Must-Visit Website: Libby (Read Free Books, Magazines, Audio Books and more)

Must-Visit Website: Libby (Read Free Books, Magazines, Audio Books and more)


of the nature of my job, I spend a lot of time online. As a result, I come across some pretty cool websites, and I’d like to share these treasured finds with you.

In this blog series, Favorite Websites, I’ll post my favorite sites with you, and will give you tips on how you can use these websites. I hope you enjoy!

Favorite Website: Libby

“The only thing you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library.” ~Albert Einstein

I think Albert Einstein was right! Having access to the library opens up new worlds for young and old. I don’t think I could ever tire of all the resources the library has to offer. And now, you can access library books, magazines, audio books, and so much more using a free app called Libby!

Libby is a reading app that allows you to access digital content from the library’s OverDrive collection. There are literally thousands and thousands of new discoveries waiting for you – and all you need is a library card. All of this is FREE.

In this article, I guide you through how to set up and use the app on your computer, and will give you additional tips and notes for using the app on your tablet or smartphone. Let’s get started!

LibbyLibby App for PC

To Use This Website

Once the website loads, you’ll be able to browse for books, magazines, audio books, etc.

  1. Go to Libby App
    The website will look similar to the screen below.
  2. If you already have a library card for your local library, click Yes to continue, and a screen similar to the one below will appearIf you don’t already have a library card, you can click Not Yet and then search for your local library to see if you can obtain a library card online through these steps. After you click Not Yet, click I Would Like A Card in the next screen. You’ll be prompted to enter your phone number to see if you’re eligible to request a library card online. Continue through the prompts to finalize your library card, and to sign in to Libby.
  3. Click Search For A Library
    A screen similar to the one below appears.

  4. Enter your zip code and press [ENTER] to choose your local library
    A screen similar to the one below will appear, showing your location and local library.
  5. Choose your local library from the list
    A screen similar to the one below will appear.
  6. Click Sign In With My Card
    A screen similar to the one below will appear.
  7. Enter your library card number and press [ENTER], then enter your library card PIN number and click Sign In
    A screen similar to the one below will appear. You’re ready to start using Libby!

  8. Click the Next button to start using Libby
    You’ll see a screen next that asks you if you want to Read With Kindle. You can click that if you want and follow the prompts, or click Skip to be taken to the main Libby screen, as shown below.
  9. Use the scroll bar to scroll through the main screen, where you’ll find GuidesExtrasBooksAudio, and more – when you see something you’d like to read, simply click on it to ‘virtually’ borrow it
    Borrowing a title on Libby opens it in a new screen where you can read it. Just flip through the virtual pages like you would a real book or magazine. Use the toolbar at the top of the screen when reading a book to enlarge it, place bookmarks, etc. 
  10. Use the icons at the bottom of the screen to navigate Libby – for example:
    Click the Search icon (it looks like a magnifying glass) to enter the Search screen where you can enter information you’re looking for and then choose a Filter to fine-tune your search. You can also click on any of the Tags in the Explore With Filters area, as shown in the screenshot below

    Click the Home icon (it looks like a house) to  return to the main home page of Libby where you can browse. Click the Lines icon in the center to return to your account page. Click the Book icon to see all the books you’re reading, what’s on your loan shelf, and to access your tags. Click the Clock icon to see a Timeline of your Libby activity. 
  11. Click the Actions button in the upper-right corner of the screen to access other features of Libby, such as synchronizing the Libby App on the computer with your tablet and/or smartphone, as shown in the screenshot below.
  12. If you need additional help with anything related to using Libby, click the Lines icon in the bottom center of the screen, then choose the options you want to read
    A screen similar to the one below will appear.

  13. Enjoy reading your title!
    When you’re done reading (or listening to) a title, the last page will have a button you can use to ‘return’ the title to the virtual library. It’s very easy to use. 


Additional Notes and Tips

  • Access Libby on Tablets or Smartphones – Libby is available to use on your computer, as described above, but you can also use the Libby app on your tablet or smartphone. You can also synchronize your devices so you can leave off reading on one device, and pickup reading again on another device. Click Libby App for iOS or Libby App for Android to download the apps.
  • Use Tags in Libby – The Tag feature in Libby is very helpful! For example, you can create Tags to help organize books you want to read by category. Tags with magazines can also be created as an auto-Tag, which will remind you when a new issue of that magazine is available. I like to use a Tag I created called ‘To Read’ – when I’m browsing magazines or books and see something I think I’d like to go back to, I tag it with ‘To Read’. Then when I have time to read, I go to that Tag and can easily find the books and magazines I’ve marked. Pretty slick! You can read more about how to use Tags at the Tags Help Page.
  • Watch the Help Videos – If you need more guidance on how to use Libby, I recommend watching the Help Videos.
  • Save Screenshots for Future Reference – I love to read garden magazines on my iPad Pro. When I come across an article I want to save so that I can refer back to it later, I just take a screenshot of those pages with my iPad and save the screenshot in my iCloud Photo album. This is a really handy way to refer back to an article! Sometimes I even email the screenshot to myself so that I am reminded of an idea I read about. And, I also occasionally send a screenshot to my husband via iMessage (honey, let’s build this gazebo!).
  • Save Money – I admit. I’m a media junky. I love reading magazines. Lot’s (all) of them! Before magazines were available digitally, I subscribed to the print copies (lot’s of them). Then when Apple News came out, I became a subscriber and ditched my print magazine subscriptions. I’ve been a subscriber to Apple News now for a long time. For $9.99 a month, I have access to TONS of magazines (which is a lot less expensive than individual magazine subscriptions). But here’s the deal… you can ONLY read those magazines on your iPad or iPhone (not available on an Android phone or on your Windows computer). You cannot share them (unless you take a screenshot of the page), and it costs $9.99 a month. When I discovered Libby, I have access to most of the same magazines I pay Apple News for – and they are FREE TO READ on Libby! With Libby, I can share books and magazines with family and friends, and even share to social media. While I do love Apple News, I’ve decided to cancel my subscription, and use Libby for all my magazines. Yes, I don’t get the actual ‘news’ that Apple News provides, but I also use Google News and Flipboard for news, and they are both free – so I’m still covered for reading news and random articles. Apple News does have other features that I’ll miss, but Libby also has books and audio books – something Apple News doesn’t. SO…. if you’re using Apple News, or paying for magazine subscriptions, you can save money by switching to Libby! Cool, eh?!

I hope you’ve found this information helpful, and that you have as much fun using Libby as I do!

If you have any questions, or if you’ve found a great read on Libby, share in a comment below and let’s chat!



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