Review/Recommendation: Libby by OverDrive
From overdrive.com: “Borrow ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, and more from your local library for free! Libby is the newer library reading app by OverDrive, loved by millions of readers worldwide.”
Libby is one of my favorite apps, and with good reason. I have links to the three libraries I have cards or e-cards for; I can do searches easily; Libby tracks my holds and checkouts. for all three libraries; and I can not only listen to my libraries’ audiobook selections, but I can read ebooks either directly on the Libby app or on my Kindle. Further it syncs my ebooks and audiobooks across my devices so that I can switch easily between laptop, tablet, and phone for reading or listening.
Setting up my Libby was pretty easy. I found it through the library I use most often – Brooklyn Public Library – and set it up to use that library card. I then added my card for the New York Public Library system. I did not have a current card for the Queens Borough Public Library system, but Libby let me set one up using my cell phone number. Theoretically, I can add other libraries that will give me a card or let me set up an e-card, but I’m pretty happy having all three New York library systems available. Moving between the systems is easy — just a click on an icon. Searches are pretty easy, too. Once I’ve searched one library, I just have to switch libraries, and click on search and the title of my most recent search to search the same book at one of my other libraries.
Even better, I can borrow, renew, and return items through Libby itself. Libby lets me know when it’s time to renew or return something, and if the item in question is on hold. If it is on hold and cannot be renewed for that reason, it gives me an option to place a new hold on the item. It also lets me know how many times I have renewed an item, and exactly what time of the day a loan will end.
There are a few things Libby doesn’t do. I cannot set up an e-card for just any library through them…as an example, New Jersey’s library system does not do cards for out-of-staters, so I cannot set one up in Libby. Another thing Libby doesn’t do is to automatically add a book to my Goodreads reading challenge for the year the way my actual Kindle does. This is not a huge issue, but it would be nice if it took care of that step the way Kindle does. I also need to write any reviews I want to write on either Goodreads, Amazon, or my blog and manually copy them to wherever I want them posted. Again, more of an inconvenience than a major issue, but it would be lovely if this could happen.
So, overall, I would give OverDrive’s Libby app a 9 out of 10, and recommend it to anyone who enjoys ebooks and audiobooks as well as the hardcovers and paperbacks many of us grew up with.