OverDrive App to be Discontinued: Users Urged to Upgrade to Libby
Beginning May 1st, users of the OverDrive app who access their local library's digital collection will need to switch to a newer app called Libby.
Both OverDrive and Libby are digital platforms that allow users to borrow e-books from their local library for free. OverDrive was launched in 2002 and continued to operate independently even after the release of Libby in 2017. While OverDrive is frequently accessed through a library's own OverDrive website, the app serves the same purpose as Libby in digitally distributing publisher books at no cost to users.
As of February 23rd, 2022, the OverDrive app was removed from the Apple App Store, Google Play, and Microsoft Store. The company began displaying in-app discontinuation messages in July of the previous year. Despite the removal of the app, some aspects of the previous OverDrive experience will continue to be available. Users who already have the Mac or Windows desktop versions of OverDrive can still access libraries' .overdrive.com sites to download audiobooks. These audiobooks can then be transferred to dedicated MP3 players, providing continued accessibility for those who require it. However, new downloads of the software will no longer be provided by the company.
The company has decided to discontinue OverDrive in order to streamline their development efforts and focus solely on Libby. This decision was made in order to eliminate redundancy and make it easier for libraries to promote their digital content and train users. While Libby and OverDrive serve a similar purpose, there are some differences in functionality between the two. For instance, certain features like OverDrive's Recommend to Library will no longer be available. However, Libby does offer a Notify Me feature that allows users to express interest in specific titles, as well as other features like support for multiple library cards, a unified bookshelf for all loans and holds, and compatibility with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto.
OverDrive is providing assistance to libraries in preparing for the transition by offering an online resource kit to aid staff and patrons in switching to Libby. In recent years, US libraries have faced challenges with an accelerated shift towards digital services due to the pandemic, and both libraries and OverDrive have encountered pressure from major publishers such as Amazon. With Libby now being one of the few free options for accessing books and audiobooks, it can serve as a valuable means of gaining knowledge and a much-needed source of solace during trying times.Advertisement