Libby is my very most favorite app because free books

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The downside is that if a title is at all popular the waitlist can be exceedingly lengthy. I’m still on the waitlist for The Consuming Fire for example, currently the estimated wait time is 35 weeks. The waitlist for something like a new A Song of Ice and Fire novel can be well over a hundred weeks. My library likes to bundle up that series too, so readers get the marathon of trying to read the first five books of A Song of Ice and Fire in three weeks.

FWIW Libby is the second app I’ve used for this. They also supported Overdrive which IMHO had a less confusing interface. Libby makes it kind of hard to find stuff like how much time you have left on the loan.


I have been using Overdrive for years. Searching through the app is limited for some reason but searching the library catalog is much less of a PITA on a proper computer anyway. I can check out the ebook and it shows up on the Overdrive shelf.
At least one of the library systems I have a card at now uses Libby. I should give it a look.


Libby and Overdrive are the same catalog/system with a different interface.

FFS – neither is the travesty that the Internet Archive thinks is useable search.


You should also check if your library supports Hoopla. It has a different catalog than Overdrive/Libby and is a little more oriented towards graphic novels and music. I have library cards for two counties (I live literally on the border line) and one supports Hoopla while the other does not.


Hoopla and Kanopy! I like Kanopy much much more but I only get 4 movies a month with them.
Though I never use Hoopla for comics and music.


This part seems a tad bizarre.

It’s a digital system, besides arbitary rules theres no good reason to restrict things.1 person ‘loaning’ an ebook or 10,000, theres little difference to the system…

it’s artificial scarcity just to emulate physical books, odd.

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Weird and bad licensing systems are how everyone gets paid in this path.

It costs almost zero to let everyone who wants an e-copy of a book have it the instant they want it – but that doesn’t create scarcity or help get corporations paid.


I rest my case :wink:

But really, if something is in a library for free reading, is there really a difference between having 10x copies in the system or 10,000x?

If someone is reading at a library it’s mostly because they don’t want to or can’t pay for it, a pointless delay won’t change that…

You are trying to solve for we the consumer. This is about the publishing houses getting paid.

Let me add that while illegal I am not surprised this frustrating fact pushes many folks to turn to BitTorrent and find copies of these same books with stripped DRM – stealing from the author and the publishing house.


Geh, unfortunate, but valid point :frowning:

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I prefer the Overdrive app to the Libby app, as it makes it easier to transfer the audiobooks to my podcast player. Plus, since I have a stock phone, I have to use an SD card for storage, and Libby (as of the last time I tried it out) doesn’t support storing downloads on SD.

I find it funny that Hoopla (the other one) has Doctorow’s audiobooks, AND they use DRM (encrypted m3u8). And yes, I told Cory this already a few years ago. :slight_smile:

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The whole public library system is in conflict with “publishers getting paid”. It harkens back to a time before profit was king, and is essentially grandfathered into society. There is no chance it could be created today if it didn’t already exist, especially as a public service (socialism!!!).

IMHO it is a huge shame we didn’t manage to port over the First Sale Doctrine to digital goods.

The idea that it is not in society’s best interest to capture every last potential cent of profit is one that has been lost over the years.


Neither of my local libraries support Kanopy sadly. I just double checked.

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A nice thing, in California, is that you can join many local libraries with just a CA ID card and an in-person visit.


“It’s free!”

No, it’s not.

The resources made available in Libby and Overdrive and Hoopla and Kanopy are there because your locale paid taxes and set up a public library and hired smart people to set up and run the systems.

And EVERY library in the US is in jeopardy, because there’s always one guy- or a bunch- who think it’d be better to have that tax money back in his or her pocket rather than spent on this.

If you love being able to use library services, please, support your local library. Put a bumper sticker on your car so you let your neighbors know the library is important to you. Find out when the library’s board meetings are and visit. Volunteer. Throw some change in a can. Be a Friend of your library.

(Do NOT bring old, smelly books to the library for their catalog, at least not without checking first. When you dump old books at a library “because everyone wants my old stuff”, the library usually has to pay to dispose of that if they can’t use it.)

Libby is awesome. And librarians are awesome. And they can do really awesome stuff, but only with the true support of their town. Support your library!


I prefer Libby, my other half prefers Overdrive. They think it has a better wishlist function, but i never fot the habit to start so i don’t miss it.

Hoopla is a great way to get exposed to a wide sample of graphic novels/comics. I read the complied “Do Androids Dream…” as one title, but “American Gods” is served as several seperate volumes. YMMV.


(Format doesn’t understand comment)

Friends of the Library programs in most of the cities I have lived in are quite active. Where I live now there are several used bookstores run with donated books, not ex-libris stuff. Find out where to donate used books and the books will be put to good use.

One of the very best ways you can support any library is to use it.

Rarely have I seen city or county meetings discuss “Number of cars with a ‘Friends of the Library’ bumper sticker on it” as a metric for funding. “Number of active residents using the library” as well as “Number of books checked out via X, Y and Z services” are certainly looked at to determine where they spend their money.

Use it or lose it. That is really true with the online service. If the one you like to use isn’t getting a lot of activity, they will drop it and increase funding to the ones more folks use.


The library has to buy those copies, whether physical or virtual. And it isn’t just corporations who benefit from that – authors do too.