Meet Libby, the new ebook app!

Meet your new favorite mobile librarian, Libby! This friendly app is Overdrive’s new way for you to check out your ebooks and audiobooks from your library. We’re trying to simplify and bring joy to every aspect of digital borrowing and reading. If you love it, you can use it instead of the OverDrive app. If you don’t love it yet, feel free to keep using the OverDrive app.

Like the original OverDrive app, with the Libby app it only takes just a few taps to find and borrow a book- but now even faster. OverDrive is the “classic” app, and is compatible with more devices, including Kindle Fire, Macs, PCs, and Windows mobile devices. It also allows for transfer to MP3 players from computers.

Libby is newer, faster, and simpler, but doesn’t yet have all of the features that the OverDrive app does, such as the ability to recommend titles for purchase or some accessibility features such as Screen Reader Support. But check in regularly – these will be added to Libby over time.

Some differences between Libby and the old Overdrive app include:

  • Sign in to multiple libraries, with one or more library cards
  • Stay signed in for as long as you like
  • Download books and audiobooks for offline reading, or stream them to save space
  • Sample any book with a tap — nothing to download or delete
  • Try a zoomable graphic novel, or a picture book with readalong audio
  • More comprehensive Wait List information
  • All your holds and loans are consolidated on a single shelf
  • Tag titles as read, loved, hated, wishlist, schoolbook, beach-reading, whatever you like
  • Take notes and place bookmarks
  • Your loans, holds, reading positions, bookmarks and notes are synchronized automatically across all your devices
  • Keep track of your reading history in the Activity tab
  • If you prefer reading on your Kindle, Libby can send your library books to it

“We wanted to make it like having your own personal guide on your phone,” said Shannon Lichty, director of Partner Services at OverDrive.

Which OverDrive app should you use? Libby is a fast and attractive digital browsing experience. If you want a quicker, cleaner checkout, try out Libby. If you like to read books on many devices, prefer to browse for new titles on your computer, or make use of accessibility or multilingual features in the OverDrive app, you’ll need to stick with that until more accessibility features get added to Libby. Also, a note to parents: if you’re concerned about excluding mature content in your digital reading app, stick with the OverDrive app. If you want the kids in your life to be able to browse only for kids’ books, and not see other titles, you’ll want to stay with the OverDrive app as well.

Libby is available for desktop computers running Windows 10, as well as Android, Apple and Kindle devices. Download it from the Google Play Store and iTunes. There’s no need to register your devices in order to use it, which makes Libby different from the older OverDrive app.

Want to give it a shot? Its simple!

  1. Fish out your library card
  2. Install the Libby app from your device’s app store
  3. Open the Libby app
  4. Find Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library
  5. Search, sample, borrow, enjoy

Amber Bonnett

Hi! I’m Amber and I help readers, creatives, makers and other curious types use our ebooks, audiobooks, digital movies and databases. Have questions? Find me at the library, walking my dogs downtown, biking around our community or at abonnett@tscpl.org.