Overdrive has recently release a new version of their library eBook app, featuring a cute cartoon girl in a bookmark bow named Libby. I as technical services librarian was reluctant to try it out for two reasons. First of all, I thought the original Overdrive app was pretty good, and secondly, I don’t like change! But now that I’ve tried it out, I note several improvements which give it an edge over the classic app.
- Easy toggle between “Library” and “Shelf.” This is NUMBER ONE for sure. I don’t know how many people I have helped who can’t figure out how to find their library or their checkouts in the classic app, and I have to explain about the “hamburger menu” and toggling back and forth. This easy, instant tap makes it worth it for me in and of itself.
- Multiple library card option. For families sharing one device, this is a really nice feature. Johnny can look at his books, and then switch to Mary’s checkouts when she’s using it without having to log out & in again. Brilliant.
- Quick click on current read. That audiobook I was listening to is front and center, no matter where I am in the app. AND I might mention, it’ll keep playing in the background while I look for & check out the next title in the series.
- Speedy Gonzales! I don’t know if it’s just me, but the response and refresh speeds seem much improved with Libby.
- Automatic downloads. Yes. This feature makes me wonder – why did they make us go to our checkouts to download stuff in the first place? If I’m checking it out on this device, I probably want to read it on this device. And now. Note that this feature can be turned off for larger downloads or be reserved for Wi-Fi connection only, for those who are out & about and don’t want to use up their mobile data.