Reaching more users with Libby: FAQs

The information on this page is intended for public library staff. If you are a library patron, you can review this resource to learn more about the switch to Libby.

Back to overview

  • When was the OverDrive app sunset?

    On May 1, 2023, we sunset the legacy OverDrive app for iOS, Android, and Windows 8/10 to make Libby the primary way for users to enjoy your digital library. Users who try to access your library’s collection in the OverDrive app will see a message informing them they need to switch to Libby. This message links users to a helpful overview about the switch to Libby, including FAQs, training resources, and more.

    Note: OverDrive for Windows and OverDrive for Mac, our desktop software that allows users to download and transfer audiobooks to MP3 players, was not sunset on May 1. Users who previously downloaded the software can continue using it with audiobooks downloaded from your library’s OverDrive website.

  • Why did OverDrive discontinue the OverDrive app?

    We believe that Libby is the best reading experience for all users. With valuable partner and user feedback, we are constantly enhancing the app and adding new features to engage your readers. Discontinuing the OverDrive app allows our development teams to focus their efforts on Libby.

    We also want to make it as easy a possible to promote your digital library to your users. Having one app simplifies how you train your users, answer questions, and stay up to date with changes.

  • Are all users of the OverDrive app for iOS, Android, and Windows 8/10 required to switch to Libby?

    Yes. As of May 1, 2023, all users with OverDrive for iOS, Android, and Windows 8/10 will see the following message informing them they need to switch to Libby.

  • Can users recommend titles in Libby?

    The Recommend to Library (RTL) feature was discontinued across all platforms with the OverDrive app sunset on May 1.

    Libby now offers new deep search and Notify Me features for users to discover and express interest in titles that are not yet in your collection. These new features are currently live across hundreds of library communities as part of an initial launch earlier this year. We are now working to roll out the feature across the network of OverDrive libraries. Please reference the email from OverDrive regarding when deep search will be available for your library. Visit this Resource Center page for more information and FAQs.

  • What are the available reading options for users with Amazon Fire tablets?

    Users with Amazon Fire tablets can now download Libby directly from the Amazon Appstore.

    Users can also deliver Kindle Books to a Fire tablet from a device that supports libbyapp.com (U.S. only).

    Fire tablet users who already have the OverDrive app installed can continue to use it for now, but it is no longer in active development. The OverDrive app will display messaging encouraging those with compatible devices to upgrade to Libby.

  • Can users sync their OverDrive wish lists to Libby?

    Yes, when a user sets up the app, Libby prompts them to sync their OverDrive wish list using an in-app notification.

    Learn more about wish list syncing on Libby Help.

  • Which features are available in Libby that were not available in the OverDrive app?

    • Easy onboarding for new users
    • A unified bookshelf for all loans and holds
    • Support for multiple library cards
    • Direct user support from OverDrive
    • A best-in-class ebook reader that supports comics, magazines, and read-alongs
    • Push notifications for ready holds, new magazine issues, and more
    • Same look and feel on both Android and iOS devices
    • Ability to export notes and highlights
    • Tags to track favorite reads, wish lists, and more
    • Compatibility with Apple CarPlay, in addition to Android Auto
    • Sonos speaker integration
    • Access to access to extra learning or entertainment resources (like Kanopy, Craftsy, Indieflix, and more) from your library
    • Shelf talkers to highlight librarian expertise
  • Can users still use our library’s OverDrive website?

    Yes. Users can still browse, borrow, and enjoy titles from your library’s OverDrive website.

    Note: OverDrive website users will also see Libby promotions throughout the site.

  • Should I update links that currently point users to my library’s OverDrive website?

    At this time, you can continue to link to your .overdrive.com URL when promoting your library’s unique OverDrive collection. This URL is a quick and easy way to introduce users to your library’s specific collection, where they can browse, borrow, and enjoy titles on a desktop device, and learn more about the Libby app. MARC records will continue to point to this destination.

    When promoting your digital library service generally, you should encourage users to download the Libby app. You are welcome to point users to Libby’s web-based experience, but when doing so, we recommend linking to the main libbyapp.com URL rather than a specific path within the app. This ensures users go through the onboarding flow to help them get started with Libby.

  • Should I make any updates to my MARC records?

    If your library receives MARC Express records, moving forward, the 533 and 538 fields will no longer mention the OverDrive app as a software requirement. Instead, these fields will say “Requires the Libby app or a modern web browser.” We recommend your library update these fields in your existing records or create a backdated file of MARC records for all titles in your collection through OverDrive Marketplace.

  • What does this change mean for the OverDrive video titles my library has purchased?

    The OverDrive Video format was discontinued on September 1, 2022 and video users were transitioned to Kanopy, a leading streaming video service for public and academic libraries. You should have received an email with more information about this transition. Please reach out to your Account Manager with any questions.

  • My library previously purchased ebooks that were only available in the PDF format. Do those display in Libby?

    In 2022, we converted over 400,000 ebooks that were previously only available in the PDF format into the OverDrive Read fixed layout format. This update allows users to discover and enjoy these titles in Libby.

    Moving forward, we will automatically convert all titles that publishers provide in the PDF source format into OverDrive Read fixed layout to ensure they are available in Libby.

    Please note that such supplemental content is not currently available in Libby but remains available for applicable titles from your library’s OverDrive website.

  • Can users discover preorder titles in Libby?

    Yes. We made an update in January 2023 to ensure all preorder titles purchased by your library are discoverable to your users in Libby.

  • Can users continue to transfer books to a dedicated ereader like a NOOK or Kobo?

    Yes. If a user has a NOOK or a similar dedicated ereader, they can download books to a computer then use Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) to transfer them to their device. This option is available from libbyapp.com or your library’s OverDrive website. Learn more about transferring ebooks on Libby Help.

    Additionally, many Kobo devices are compatible with direct borrowing of OverDrive ebooks (e.g., Kobo Sage, Libra 2, Clara HD, Elipsa, Forma, Libra H2O, Nia, Aura Edition 2, Aura H2O Edition 2, or Aura ONE). This functionality is not changing because of the OverDrive app sunset. Learn more about reading Libby ebooks on a Kobo on Libby Help.

  • Will users still have the option to download audiobooks to a desktop computer and transfer them to an MP3 player?

    Users who previously downloaded the legacy OverDrive for Windows or OverDrive for Mac desktop programs can continue to use these applications without disruption by downloading audiobooks from your library’s OverDrive website.

    As technology continues to evolve, there are no plans for Libby to support downloading audiobooks to a desktop computer and transferring them to an MP3 player.

  • How can users get help if they experience an issue with Libby?

    We have a dedicated “Troubleshooting” section of our Libby Help website, which users are encouraged to browse.

    Users can also contact OverDrive’s Support team directly through the Libby app. Learn how to contact Libby Support on Libby Help.

  • What resources are available to help my library promote Libby?

    We are committed to supporting your staff and users during this transition. If you haven’t already, we recommend updating your library’s website and marketing materials to promote Libby instead of the OverDrive app.

    We welcome you to use the following resources:

    Looking for additional information or resources? Reach out to your Account Manager for more help.

  • Tell me more about the difference between the names “OverDrive” and “Libby”

    OverDrive is the name of the company that provides your library with a digital reading platform. With the OverDrive service, your library and users have access to enjoy ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, and other streaming media. We offer the following options for enjoying your library’s digital collection:

    • Libby mobile app:  Available on Android and iOS devices, this is the newer app from OverDrive. Users can search for your library in Libby and get started today.
    • Libby browser experience:  Users can enjoy many of the same features of the Libby mobile app in a web browser at libbyapp.com.
    • Your library’s OverDrive website:  Each library has their own unique website with a .overdrive.com in the URL. Your library’s OverDrive website is best enjoyed on a desktop or laptop computer. It has a different look and feel than Libby.
    • OverDrive app for Android, iOS, and Windows 8/10: This is the legacy mobile app that was sunset on May 1, 2023.
    • OverDrive for Windows and OverDrive for Mac: This is legacy desktop software that allows users to download audiobooks and transfer them to a dedicated MP3 player. Note that new downloads of this legacy software are not available. However, users who previously downloaded the software can continue using it with audiobooks downloaded from your library’s OverDrive website.
  • Where did the name Libby come from?

    With Libby, our goal was to create a new, fresh experience that is warm and welcoming to users. Libraries are community places, full of people and stories and knowledge, and we wanted the app to reflect this in a digital setting. We chose the name Libby—a digital library friend who helps guide you to your next great read.

Sign up for our emails

Stay up to date with changes

We’re here to guide you every step of the way. Subscribe to our emails or blog to stay in the loop about upcoming changes.

Sign up for our emails Subscribe to our blog