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How to Use Libby, by OverDrive

Mon, 03/16/2020 - 3:08pm by katie-dudek

While the library's physical locations may be closed for now, check out Libby. Libby is a free app offered through AADL that lets you download audiobooks and kindle books straight to your phone. I've created step-by-step instructions for using Libby along with screenshots! You will need your library card to create a Libby account.

Happy Reading!

Installing Libby

The screenshots here are from an iPhone, but the process should look similar on any phone.

1. Search the Libby app in your app store. Select the one pictured at the top here:

An image of Libby in the App Store

2. Download the free app.

3. Once the app has downloaded, open it. The screen should look like this:

An image of the Libby Welcome Screen

4. After you select yes, it will give you three options. If you already have Libby, select the first. Otherwise, search for a library.

An image of the Libby set up screen

5. Search “Ann Arbor.” It should bring up “Midwest Collaborative for Library Services.” Select this option.

An image of the Midwest Collaborative for Library Services Option

6. The next screen will ask you to sign into your account. It will ask where you use your library card. Select “Choose A Location.”

An image of the library card set up on Libby

7. From the menu select “Ann Arbor District Library.”

The menu of libraries to select from

8. The app will then prompt you to enter your library account number. This is the number on the back of your Ann Arbor Library Card.

Image of the textbox to enter your library card number

9. It should give you a virtual card. You have the option to rename the card if you would like. Otherwise, click “Next.”

An image of your digital library card on Libby

10. Now your app is all set up and you’re at the home screen!

An image of the Libby homescreen


Searching for Books

Place a Hold

1. You can just do a general search for books.

2. In this example, there is both an audio version and a kindle version. Audiobooks will ask you if you want to “play a sample” and kindle versions will ask if you want to “read a sample.”

An image of an audiobook and a kindle book on Libby

3. Selecting the calendar in the upper righthand corner will tell you more information about the estimated wait for this item if you place a hold on it now.

An image of hold information on Libby

4. Selecting “Place Hold” will take you to a new screen.

An image of placing a hold on Libby

5. When you have successfully placed a hold, this screen should appear

An image of a successfully placed on hold on Libby

Download a Book

1. Follow the directions above for searching for books

2. Where the options originally listed “Place Hold,” it will now say “Borrow.”

An image of an available audiobook on Libby

3. Selecting borrow will take you to a new screen. At the top it will tell you how long you will have this book out for.

An image of the borrow screen on Libby

4. If you are connected to Wi-Fi, the book should automatically begin to download.

5. Audiobooks should automatically play in the Libby app.

6. Kindle books will give you the option to read in the app or on the Kindle app. There is no way to switch between Kindle and Libby. Once you select one, you must use it for the duration of the loan.

An image of successfully borrowing a book from Libby

Refining a Search

If you are searching for specific items or types of books, you can refine your search.

1. Under “Search for a book” select “More options” in the upper right corner below “Cancel.”

An image of the search menu

2. You can then customize your search. You can choose “format” to limit the results to only kindle books, audiobooks, or read-along books. You can also customize the availability to only items that are available now or items that are coming soon.

An image of the more options menu

Your Shelf

Reading/Listening to Your Books

1. Select “Shelf” in the bottom right hand corner of your screen.

2. If you had previously downloaded an audiobook and it was returned before you finished it, it should ask you if you want to resume where you left off the next time you borrow it. 

3. When you open an audiobook, there are multiple options.

  • You can adjust the reading speed by clicking the clock icon at the top of the screen
  • You can set a sleep timer by selecting the moon at the top of the screen.
  • You can add a book mark by selecting the bookmark icon at the top of the screen.

An image of the audiobook display on Libby

4. When you open a kindle book in Libby, the screen should look like this.

An image of a kindle book in Libby

Manage Loan

1. Selecting “Manage Loan” will give you two options: “Return Early” or “Renew Loan.”

An image of the manage loan options

2. If you are finished with a book, you can select “Return Early” so that it can get to the next person.

3. If your book is due back soon, it should give you the option to “Renew Loan.” As with physical library books, if the item is on hold for another patron it may not let you renew the item.

4. If your loan period has ended and you have not renewed, the book will be returned automatically.

Download Rules

1. Select the checkmark in the upper right corner of your loan to remove the download or change the download rules.

An image of the download rules options


2. Removing the download will delete the book from your phone, but will not remove it from your shelf. You can re-download it from the cloud at any time during your loan period

3. Selecting “Change Download Rules” will take you to options for what loans should be downloaded automatically.

An image of the download options menu



This is very helpful and thorough! I wish the AADL website made it easier to see the ebooks and audiobooks section. Libby looks much easier to use than the previous way I accessed Overdrive.

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