include eReaders, smartphones, and computers.
    • Kindle - An eReader made by Amazon. The Kindle Fire can use most of the e-Library apps, the Kindle Paperwhite and other non-Fire devices cannot and can only be used for eBooks. Amazon also makes a Kindle app, allowing access to Kindle material on a non-Amazon device.
    • Nook - An eReader made by Barnes & Noble. The modern Nook Tablets can use most of the CyberShelf apps, while the Nook Glow and older tablets cannot. Note that older Nooks are not supported by Barnes & Noble and will often have trouble using eBooks.
    • Smartphone - A phone that can download and install apps - almost all will either be Apple or Android (Google) based. All Apple smartphones are iPhones, but there are countless Android phones made by a variety of manufacturers.
    • eReader - A non-smartphone device that can only be used for reading digital books and does not support apps.
    • Tablet - A tablet computer is a mobile device, typically with a mobile operating system and touchscreen, and a rechargeable battery in a single, thin and flat package. Tablets support the use of apps. Examples: Apple iPad, Microsoft Surface, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Amazon Kindle Fire. 
  • Digital Rights Management (DRM) - protects access to copyrighted materials, prevents illegal downloading or copying, and sometimes requires specific software. 
  • eMaterial - any electronic material, including eBooks, eComics, eMagazines, and so on.
  • ePub- Electronic publication of a book, and well as a common file format for eBooks.
  • OverDrive Read & OverDrive Listen - a method of accessing material from OverDrive by streaming it thorugh a web browser instead of downloading it to a device. This requires a constant internet connection.
  • Kindle book- An brand of an electronic publication of a book and can only be used on a Kindle Device or with the Kindle app downloaded from to a mobile device. 
  • MP3- Audio files, including audiobooks and music. 
  • PDF- Portable Document Format. A format that is not used much by OverDrive anymore, but still shows up. Unlike most PDFs, these can only be read using Adobe Digital Editions - not the standard Adobe Reader. Not all devices are Adobe Digital Editions compatible. 
  • Streaming service - An online service, typically requiring a subscription, that uses an internet connection to deliver movie, music, or other media content to a mobile device, TV, or computer.