What is Overdrive? Libby?
Beginning October 2022, the UMN Libraries has new ways to read ebooks and listen to audiobooks. Overdrive is the "platform" or service but most users read or listen to the content through the Libby app, designed to make reading/listening/watching easy on your phone, Kindle, laptop, or other device.
This resource is common in public libraries but new to the UMN Libraries. We started with a small collection with a focus from our Libraries Racial Equity Fund.
Use Libby to read ebooks and listen to audiobooks
With the Libby app, you can borrow ebooks and audiobooks from your library. All you need is your UCard.
- Most books have a default checkout period of 21 days. Books can be renewed or returned early (so the next reader can read it). If someone else has the book you want, you can place a hold. You will be notified when the book is available to check out. You can place a hold on fifteen (15) books at a time.
- Our collection is small but growing. If you want more ebooks via Libby, sign up for a local public library card. UMN students can sign up for a library card from Hennepin County Library (Minneapolis campus) or Ramsey County Library (St. Paul campus) or other public libraries.
- You can browse, check out and read books online at universityofminnesota.
overdrive.com or you can use the Libby app on your mobile device. Download the Libby app to your Mac OS or Android smartphone or tablet. Many books are available in Kindle Book, ePub, and OverDrive Read file types.
Getting started with Libby app
Download or open Libby on your device:
- Apple App Store (for iOS devices)
- Google Play (for Android devices)
- Direct download from OverDrive, the developers of Libby (for Amazon Fire tablets)
- libbyapp.com (for Windows, Mac, and Chromebooks)
Note: libbyapp.com works best in up-to-date versions of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Edge.
In Libby, follow the prompts to find your library - "University of Minnesota."
Next, "add a library card for University of Minnesota so you can borrow titles and place holds."
Next, you will get a message - "At this library, you sign into your card via a secure website. We'll open this site for you now."
Next, sign in using your UMN email and password and "duo" authentication.
Browse our list of titles or search Libraries Search and borrow a title.
Borrowed titles appear on your Shelf () and download to the app automatically when you're connected to Wi-Fi, so you can read them when you're offline.
On your Shelf, tap loans at the top of the screen. From there, you can:
- Tap Read With... to choose where you'd like to read the book (Kindle or Libby), then finish sending to Kindle (U.S. libraries only) or start reading in Libby.
- Tap Open In Libby, Open Magazine, or Open Audiobook to start reading or listening in the app.
- Tap Manage Loan to see options like Renew and Return.
Learn more from Libby "help" - https://help.libbyapp.com/en-us/index.htm
Already have Libby? Learn how to add UMN Libraries
Libby can combine multiple accounts, so if you already have an account with another public library, you can read all your books in Libby, no matter where you checked them out. You can listen to audiobooks on Libby too.
Adding library cards
To add a library card to Libby, tap , then follow the prompts at the top of the screen.
Already use Kindle app to read ebooks?
There are multiple ways to use Kindle.
1. Download titles from Overdrive to Kindle
You can borrow Kindle Books from the UMN Libraries OverDrive website, then read them on Kindle devices or Kindle reading apps. Learn more on how to set this up.
2. Use Libby and send to Kindle
You can read most borrowed books on Libby with Kindle. Learn more on how to set this up.
Where can I find more fun books to read?
1.) Sign up for a public library card
UMN students can sign up for a library card from Hennepin County Library (Minneapolis campus) or Ramsey County Library (St. Paul campus) or other public libraries. Libraries in the metro area are part of MELSA (the eight member library systems are the counties of Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, and Washington, along with the St. Paul Public Library). After you sign up, you can access more ebooks using the MELSA Overdrive at https://melsa.overdrive.com. For example, the MELSA Overdrive account has 170,000 ebooks, 32,000 audiobooks and 3,500 magazines). You can use the MELSA and the UMN Overdrive accounts with each other.
2.) Search for a specific title or author in Libraries Search. Get more tips on finding ebooks.
3.) Try Ebooks Minnesota
Ebooks Minnesota is an online ebook collection for all Minnesotans. The collection covers a wide variety of subjects, both fiction and non-fiction, for readers of all ages, and includes over 10,000 titles! View list of titles and start reading.
View our Fun, popular, and recreational reading UMN Libraries guide for more ideas