What is the Libby app and how do I use it?

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Libby is an app used by public libraries to grant access to digital content to their members. As it allows members to view and enjoy e-books and audiobooks from their devices, it is a great choice for avid readers and audiobook fans.


What is Libby?

Libby is a free application used by many public libraries to easily access online content such as eBooks and audiobooks. Owned by Overdrive, Libby offers an updated digital content portal with more tools for a personalized reading experience.

Libby enables library members to borrow, reserve, and return eBooks and audiobooks from their smart devices. It offers customizable settings for players, such as the following:

  • For audiobooks, Libby offers different playback speeds and multiple sleep timer settings.
  • For eBooks, Libby offers customizable font sizes, lighting options, and layout choices. It also allows customizing bookmarks, annotations and highlighting.
  • Libby offers a dictionary to define unknown words for readers.

How to access Libby

You can access Libby with your library cards obtained from your local library. With Libby available in 78 countries and 90% of North American public libraries, getting started with Libby is easy.

Libby supports many devices for reading eBooks and listening to audiobooks. The app is available for download on the following devices:

  • Android devices running at least 5.0.
  • Apple devices running at least iOS 10.
  • Amazon devices running at least OS 5.
  • Computers using Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge web browsers.

Once you have a library card from your local public library, download the Libby app to your device. Next, select your library name and enter your personal library card number. Once submitted, you will have access to thousands of digital titles.

Libby will not only allow you to enjoy digital content on your download device, but it is also compatible with popular e-readers, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

If your library doesn’t offer Libby, ask if they use cloud libraryas you may be able to access online content through this alternative.

What content does Libby offer?

Libby offers both eBooks and audiobooks to borrow through the platform. Titles range from classics to new releases. Libby also hosts digital content for children, making the app a great site to read free children’s books.

Libby hosts a wide range of entertainment across most genres, including:

  • Fiction
  • nonfiction
  • new adult
  • young adult
  • New releases
  • Classics
  • Cookbooks
  • Magazines
  • Children’s books
  • Books to help
  • travel guides
  • Biographies

The check out and hold limit will vary depending on the regulations put in place by your local library. Generally, library members are allowed three holds and five loans at a time.

It is important to note that each library has access to a finite number of titles that it offers. As with physical texts, the library buys several copies of a title, but even if they are digital resources, their number is limited.

For this reason, you may experience wait times for popular titles. In this case, you can pause the title through Libby and you can check out the eBook or audiobook once someone returns a copy.

If you can’t find the book you’re looking for in Libby, check out other free online digital libraries.

How to use Libby

Once you’ve downloaded and signed in to Libby with your library card, you’re ready to start enjoying digital content. To borrow an eBook or audiobook, select the title you want and click on the pink borrow button.

If other library users are currently reading the title you are interested in, you will be given the option to suspend the title instead. Selection of hold button will put you in the queue to check out the title once it becomes available again.

To view e-books or audiobooks that you have borrowed, put on hold, or returned, go to the shelf icon on the Libby app.

You can also return eBooks or audiobooks from this shelf tab by selecting the Manage Loan button to the right of the book cover. Next, select the pink back button.

To search for a specific title on Libby, select the magnifying glass icon. You can search by title, tags of interest, series or author through this tab.

You can also search for new books by genre, new releases, popular titles, and recommended featured topics through the library icon tab.

Discover new entertainment with Libby

Libraries are great resources for free entertainment, and Libby makes digital entertainment easily accessible. Libby offers library patrons the ability to experience digital content in a new, customizable way.

Not only does this make it possible to check out new books and audiobooks from home, but it also allows readers to personalize their reading experience. If you’re looking for new free entertainment, use your library card to access Libby!

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