Coming February 2023… Libby by OverDrive!

Meet Libby!

Libby by OverDrive logoLibby by OverDrive, that is. Libby is OverDrive’s current e-reading app. In February 2023, York County Libraries will be switching from using Axis 360 to Libby by OverDrive for eBooks and eAudiobooks.

In the coming months, we’ll update this page with information and how-to guidance to get everyone ready to jump over to Libby on Feb 1, 2023.

This page last updated: January 05, 2023

January 2023

Last weeks for Axis 360; Libby quick start guides available. Click “details” to read

Note: You will not be able to find York County Libraries in the Libby app until February 1, 2023, so if you are already a Libby user, just be patient!

Axis 360: If you’d like to save any information off the Axis 360 app, we recommend taking a screenshot to save a “picture” of your check out history or other information.

Not a screenshot person? Good old fashioned pen and paper still work great to save any information you might want to keep! For more information on key dates this month, see the December update below.

New to Libby: For anyone who is new to Libby, visit our eBooks page to get start guides. We’ve also included a helpful video that will introduce the new service and some of the great features it will bring! Click the “Details” toggle to watch the video.

We also have some printable Quick-Start guides posted on the eBooks page. You can use these documents to get instructions for loading the app onto your device or computer. Then you will be all ready to sign in to York County Libraries’ Libby collection on February first.

After February first, these guides will also help you learn how to find books, download them easily, and enjoy them on your device (but our collection doesn’t go live until February 1st!). After February first, you’ll also be able to build a new wish list and holds queue. 

If you have any questions, email them to [email protected]

December 2022

Dates you need to know  Click “details” to read

February 1st will be here before you know it, and with it comes York County Libraries’ switch from Axis360 to Libby by OverDrive.

Throughout December, Axis360 will work as usual.

January 03 is the last day to place a new hold on an item within the Axis360 app. Note: we cannot guarantee that any holds with more than one person waiting will be fulfilled.

Example: If you’re 5th in line, and the first two people take 2 weeks each to read that book, your hold will not be fulfilled before the switch to Libby by OverDrive on Feb. 1

January 31 is the last day to use the Axis 360 app. Books can still be checked out until midnight, but at midnight, the application will shut down and no longer be usable.

January 31 is the last day to capture information from the Axis360 app.

We suggest writing down or taking screenshots of anything you might want to save. This might include your checkout history, items on your wish list, or items on hold. Once the Libby app is available, you’ll be able to create new wish lists and put yourself on hold queues within the new app.

Unfortunately, hold queues will not transfer to Libby by OverDrive. Everyone will start on an even playing field on February 1st.

February 1 Libby by OverDrive will be available for sign-in using your York County Libraries card. 

In February, we will have how-tos to help you get started using Libby by OverDrive on your smartphone, tablet, or e-Reader. These how-tos will be available on our website, or at our member service desks upon request. Staff will also be happy to help you with the basics.

Questions? Email us at [email protected] at any time. We are here to help!

November 2022

Want to know what to look for if you’re getting a new device? Click “details” to read.

Do you need a newer device?

Nov. 3rd: With a new eBranch service coming in February, we know our library members may be concerned about whether their devices will be compatible with Libby. 

You may not need a new device at all! Read our October blog update (below, under “October”) to see what operating systems are compatible with Libby by OverDrive. Jump to that update here.

Device Guide

Below is a general guide to give you an idea which devices should be compatible with books* from Libby by OverDrive.

This is not a comprehensive list, but it is intended to give you an idea of what price points and what features to look for in smartphones, e-Readers, and tablet computers. Devices can be bought at many retailers like Target, Walmart, and BestBuy, online sites such as Amazon**, or direct from the manufacturer.

Whether you are looking at your existing devices, or considering purchasing something newer for a holiday gift, we hope this helps give you a starting point. 

*Not all devices can use the Libby app directly. See notes in the “cons” column below.

**When online shopping with any site or storefront with multiple sellers, remember the adage “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.” If a price from a third-party seller seems suspiciously good, be cautious before making a purchase. 

All prices current as of 1 November 2022; subject to change per manufacturer

Smartphones

The Libby app is available for most big-brand smartphones. Check your PlayStore (Android devices) or AppStore (Apple devices) to see if the app is available.

While a phone’s small screen size might mean a lot of page turns while reading an eBook, many people enjoy listening to eAudiobooks on their smartphones in the car or while on the go. Jump to the section about compatible OS types here. Don’t forget your headphones or earbuds!

$

$0 – A cell phone you already own!

Most cell phones made in the last several years will be able to support the Libby app. You can get the app and download books using WiFi, so a dedicated data plan or cell service plan is not a requirement.

Pros: 

    • Hard to get cheaper than “I already own this item”
    • Most modern phones come with good sound and support either wired (3.5mm or USB-C) or wireless (Bluetooth) headphones
    • Great option for listening to eAudiobooks

Cons:

    • Phone screens tend to be on the small size for reading eBooks on the device
    • Specs such as battery life will vary widely depending on usage and age of the device
    • Downloads on WiFi can be very slow
$$

$149 – Moto G Power (2021)

Mfr. website: moto g power – android smartphone | motorola US – Motorola

Pros:

    • Excellent battery life
      Very little bloatware (stock Android install)
    • Excellent option for listening to eAudiobooks on the go
    • Has a 3.5mm jack for standard headphones
    • Also supports Bluetooth wireless earpods or headphones
    • Good value for the money

Cons: 

    • Not 5G compatible
    • Small screen (6.4″ narrow) will make reading eBooks tricky
    • Camera isn’t the best

 

 

$$$

$700-$2000+ – Any flagship iPhone, Samsung, etc.

If your sole purpose in purchasing one of these phones is to read eBooks and eAudiobooks on it, go with a less expensive option. If you are looking for a really high-end new phone that allows you to do all the smartphone things and can also allow you to read eBooks and eAudiobooks, here are the pros and cons: 

Pros: 

    • May be “free” with a contract with your cell service provider
    • Likely to have high quality build and specifications\
    • Should be able to get several years’ worth of use out of these phones

Cons:

    • You may get locked into a several years-long contract with a cell phone provider
    • Not a good option if all you want to do is listen to eAudios or read eBooks

Tablet Devices

A tablet is a good option if you want something that can do more than access eBooks and eAudiobooks, and which has a bigger screen than a smartphone.

Tablets have color screens, which make illustrations and graphics pop. However, if you’re looking for something that has a weeks-long battery life and is simple to use, an e-Ink ereader (below) may be a better option. Eyestrain and blue-light strain with any illuminated screen (a smartphone or a tablet) is also a factor to consider.

$

$60 – Kindle Fire 7 (2022) 

Mfr. website: Amazon Official Site: Fire 7 tablet, 7” Display, 2022 release

Pros:

    • Least expensive option that still works well
  • Comes with a limited warranty
  • Supports Alexa for hands-free use
  • Expandable storage with an SD slot
  • Small and lightweight (size of a Kindle e-reader)
 

Cons: 

  • Ads on lock screen
  • Uses Fire OS instead of Android
  • Can’t access the Google Play Store
  • Limited apps available (ebooks from Libby will have to be sent to this device via WiFi or in a browser window using your Amazon account, as the Libby app cannot be directly loaded onto the device)
  • Screen size (7″) may be small for some users
  • Power users will want more performance
$$

$80 and up- Samsung Tab A7 Lite

Mfr. website: Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite | Samsung US

Pros: 

  • Inexpensive
  • Lightweight
  • Full-featured (good screen, decent processor, good battery life)
  • Solid construction of metal and glass instead of plastic
  • Expandable storage with SD slot
  • Four speakers for crisp, robust sound
  • Uses the Google Play Store

Cons: 

  • Camera isn’t the best
  • Display quality is mid-tier
  • Screen size (8.7″) may be small for some users
  • Power users will want more performance
$$$

$329 – iPad (2021)

Mfr. website: iPad 10.2-inch (9th generation) – Apple

Pros: 

  • Good performance in all areas (screen, processing speed, battery)
  • “Yardstick” against which other tablets are compared
  • Works well with other Apple devices (iPhone, AppleTV, etc)

Cons: 

  • More expensive
  • Optional accessories (keyboard, stylus) are also pricey
  • No option for expanding storage for apps; limited access to cloud storage for files
  • Not 5G compatible
  • Limited customization
  • Can be tricky to pair with non-Apple devices

e-Reader (black and white e-ink screen)

These devices are primarily intended for long-term reading of eBooks. E-Ink devices read like printed words on a page and typically have an optional light; much easier on eyesight and causes far less eye strain than a tablet or smartphone screen.  

E-reader devices may not support eAudiobook playback, so check the specifications if you like to listen to eAudiobooks as well as read eBooks.

Typically, you will need to “side-load” library eBooks to these devices using a cable and a computer, or by sending books to the device via Wi-Fi. 

$

$130 – Kobo Clara 2E

Mfr. website: Kobo Clara 2E | Rakuten Kobo eReader Store United States (kobobooks.com)

Pros: 

  • More storage than the Kindle Paperwhite
  • Comparable specs to the Paperwhite in all other areas
  • Waterproof device made of recycled plastics
  • Supports OpenDyslexic Font for compatible eBooks
  • Battery life measured in weeks, not hours
  • No lockscreen ads

Cons: 

  • Requires more work to get Libby eBooks onto the device (must side-load using Adobe Digital Editions on a computer)
  • Slightly smaller screen than a Paperwhite
  • Power charger sold separately (but can be charged with any USB-C)
$$

$140 – Kindle Paperwhite (11th Gen)

Mfr. website: Kindle Paperwhite (amazon.com)

Pros: 

  • Bright & high-contrast screen
  • Adjustable backlight
  • Waterproof
  • Battery life measured in weeks, not hours

Cons: 

  • Has lockscreen ads from Amazon
  • Requires more work to get Libby eBooks on the device (use a computer to open Libby and send eBooks to this device using WiFi and your Amazon account)
  • Power charger sold separately (can be charged via USB-C)
$$$

$120-150 – Nook eReader 2022

Mfr. website: NOOK: Best eReaders and Tablets | Barnes & Noble® (barnesandnoble.com)

Pros: 

  • Bright & high-contrast screen
  • Adjustable light to front-illuminate the screen
  • Offers screen swipe to turn pages
  • Also offers physical buttons to press; easier for those for whom a touch screen is tricky
  • Battery life measured in weeks, not hours
  • Higher-end devices have more storage (up to 32 GB)

 

Cons: 

  • Requires more work to get Libby eBooks onto the device (must side-load using Adobe Digital Editions on a computer)
  • Power charger sold separately (but can be charged with any USB-C port, including on a computer)
  • Less-expensive devices have much less storage capacity (starting at 8 GB)

October 2022

What devices will work with Libby by OverDrive? Click “details” to read.

What devices work with Libby?

Oct 12th: Long-time members may recall that we used to have the OverDrive App. Libby is the current version of the app; the old OverDrive App was retired in February of 2022. When this change occurred, some very old devices (especially Amazon devices such as early Paperwhites and early Kindle Fires) were rendered incompatible with the new Libby App. This is not unusual. All devices will “age out” eventually, as physical components like batteries and processors age. Digital components, such as operating systems, eventually get so old they’re no longer speaking the current “language” as newer systems, and may no longer be able to get updates or keep your private information safe.

Here’s a general guide to compatible devices, as of August 2022:

All Apple phones and tablets running iOS 10 or newer

The oldest Apple phone that will run Libby is an iPhone 5 (2012).

The oldest iPads that will run Libby are the iPad (2012) and original iPad Air (2012).

All Android phones and tablets running Android 5.0 or newer

The oldest Android phone that will run Libby is a Samsung S4 (2013).

The oldest Android tablet that will run Libby is a Samsung Galaxy Note II (2012).

All Kindle tablets running Fire OS 5 or newer

The oldest Kindle tablet that will run Libby is a Fire HD 6 (2014).

Although Kindle Paperwhites can’t install the Libby app, they can still be used to easily read many eBooks borrowed through Libby. Learn about this process here: Reading with Kindle (libbyapp.com)

Reuse or Replace?

All of the above being said, if an old device is compatible, you certainly do NOT have to replace it!

But if you’ve got a very old Kindle device, or are just looking for a refresh, Amazon is offering a limited  trade-in program. If you send them your old device, they’ll give you a discount on a new device.

If you don’t have a Kindle device, check with your device manufacturer to see if they offer any similar trade-in programs.

Secondhand or refurbished shopping is also an option to get a new(er) device without shelling out as much money. Or, of course, you could put a new device on your holiday shopping wishlist. Cyber Monday can sometimes be an opportunity for a deal, if your budget allows.  

Before you e-cycle or trade in your old device, be sure to remove any storage cards and Factory Reset it. Learn how here. Android Devices  Apple Devices   Kindle Devices

September 2022

Announcement & general information. Click “Details” to read.

Sept. 19th: Today is our big announcement day! We are planning to switch our main eBook platform to Libby in February 2023.

Axis 360 will be accessible until the end of January 2023, so please keep using it as usual. As we get closer to the switchover date, we’ll let everyone know key dates, such as the last day to place holds, last chance to save your checkout history, and the last date to save a copy of your Wishlist. None of these dates are any time soon.

Hoopla isn’t going anywhere! If you enjoy Hoopla, no fear: This popular app, which has eBooks and eAudios, plus access to music albums, movies, magazines, and Curiosity Stream, will still be accessible by York County Libraries members.

Why are we switching?

Here at York County Libraries, we’re always on the lookout for partners who will provide great service to our members at a reasonable price to us. We are mindful of being good stewards of our resources. While we’ve had a good run with Axis 360, Libby by OverDrive will allow for our members to use a wider variety of devices and accessibility functions which are presently unavailable with Axis 360. We’re excited for this change, and hope you are, too!

Are Libby and OverDrive the same?

Sort of! Long-time members may recall that we used to have the OverDrive App. Libby is the current version of the app; the old OverDrive App was retired in February of 2022. When this change occurred, some very old devices (especially Amazon devices such as early Paperwhites and early Kindle Fires) were rendered incompatible with the new Libby App.

This is not unusual. All devices will “age out” eventually, as physical components like batteries and processors age. Digital components, such as operating systems, eventually get so old they’re no longer speaking the current “language” as newer systems and may no longer be able to get updates or keep your private information safe. 

Want to learn more?

Visit Libby’s Features Page for a peek at what’s coming to your devices in February. 

Bookmark this blog page to keep up on future updates! We’ll provide more information on this page as we get closer.