Our new friend Libby

It’s no secret how much I love Hoopla. I’ve been known to chat to anyone about it at the library and in my book clubs (and at the grocery store, the bar, the laundromat … pretty much anywhere.) It’s just so easy to use, and I’m a bit of a give-upper when it comes to confusing technological processes.

That’s why I was excited when I heard that Overdrive (something I shied away from in the past) released a brand new user-friendly e-book app. Meet my new friend, Libby. Not only does Libby offer amazing audiobooks and e-books for free with your library card, but it does it with a way more visually appealing and intuitive interface than before.

Because Hoopla offers content constantly without holds it sometimes means that there are titles that aren’t available in that catalog yet. Libby, on the other hand, offers access to some of those hard-to-find hits, and the occasional holds list is usually super short (or nonexistent). It also gives you the option of previewing audiobooks, whether or not they are immediately available, which is awesome for those of us who judge a book pretty quickly by its narrator.

If you’re tech-savvier than I am, feel free to just head to your preferred app store and get going on Libby. If you’re more of a visual learner, here’s a little walk-through for browsing for, checking out, and opening content:

Once you download the app from your phone's app store, you can register your library card from LPL. Feel free to add other library cards if you've got them.

In Libby, if you click "Popular Collections" you can immediately select which format you'd prefer (e-book vs audiobook). This is helpful if you know that you only need audiobooks, for instance:

Or, browse by "collection" (aka subject/genre) first and then narrow down by subgenres and format. This is useful if you'd like to find good book regardless of whether you read or listen:

Not on the app yet? You can also browse our catalog first, and then open the book in the app. For instance, if you find this list of great audiobooks on Libby, you can click "Checkout Now" and then, later, open your "Shelf" in the app and it'll be there.

The Lawrence Public Library staff is working hard to learn all about Libby, what items it has and how it works. If you have any questions, please ask and we will look for the answer.

— Kate Gramlich is a readers' services assistant at the Lawrence Public Library.

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