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The Libby App by OverDrive is a free app available for Android, iOS (iPhone / iPad / iPod touch), and Windows 10 devices.

Libby lets you use your library card to check out and read eBooks or listen to eAudiobooks from thousands of titles in Wisconsin’s Digital Library.   

Borrowed titles will download to the app automatically when you're connected to Wi-Fi, so you can read or listen to them when you're offline.

Download Libby on the App Store Get it on Google Play

Getting Started

Getting Started with Libby

First Time Instructions

Library Card

You will need to have your library card ready.

After downloading the app from the Apple App Store or Google Play on your device, open it and answer the setup questions.

  1. Confirm you have a card. Libby will ask if you have a library card. Choose Yes.
  2. Select a location. It may find your library location automatically. Any Madison area public library it finds will be okay to choose, even if it isn’t the location you use. 
    • If it doesn’t find your library automatically, choose I’ll Search for a Library and type in your zip code.
    • Madison Public Library cardholders should then select: Wisconsin Public Library Consortium, South Central Library System - [Any Library]

  1. Add a library card. It will ask "Where do you use your library card?"
    • Tap Choose a Location and select South Central -- LINKcat libraries

    • Enter your whole library card number, without spaces.

What should I do if my library card number doesn’t work?

Double check that you entered all the numbers correctly. 

If it still doesn’t work, your library card may be expired. (Cards expire every four years.)  If expired, come to the library with your library card and photo ID and we can then update it. 

If your library card has been expired for a long time and if your photo ID does not have your current address on it, you may also need to bring one of these:

  • checkbook with name and current address printed on it - or-
  • a current lease with your name and address on it -or- 
  • a piece of current mail IF the envelope has your name, current address and a postmark dated within the last 30 days.
  1. Your Libby setup is now complete!

Using Libby

You can download and read eBooks (look for the  icon) or download/stream and listen to eAudiobooks (look for the  icon).

At the bottom of your window, Library is where you can search or browse the collection, and Shelf is where you can see your borrowed items and holds.

Search for a Book or Author

Tap on top by the magnifying glass where it says Search For A Book… and then enter the author name or title at the top of the screen. 

Tapping Search For A Book... also gets you to advanced search options. Tap underlined words to get options from which to choose.

Browse the Collection

Browse through featured collections to find something to read/listen to even if you don't have an author or title in mind. 

Scroll down to get to categories such as Fiction, Romance, Nonfiction, Mystery, Juvenile Fiction, and more.

Borrow a Book

When you find an available book, tap Borrow and then select a time length.

  • You can borrow most eBooks for up to 21 days and eAudiobooks for up to 14 days by clicking the currently defaulted loan period and changing it BEFORE you click 'Borrow'

  • You can have 10 total items from Libby out on your card

Place a Hold

If a book has a wait list, tap Place A Hold to add it to your Holds list.

  • You will be asked for your email so you can be notified when your hold becomes available. 
  • You can have up to 10 holds.

Renew a Book

Items can be renewed a few days before they are due if no one is waiting. If someone is waiting, Libby will give you the option to place a hold. Go to Shelf. Then go to Loans. Tap Manage Loan beside the title.

Return a Book Early

Titles are returned for you automatically, but you can return early, if you wish. Go to Shelf. Then go to Loans. Tap Manage Loan beside the title.

Suspend Holds

Go to Shelf. Then go to Holds. Tap Manage Hold beside the title. Tap Suspend Hold. Use the slide bar to choose the number of days to suspend hold. Be sure to tap the Update Hold! button. (You may need to scroll to see it.)

View Only What's Currently Available

To filter lists and search results to currently available:

  • Tap Refine on the right side, at the top of the list. Tap Availability.
  • Then tap Available Now.

To see the “What’s Available” List:

  • Tap Library in the bottom left. Then go to Explore on the right.
  • Tap What’s Available (may need to scroll down).

Pro Tips

Use Tags to remember titles you have read or to create other lists

You can use tags to label titles something like “Finished,” so that next time you are browsing titles, you can easily see what you have already read. 

Or, you can track items you read by using the thumbs up or thumbs down symbols. The tag will appear beside or beneath the cover of the title, and you will see it wherever you are browsing in Libby.

Tap Tag. (Tag may appear beside or below the cover of the title, so you may need to scroll down to see it.)  To make your own label, tap ADD… Enter the tag name that you want to use, then tap Create Tag. The next time you tap Tag, any previous tag name you made will show up and you can add a title to that list. To get to your tagged lists, go to Shelf, then tap Tags.

Tags do not transfer between devices

A title you have checked out can be read on any Libby device you have, but Tags do not transfer. Tags will be only on the device on which they were entered.

NOTE: if you delete the app, you will lose your data within the app about Tags (as well as the list of what you've previously borrowed).

Use Tags to save titles to a wish list    

You can use tags (either the book stack icon provided, or a tag label like “wishlist”) to create a wish list whenever you see a title in Wisconsin’s Digital Library you may want to read in the future.

Then, when you are next needing a book, you can see if any of the items from your wishlist are now available. 

Use Tags to help manage your holds list

A wish list is useful if you have used the maximum of 10 holds and want to have more titles ready for the next time you have room on your holds list.

Use Preferences to customize your search results

Preferences are permanently applied to all future results in Libby.

You can set preferences so that, for example, you see only eAudiobooks, or only eBooks, or only Available Now, or only juvenile (kids’) books.

To set your account to show only eBooks (not eAudiobooks), for example:

  • Tap Preferences. Tap Any next to Format, then tap Books.
  • Tap Apply Preferences.  (You may have to scroll down.)

Remember to reset preferences to Any if, in the future, you want to see the whole collection.