Last Updated: May 31, 2019     Views: 992

SimplyE logoThe SimplyE app is a convenient way to access library eBooks and eAudiobooks, as well as thousands of works in the public domain.

What You Need

  1. Android, iOS (iPad/iPhone/iPod touch), or Kindle Fire device
  2. SimplyE mobile app (available from your app store)
  3. Valid SFPL card and PIN/password
  4. Stable Internet/WiFi connection
  5. OPTIONAL: Device with a web browser (e.g. Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, etc.), if you plan to use the library's catalog to search for titles — see Using the SimplyE App with Library Catalog.

For best results, use the latest operating software on your mobile device.

Getting Started with the SimplyE App

1. Install the free SimplyE app from the app store on your Android, iOS (iPhone/iPad/iPod touch), or Kindle Fire device.

2. In SimplyE, go to Settings > Accounts, select San Francisco Public Library, and enter your 14-digit library card number and PIN/password.

3. Go to Catalog to browser titles. Tap Get to borrow titles and tap Reserve to place holds.

4. Go to My Books to your checkouts and Reservations to see your holds.

Using the SimplyE App with Library Catalog (optional)

If you prefer using the library catalog to search for titles, you may borrow and reserve them there and then go to the SimplyE app to access them. It may take a few minutes to sync your checkouts and reserves with SimplyE.

Here are the instructions:

1. Install the free SimplyE app from the app store on your Android, iOS (iPhone/iPad/iPod touch), or Kindle Fire device.

2. In SimplyE, go to your Account Settings, select San Francisco Public Library, and enter your 14-digit library card number and PIN/password.

3. Open a web browser and go to (library catalog) to search for titles.

Image of library search box

4. Find an eBook or eAudiobook title from the OverDrive or Axis 360 service and click Checkout Now.

Image of eBook in library catalog

5. You'll have the option to pick a reading/listening format. Ignore this for now and click Checkout Now.

Image of eBook in library catalog


6. When choosing an eBook format, be sure to select Adobe EPUB, which will be compatible with the SimplyE app. Kindle-formatted eBooks are not compatible with SimplyE. 

Click Checkout Now to confirm your checkout.

Image of eBook in library catalog showing format options

7. Ignore the "Download" and "Read/Listen in browser" options and go directly to your SimplyE app to access your borrowed title.

Image of eBook checkout screen in library catalog

8. In SimplyE, go to My Books to access your checkouts. Tap Download to download the title to SimplyE.

Image of My Books in SimplyE app

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the SimplyE app available for a desktop computer?

No. SimplyE is a mobile app for use on Android, iOS, and Kindle Fire devices only.

If I borrow eBook and eAudiobook titles using the OverDrive/Libby or Axis 360 app, will they show up in SimplyE?

Yes, these titles will show up, but you may not be able to access them in SimplyE depending on where you fulfilled (downloaded) the digital loan. For example, if you borrowed and downloaded an eBook using the Libby app, you may not be able to access it in SimplyE. Your activity in the OverDrive, Libby, and Axis 360 apps may interfere with SimplyE.

If I use the SimplyE app, do I need the other apps, like Libby and Axis 360? 

If you like using the SimplyE app, then we recommend that you use only the SimplyE app to manage your eBook and eAudiobook checkouts and holds. 

I'm in the library and I have SimplyE installed on my mobile device, but I can't connect to SimplyE. What's wrong?

Make sure you are connected to the Library's WiFi. You'll need to agree the "Terms of Use" before you are fully connected to the Library's WiFi network. Once you have done this, refresh the SimplyE app.

How is SimplyE different from OverDrive and Axis 360?

SimplyE is a mobile app that aggregate titles from both OverDrive and Axis 360 collections, as well as thousands of works from the public domain. OverDrive and Axis 360 provide the library with access to digital titles and have their own apps.

Can I register multiple library systems with the SimplyE app?

Yes! If SimplyE is available in another library system, you may add that library to the app. But you must have a library account with those other systems.

What if I can't download my title?

Make sure you are using a stable Internet connection and try downloading again. If the problem continues, report the issue in SimplyE by scrolling down to the bottom of a title screen and clicking Report Issue.