The Overdrive App is Being Replaced with Libby

By Sharyl O. RSS Wed, March 1, 2023

What is Overdrive?

Overdrive is the Free Library of Philadelphia’s portal to thousands of e-books, e-audiobooks, and e-magazines that you can read for free using your Free Library of Philadelphia library card.

In April 2023, the OverDrive app, which accesses Overdrive e-books, e-audiobooks, and e-magazines on your phone, tablet, or computer, will be discontinued. We encourage you to make the switch to Libby, our newer reading app. Libby is made by the same people, to connect you to your library and your favorite books, audiobooks, and magazines.

Why is this happening now?

The Libby app was launched in 2017, to create a simple and intuitive library app that builds on the core experience of the OverDrive app. Overdrive closely reviewed what was working with the OverDrive app and what could be improved. During this time, Overdrive didn't want to interrupt the experience for users, so the two apps have both been available.

Thanks to feedback from readers like you, Libby is now a great app for everyone and there's no longer a reason to have two apps that do the same thing. If you've enjoyed using the OverDrive app, we really hope you'll love Libby.

Download Libby or visit to get started. You can visit this link to learn more about how to make the switch to Libby. Please note that you will need a Free Library card to access Overdrive e-books, e-audiobooks, and e-magazines. If you do not have one, you can sign up today.

Happy reading and listening!

Have a question for Free Library staff? Please submit it to our Ask a Librarian page and receive a response within two business days.

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Overdrive has a multilingual interface, but so far as I can tell, Libby does not. Are there any plans to introduce one in Libby?
Sara Palmer - Philadelphia
Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Hi Sara, Libby supports English, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), French (Canada), German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Spanish (Latin America) and Swedish. To change the interface language, go to Libby menu > Settings > Choose Your Language. Thanks!
Sharyl O. - Free Library of Philadelphia
Friday, March 3, 2023

Why can't you request a soon to be released title on Libby? You could through Overdrive. Very annoying. Or am I missing some way to submit a request?
Maria - philadelphia
Friday, March 3, 2023

Maria, Libby is working on this feature and advises that it will available before the Overdrive App is fully discontinued. Thank you for your patience!
Sharyl O. - Free Library of Philadelphia
Monday, March 6, 2023

Want to read free e books.
Thomas Tomb - Pittsburgh, pa
Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Addressing Maria of Philadelphia's comment about soon-to-be-released titles - I have been a Libby user since the time it was first released. In my experience, I have found that it appears to be up to the individual libraries as to whether or not soon-to-be-released titles can be displayed in Libby. I have Libby borrowing privileges in four library systems: Free Library of Philadelphia, Chester County, Montgomery County PA, and Montgomery County MD. Eliminating Mont. Co., PA, which almost never adds new ebooks until a year after the book is released, I searched for Lisa Scottoline's book "Loyalty", due to be released on March 28, in the other three systems. I did find it in the Mont. Co., MD, system and added my name to the holds list. However, I didn't find it in the other two. (I also found it in Bucks County's CloudLibrary and also put my name on its holds list.) Sharyl O. - you may want to check on the Free Library of Philadelphia's Libby settings to see if you need to tweak something to make this happen.
Regina Litman - Montgomery County
Sunday, March 19, 2023

I like overdrive and have for many years. Libby is nice too, but overdrive had many great features that Libby doesn't. I'm a Libby user for quite some time and I get frustrated that my holds get moved to another time even when I select borrow ASAP option.
Sanchez - Philadelphia
Sunday, March 19, 2023

I have been using 'Overdrive'for many years and have able to many things the with it that 'Libby' is unable to. #1 When Overdrive is discontinued I will lose 47 e-books that I own and are stored on the overdrive book shelf. #2 How can one recommend new books once one has publishing date? #3 If one belongs to more than one library and want to keep each library separate as one can do with overdrive, how can it be done? No one at any of my librarys know the answers to these questions and many other things about Libby that I dislike
JB - Phila
Monday, March 20, 2023

Regina, apologies if I misunderstood Maria's question! Due to budget & collection management policies, the Free Library of Philadelphia does not support hold requests on Overdrive/Libby e-books and e-audiobooks that have not yet been published or purchased. However, our patrons can use Deep Search and Notify Me functions on Libby to look for titles that the library does not own and recommend their purchase. This is a request to purchase and not a hold request. (This is new feature for the Free Library as of today.) Thank you!
Sharyl O. - Free Library of Philadelphia
Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Sanchez, thank you for your comment. Please email us at to provide more information about the issue with your holds. Thank you!
Sharyl O. - Free Library of Philadelphia
Tuesday, March 21, 2023

JB, Overdrive advises that the e-books that you own on your Overdrive Shelf will remain there for you to read even after the Overdrive app is discontinued for library e-books and e-audiobooks. You can use Deep Search and Notify Me functions on Libby to look for titles that the library does not own and recommend their purchase. Note: this is a request to purchase and not a hold request. (This is new feature for the Free Library.) And you can filter your loans by library (if you have more than one library card) to see only the loans from that library. A Help section for Libby is here: Please email us at if you have additional questions. Thanks!
Sharyl O. - Free Library of Philadelphia
Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Libby does not make it easy to reserve or request upcoming releases. Nor is it easy to tell how many holds or check outs you can have at a library. Whereas on overdrive it was very easy.
Sky - Philadelphia
Thursday, April 27, 2023

Sky, the Free Library allows 6 loans and 6 holds at a time for Libby. If you see a title the library does not yet own, you can click the Notify Me tag, which will alert you if the library purchases the title. This doesn't automatically place you in the holds queue, though. You can place a hold, if you want to, after being notified that the library has purchased it. Thank you for reaching out!
Sharyl O. - Free Library of Philadelphia
Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Want to download free books for my bookclub
Jackie cressman - Bethlehem, Pa 18020
Friday, January 12, 2024

Hi Jackie, We purchase additional copies of e-books and e-audiobooks based on demand. If your book club members have a Free Library of Philadelphia library card, they can place holds on your book club title, and should receive it within 15 weeks maximum, in general. If you have additional questions, you can contact us via the Ask a Librarian link on our homepage
Sharyl O. - Free Library of Philadelphia
Tuesday, January 16, 2024