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Why You Should Use Libby: An e-Resource Spotlight



Nancy is the e-Resources Librarian at the New Orleans Public Library and an avid e-audiobook listener.

On May 1, 2023, OverDrive is discontinuing the OverDrive app. To continue accessing our OverDrive collection, New Orleans Public Library cardholders will need to switch to Libby, OverDrive’s newer app, before then. Libby is made by the same people, with the same goal of connecting you to the Library and to your favorite eBooks, audiobooks, and magazines.

Personally, I’ve been using OverDrive’s Libby app for years now and I love it. It’s easy to search for new e-books and download them to my Kindle in just a few steps. While I still enjoy print books, my Kindle –– or the Kindle app on my smartphone –– is my favorite way to take several books with me while traveling. But, I primarily use Libby for audiobooks, which I listen to while driving. 

If you are looking for a great read from Libby, whether in e-book or e-audiobook format, I highly recommend Hello Molly! by Molly Shannon.

I’m not alone in my love for Libby. Here at the Library, many staff use the app and encourage all OverDrive users to make the switch. It’s easy to use, has the same content, and is overall, a much better and more user-friendly interface. However, we also understand that if you’ve been using OverDrive for years, you might have some questions. Hopefully this article will help, but if you still have questions our staff are happy to assist you further in the transition from OverDrive to Libby.

Libby offers many unique features and options that are not available in the OverDrive app and continuously adds new features and updates based on reader and librarian feedback. Features unique to Libby include: 

  • A central shelf where loans and holds from all your libraries are automatically added.
  • Improvements to navigating book series means you can easily find the next book in a series from search results, title details, and your Shelf. Libby makes it easier than ever to discover books in a series.
  • Unlimited tags allow you to create custom tags and categorize books however you’d like. Plus, you can use Libby’s smart tags to track what you’ve borrowed or get notified about new issues of your favorite magazines.
  • More notification options include push notifications on your mobile device or emails from that let you know about your available holds, expiring loans, and more.
  • Access to more content with Libby Extras, like learning or entertainment resources –– ArtistWorks, Qello Concerts, Stingray Classica, Kovels Collectibles, and more –– from the Library.
  • Utilize the multiple library cards you get access to through NOPL. Not only can you add your New Orleans Public Library card to access thousands of OverDrive items, but you are also eligible for reciprocal borrowing at Jefferson Parish Library, too! Bring your Library Library card and ID to any Jefferson Parish Library branch to get your JPL card, and add that one to Libby as a secondary card for access to even more ebooks and audiobooks.

More reasons Libby is an upgrade from OverDrive’s legacy app:

In short, Libby is a superior e-book and e-audiobook product. Here’s just a few reasons why: 

  • Easy onboarding for new users
  • A unified bookshelf for all loans and holds
  • Same look and feel on both Android and iOS devices
  • Ability to export notes and highlights
  • Compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android
  • Sonos speaker integration
  • Lots of accessibility features:
  • Text resizing based on device settings
  • Support for inverted colors based on device settings
  • Support for dark mode on iOS and Android
  • Increased contrast throughout the app
  • Support for multiple font options in ebooks
  • Keyboard shortcuts in the ebook reader and audiobook player
  • Screen reader support

Help is available directly within the Libby App, or on the website. Libby’s tech support is friendly and knowledgeable, and happy to help if you need additional assistance or have other questions.

Getting Started With Libby:

  1. Download the Libby app from the App Store or Google Play.
  2. When you open Libby, you will be guided through simple setup steps to find New Orleans Public Library and sign in with your Library card.
  3. Once you are signed in, you will be prompted to sync your OverDrive Wish List from an in-app notification.
  4. Browse the New Orleans Public Library’s catalog by clicking the library icon and find something new to borrow. Or, click the shelf icon and start reading your current loans.

What People Are Saying About Libby:

Over the years, thousands of New Orleans Public Library cardholders have enjoyed everything the Libby app has to offer. See what a few said about their experience with the product:

  • “Libby is my favorite Library resource! I’ve been a cardholder forever, but having so many books at my fingertips is beyond cool.” –Elyse, January 2023

  • “Libby is a fabulous app. It’s a joy getting it for free through my Library.” –Beth, March 2021

  • “I love Libby! I use it all the time.”Adele, March 2021

  • “Get the Libby App and utilize your public library. Thank you New Orleans Public Library and Jefferson Parish Library. I am a proud nerd who likes researching things and reading books.” Constance, May 2021

  • “Download the Libby App so you can listen to audiobooks before bed. Why fund Audible when your NOPL card gets you books!” Kerry, August 2021

  • “I love using Libby! These books get me through my work day. I went through so many during quarantine.” Rondreka, June 2020

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November is here, and that means NaNoWriMo—National Novel Writing Month. The New Orleans Public Library is hosting workshops throughout the month to connect you with other local writers to share thoughts, struggles, successes, and writing tips.

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0 thoughts on “Why You Should Use Libby: E-Resource Spotlight”

  1. I use Libby and Hoopla. There are some books available on one site that are not available on the other. Is Libby going to increase their selection?
    I don’t find it easier to maneuver around Libby as the website.


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