OverDrive app users who use it to access a library collection digitally will have to upgrade to Libby. This app is also free and allows you to rent ebooks from libraries.
OverDrive’s digital platform was launched in 2002. It continued to function independently even after Libby was launched in 2017. OverDrive can be accessed through a library’s OverDrive website. However, the app serves the same purpose as Libby in that it distributes publisher books digitally free of charge.
As of February 23, 2022, the OverDrive app has been removed from Google Play, Apple App Store and Microsoft Store. According to the company, it began displaying in-app discontinuation messages back in July.
This FAQ describes some aspects of the legacy OverDrive experience. Those who have the Mac or Windows desktop version of OverDrive will continue to be able access the.overdrive.com libraries to download audiobooks. The books can be transferred to MP3 players so they are available for anyone who needs them. However, the company will not provide new downloads.
According to the company, the idea behind closing OverDrive and ceasing development was to shift the development team’s focus to Libby. The company believes that there was inherent redundancy in having two apps doing the exact same thing. It will allow libraries to better promote their digital content, as well as make it easier for users to train.
Libby and OverDrive have differences. Some features, such as OverDrive’s Recommend to Library, will no longer be available. The company notes that Libby has a Notify Me function that allows users to express interest in certain titles. It also offers other features such as support for multiple library card types, a unified bookshelf that stores all loan and hold information, compatibility with Apple CarPlay / Android Auto, etc.
OverDrive is helping libraries prepare to transition by sharing an online resource kit that will help staff and visitors transition to Libby. In the last few years, US libraries have been subject to an accelerated digitization. OverDrive and libraries have faced the pressures of publishing giants like Amazon. Libby, one of the few ways you can read and listen to books for free, is a great way to gain knowledge and a refuge when it’s most needed.