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Downloadable and Streaming Media: Libby

Download ebooks, audiobooks, video and magazines from your library.

What is Libby?

OverDrive's Libby app is an alternative to the OverDrive app. It's great for first-time users of OverDrive eBooks and eAudiobooks, but it doesn't yet have some features, like a multilingual interface, accessibility options and more. The OverDrive app will remain an option for the foreseeable future.

Not sure which app is right for you? Check out our comparison of current device compatibility, and FAQs below:

Libby VS Overdrive Comparison Chart


OverDrive


Libby

Device Compatibility

iOS (iPhone/iPad/iPod touch)


OS 9+ 


OS 9+ 

Mac

Android


Android 4.0+ 


Android 4.4+

Chromebook


OS 41+ 

Windows 8

Windows 10

Windows Phones

Kindle Fire

coming soon

Kindle eReader
Send items to your eReader from the app on another device.

Collections

eBooks

eAudiobooks

Streaming video

Features

Simplified download process
Just tap borrow—no need to select a format.

Borrowing history

Place holds and view your place in line

Estimated hold wait times

Sign in to multiple libraries with one or more library cards

Customizable browsing options

Separate collections for Kids and Teens
Dedicated collections that display content only for kids or teens.

Dyslexic font

Compatibility with screen readers

coming soon

Multilingual interface

coming soon

Wish List
Save titles to check out at another time. Library specific.

Tags
Tag titles as read, loved, hated, wishlist, school, beach—whatever you like! Device specific.

eBook highlighting and annotations

Recommend for purchase
If you search for an item not in the collection, recommend it for purchase with just a tap.

coming soon

This table is used by permission from Austin Public Library.

Libby VS Overdrive FAQs

What is the difference between Libby and the OverDrive app?

Libby is a new app released by OverDrive. It has the same collection of titles as the OverDrive app - it’s just a different way to access the same digital library collection. Libby is a fast and attractive digital browsing experience.

Libby is compatible with Android and iOS devices, with Kindle Fire compatibility coming soon. Libby is great if you just want to download a book to your Android or iOS phone or tablet.

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 new, and doesn’t yet have all of the features that the OverDrive app does, such as the ability to recommend titles for purchase or robust accessibility features. These will be added to Libby over time. 

Which app should I use? 

If you use one iOS or Android device to browse, download, and read or listen to digital books, we recommend trying Libby. It’s a great one-device experience.

If you like to read books on many devices, or prefer to browse for new titles on your computer, stick with the OverDrive app for now. Also, if you make use of accessibility features in the OverDrive app, you’ll need to stick with that until more accessibility features get added to Libby.

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. 

What format are the digital books in Libby?

It depends on your default settings.  If you prefer to keep things online only without taking up room on your device, you can tell Libby to only download titles under 20mb, or to download nothing. If you choose either of those options, the format is Read or Listen (streaming, internet required, unless an eBook under 20mb). Or, you can tell Libby to download everything. If an audiobook, this will be an mp3, or, if an ebook, it will be a Kindle or ePUB format. To change/view your download settings, tap on the menu (Libby icon, top-right), then choose 'Set up Libby', then 'Choose Download Behavior'.

I like to read on a Kindle e-reader. Should I use the Libby app to discover books?

Give it a try! The Libby app is a different browsing experience than the OverDrive app, and you may prefer it. You can let Libby know that you read ebooks on your Kindle by tapping on the menu, and then 'Select Reading Devices'. When you check out a Kindle format ebook, it will send it to your Kindle, rather than downloading the book to Libby.

I checked out a book using the OverDrive app, or using the OverDrive website on my computer, and now I can’t return it early in Libby. 

If you downloaded a book in ePUB format or an audiobook in mp3 format to the OverDrive app, it cannot be returned early from the Libby app. With the exception of Read or Listen formats, titles you download need to be returned early from the device they were downloaded to. All titles expire automatically after the loan period. 

Can I use more than one library card or cards from different libraries in Libby?

Yes! Libby makes it easy to switch between library cards or between different libraries. Open the menu, then tap on Add a Library. The best part is that all your digital checkouts from different cards and libraries are on the same shelf, so there is no need to switch between libraries or cards to read your books. 

I have more questions about Libby.

Check out the Libby FAQ and support site or send us your question.

These FAQs are used by permission from Washington County Cooperative Library Services.