Question and Answer
What is the difference between the OverDrive app and the Libby app?
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?
Unless you tell it otherwise (see the Kindle FAQ below), Libby downloads digital books in the Read or Listen formats. By default, all digital books under 20 mb (basically e-books only) will download to Libby automatically for offline reading. To download audiobooks, which are much bigger files, you’ll need to tell Libby to start downloading. You can adjust these settings by opening the menu and tapping on Download Settings.
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 e-books on your Kindle by tapping on the menu, and then on Download Settings. When you check out a Kindle format e-book, 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.
Books added to the Libby app are in the Read or Listen formats. 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 Switch Library or Library Cards. 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.
I work at a library that would like to use this FAQ language.
No problem! Please go ahead and use whatever language is useful to you here. You can credit us if you like, but it's not necessary. We like to share. ;)
Last updated: Jun 27, 2018
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