Libby, by OverDrive
Description of App
Meet Libby. Did you know your local library has thousands of ebooks and audiobooks? You can borrow them, instantly, for free, using just the device in your hand.
1. Fish out your library card
2. Open the Libby app
3. Find your local library
4. Search, sample, borrow, enjoy
It takes just a few taps to find and borrow a book. Libby has a ground-breaking built-in ebook reader, and a beautiful audiobook player. If you prefer, you can send books to your Kindle for reading.
• Sign in to multiple libraries, with one or more library cards
• Stay signed in for as long as you like
• Download books and audiobooks for offline reading, or stream them to save space
• Sample any book with a tap — nothing to download or delete
• Try a zoomable graphic novel, or a picture book with readalong audio
• All your holds and loans are consolidated on a single shelf
• Tag titles as read, loved, hated, wishlist, schoolbook, beach-reading, whatever you like
• Your loans, holds, reading positions, bookmarks and notes are synchronized automatically across all your devices
• Keep track of your reading history in the Activity tab
Libby is the brand new app from OverDrive Labs. We're trying to simplify and bring joy to every aspect of digital borrowing and reading. If you love it, you can use it instead of the OverDrive app. If you don't love it yet, feel free to keep using the OverDrive app, but check in on Libby from time to time — we're adding features and squashing bugs every day.
Free or Paid
Apple Watch Support
Device(s) App Was Tested On
This app has a range of accessibility issues as of now. A "secret" message from the app developer acknowledges this because when you launch the app one of the first items you read with VoiceOver is the following:
Welcome to Libby! This is a secret message for screen readers. We are working to improve your experience with this app. In the meantime, our OverDrive app is more accessible. You can find it in the app store. We thank you for your patience.
In general you can get connected to a library and search books. However, playing an audio book seems pretty tough and requires you sort through a lot of nameless and confusing buttons. Overall the app is pretty hard to use in a meaningful way.
Developer's Twitter Username
1 people have recommended this app
I am beta testing Libby after contacting them some months back. Unfortunately it seems that no progress on Voiceover accessibility is being done in the betas released until now.
I have not testing all features of the app. But everything seems to be working fine here. I didn't even get the message I keep reading about everyone getting. Perhaps this app needs to be upgraded to show its accessibility as of now?
Its actually quite easy to navigate the app. Took me like just a few minutes to learn how to navigate it. Its actually so much better than overdrive that I took overdrive off my phone.
What I like. I don't know if this was available in over drive or not. I don't recall. But in libby apparently for text formatted books you can load them in kindle rather than using libby's reader.
I don't know about the audiobooks. I haven't tried yet.
Anyway all I am saying is that message notifying you that libby isn't accessible is not there now. And the app does seem quite accessible.
Its extremely easy to navigate and I moved back and forth through the different categories.
I love it compared to overdrive personally.
I am not questioning its prior inaccessibility. I am just hoping someone checks the app now and edits the app accessibility ratings here.
First off. I did finally find that message everyone was talking about. Its hidden.
Anyway. I am still finding the app very accessible. Please note I am totally blind and use voice over.
I am not using my eyes or sighted navigation to do this. So for me the app is fully accessible. At least navigating library books and borrowing the text versions. I haven’t tried audio yet.
Ok. So I opened the app.
Went through the setup. Please note that while your going through the setup you have flick to the right to go down further. I have seen this behavior in other apps so it didn’t catch me off guard. After you answer the question just flick right to go down further to the next question.
I had a slight challenge finding the library I wanted. But I just picked the closest library listed to me when I entered in my zip code.
Once that happened I was asked if I had a library card. I tapped on yes. Then I selected my library system which this time its the one I wanted.
I put in my library card number and pin and simply hit continue.
I don’t recall if that is the end of the setup or not. If not its just about.
Once you get through setup it will bring you to a screen with books listed and your navigation options.
This is where it gets a bit blurry for me to explain. But I will try to do my best.
At the top center of the screen is your search text edit box. You simply tap on that as usual and then type in what your looking for.
In my case I typed in Walter Farley and hit go.
It shows there are 6 books by Walter Farley in my library system.
To borrow the black stallion I switched the rotor to links and simply swiped down till I heard Black Stallion link and tapped on it.
Note when I say tap I mean double tap.
Then when that screen comes up I tap on borrow.
This got a bit tricky but basically I tapped on read for kindle. And then I tapped on send to kindle.
These two screens you sort of have to learn the lay out of the screen to get to where you want to be. But once done it opens up an in the app safari window. You log in to amazon. And borrow book from library and it sends it to your kindle. Or kindle app or whatever you are using.
I have not tried borrowing an audio book yet. But I simply use hoopla for that. Unless I find Libby to work there too.
Both limit you on how many books you can read at any given time.
I would say my standing on mostly accessible still fits. Could it be better. Yes. But is it usable. Well. I guess it depends on what you want to do with it. I like Libby I took overdrive off my phone as I was not enjoying the overdrive experience.
While browsing through book categories in Libby you simply go to the top of the screen to navigate back a screen. The app always tells you where you end up. Which is really kind of cool.
I sincerely hope this helps clear up some confusion on Libby accessibility.
I am sure at one time it was inaccessible. I am sure it still has issues. But for some reason I am using it just fine. But I prefer to read my books in kindle app so that may be why.
Have a great day.
I tried this app again just now. I still find it problematic. If you try and read a text book in the app, you don't seem to be able to move beyond whatever page is first shown. Audio books are still as difficult to play.
If your main use is just checking out the books to read in other apps, such as Kindle, that seems reasonably doable and easier than the original OverDrive app. In fact I find it much easier to browse the collections of books at my libraries. I just wish OverDrive would make more progress on audio and text in the app.
The reading texts and listening to audio books in Libby could be easier yes.
Honestly I am not sure why they don’t just label things correctly as really that is all it needs for audio books for the most part.
I do prefer reading my books in kindle. The text ones anyway.
Strangely not sure why but right now bookshare has more of the books I am looking for than my local library does.
Scratches head in bewilderment.
I can’t even find the great courses audio lectures that I can find on hoopla. So hoopla must be an extension of the local library.
Anyway. Excellent observations. I just wanted to make it clear the app does work.
But yes it does depend on your particular situation.
I found this app to be way more accessible than Overdrive! That being said, there are some unlabeled buttons, but you can easily figure out what they do. And when I first opened the app, I got a message that said that they were working on improving the app for screen reader users, and that they'd welcome our feedback. And they encouraged us to have patience. And based on what I've seen in my day of playing with it, I think they deserve some kudos.
I tried the Overdrive app, and ended up deleting it in favor of this app. If you use Overdrive, and have had and are having issues, I strongly suggest you get this app and try it. I think you'll be surprised.
Thanks for the navigation tutorial. I borrowed an ebook that was available immediately as an ePub, but had a wait list for the Kindle version. I can read once I'm in a chapter, but navigating between chapters is very much hit and miss. Anyone figure out how to do this, or how to use a different app that can access adobe digital credentials? TIA