This week we are joined by Adam Sockel, social media specialist for OverDrive and co-host of OverDrive’s delightful podcast, Professional Book Nerds. This all basically means he runs OverDrive’s social media, gets to field questions about OverDrive and their accompanying app, Libby, all day and gets to read as many books in as many different formats as he possibly can. Adam joined us to answer some burning questions about OverDrive the company, OverDrive the app and, of course, our beloved Libby app.
In this episode we talk about:
- We start off by mentioning Overdrive’s own podcast, Professional Book Nerds. Adam and his co-host, Jill (different Jill from One Page at a Time’s Jill), talk with authors and leave fantastic book recommendations in their great podcast. We talk more about this later on.
- Next up, Adam tells us what Overdrive and Libby are. Overdrive, the name of both the company and the original app, works with about 43,000 libraries and schools all around the world to provide audiobooks and ebooks to people of all ages. This includes about 95% of all libraries in the United States. Libby is the new-and-improved app by Overdrive.
- Adam aced our speed round of questions Amanda pulled off Google regarding Overdrive and Libby; these are getting to the root of many searches. Here they are:
How many books can you check out on OverDrive at a time?
Depends on your library; most are between 8-10, though some go as high as 50!
Can I use OverDrive on my Mac?
Is OverDrive being replaced by Libby?
No – OverDrive covers some areas, such as vision disabilities, better and will remain in use, though Libby is the easier and more user-friendly of the two.
Can I use OverDrive without a library card?
No, you need access to someone’s library card.
Is Libby by OverDrive free?
Does Libby sync with OverDrive?
Yes, both audio and e-books
Does Libby automatically return books?
How do I add more libraries to OverDrive?
Go to the “add a library” button in either OverDrive or Libby, search for your library, and input your library card.
Does Libby search all libraries?
It is going to very soon.
Can you renew books on Libby?
Yes – 3 days before your books are due, it will ask if you’d like to renew. Renewal length is dependant on your library’s policy. If someone has a hold on that book, you will be added to the hold queue instead of renewing.
Does Libby sync across all devices?
Yes, as long as you are logged in on all those devices.
Where does Libby download books?
To any device you have the app downloaded on. The files are tiny, thankfully!
Can you borrow picture books or comic books on OverDrive?
Yes, indeed you can.
- How to get set up with Libby: download the Libby app on your device(s) of choice. Put in your zip code, select your library, put in your library card (or get one – and you can get one automatically if you’re in a service area for an Instant Digital Card using your phone number). You may also be able to pay an annual fee for a card to select libraries. And Jill reminds us to check the libraries around you to see if any offer cards to neighboring counties/zip codes. Having access to multiple libraries gives you access to those libraries’ collections
- For those living outside the US, check your library to see if they use OverDrive. And, don’t forget your permanent address if you are an expat like Amanda. If your library doesn’t offer OverDrive services through Libby, you can ask your library to get Libby.
- If you have exhausted all your personal options, you can share a card with a family member – an added thought is to consider adding your children’s library cards to your account so you can use content filters and you can toggle to their account and see what they are searching for and reading.
- Libraries receive more funding based on their usage and circulation, so using Libby is good for a library!
- Adam tells us a few reasons why we should all be reading with Libby. Beyond its convenience, there are specialized fonts such as the dyslexia and enlarged fonts, adjust the lighting of the screen, instantly expand your children’s library with a quick search, and the ability to listen to audiobooks means you can read in different situations than you would otherwise. Jill is also excited to try out the Read Along feature.
Adam left us with a great idea of how to get started on putting these great ideas into practice this week. He invited us to take the time to read this week- even just five minutes.
We are so grateful to Adam for taking the time to talk with us! More information about him, OverDrive, and Professional Book Nerds can be found in the following places:
Books we mentioned:
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern