What is the difference between the OverDrive and Libby apps?

What is the difference between the OverDrive and Libby apps?

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Click here to access OverDrive


What is the difference between the OverDrive and Libby apps?

  • There is no Libby App in the Kindle Store yet. Kindle Fire users are encouraged to use the OverDrive App.
  • Both Libby and OverDrive allow to you to borrow and enjoy our digital collection.
  • The Libby App is the newest app from OverDrive. It is easy to navigate, you are always one-tap away from your current ebook or audiobook.
  • The Libby app also makes it easy to switch between multiple library collections and find all your loans and holds on one “shelf.”
  • The OverDrive app is the “classic app,” and includes some features that are not yet available in the Libby app, such as streaming video, recommendations, as well as compatibility with Kindle Fire, mp3 players, and screen readers.

Please note: Overdrive has discontinued its Overdrive app for the Mac so that Mac users can no longer download audiobooks and have to stream them through the browser. Here are instructions for downloading audiobooks to any Mac that has not yet upgraded to the Catalina OS. Mac users can still download EPUBS as usual. 


What is OverDrive? How do I borrow an item from OverDrive?

For instructions on how to download or stream your digital loan, including how to send to a Kindle reader, visit OverDrive Help or Libby App Help.


What is a Partner Library?

Partner Libraries are Massachusetts library networks that have agreed to share access to their digital collections with each other.
This means you can borrow ebooks and audiobooks from any Partner Library with your Minuteman library card.

Partner Libraries:

Boston Public Library
CLAM Library Network
CW MARS
Merrimack Valley Library Consortium
NOBLE: North of Boston Library Exchange
Old Colony Library Network (OCLN)
SAILS Library Network

Note: Some titles and formats, including magazines, are not eligible to be shared between Partner Libraries.


How do I borrow an ebook or audiobook from a partner library?

To get started:

1. Find or add a partner library network from either…

2. Sign in as a Minuteman Library Patron with your Minuteman card number & password (PIN).

3. Enjoy! Borrow and request from our neighbors’ library collections.


Digital Collection Website (OverDrive):

Click on Partner Libraries at the top menu of the page. Click on a library network name to visit their digital library.

Sign in to borrow a title. Select Minuteman Library Patrons from the drop-down menu, then sign with your
Minuteman library card number and password (PIN).


Libby App:

To find and switch between collections, tap Libby menu icon in the top right corner. Select Add A Library.

Screenshot of Libby App: Tap Menu icon and Add a Library

Search for a Partner Library (Boston Public Library, CLAMS, CW MARS, NOBLE, OCLN, or SAILS).

Libby Screenshot: Search for library network by name

Click on the library network name to visit their digital library.
Scroll down until you find this:

Libby screenshot: Sign in with I'm visiting from another library

Sign in to borrow a title. To sign in, select I’m Visiting From Another Library and choose Minuteman Library Network. Enter your Minuteman library card number and password (PIN).


Who do I contact for help with OverDrive or Libby?

Visit help.overdrive.com for instructions and training videos, as well as info about device compatibility and troubleshooting.

For help with the Libby, visit help.libby.com or tap Libby menu icon to open the Libby menu. At the bottom of the menu, find tips and tutorials under “Learn Libby” or help under “Help & Support.”


How do I see all my digital loans and holds from all partner libraries?

In the Libby app, all of your digital loans, holds, and tags are accessible on your Shelf.

The lending library network of each hold or loan is marked by a square with their brand colors.

Libby screenshot: holds on shelf

Note: You need to sign-in and save a library card in the Libby app at each library network for your loans & holds from that network to display.
If you borrowed an item from a library’s digital collection website (OverDrive) and it is not appearing on your shelf, confirm that you have added that library in Libby.


I’m trying to borrow an item from a partner library, but I get an error message when I try to sign in.

To borrow from other Massachusetts partner libraries with your home (Minuteman) library card, be sure to choose “Minuteman Library Patrons” from the
drop-down menu whenever you sign in. (In the Libby App, first choose “I’m Visiting From Another Library”).

If you try to sign in as another library’s patron, you will receive an error message such as “Library Server Message-Invalid Library Card” or “Library Server Message-Request Record Not Found.”


Do my checkout settings (loan period, auto-checkout, etc) apply to all loans in Libby and OverDrive?

Different libraries have different default loan settings, so you will need to set your preferences for each partner library network. Also, preferences need to be set separately in the Libby app and OverDrive.

To change your settings for loans and holds:

  • In each partner library’s OverDrive collection: Sign in with your Minuteman library card and password. Go to My Account and select Settings.
  • In the Libby App: See these instructions to change default loan period and holds settings.

What are the lending policies for Overdrive titles?

MINUTEMAN digital titles can be checked out for 7, 14, or 21 days, with 7 as the default lending period.

The only exceptions are picture books, and streaming video titles, which have 3, 5, or 7 day loan periods, with 5 as the default.

There can be 10 titles checked out at a time, and 10 titles on hold.


Thank you to the SAILS Library Network for their work with Minuteman on creating these help files!