The first step depends on the device you use. Libby is completely free. If you use an iphone, you can download the Libby app from the app store. If you use an Android, use the Google Play Store. If you want to access Libby from your Windows PC, you use the Microsoft Store. Once you download it, get your library card at the ready and follow the instructions on the device. “Libby” will pop up and chat with you about how to get started.
1. Sort and Filter
Libby is full of features that will help you on your ebook discovery. Some of the most helpful features are seen in Libby’s sort and filter menu! It’s very simple to sort and filter so that you only see available items. We all know that one of the downsides of checking out ebooks is the wait time. What better way to cut disappointment down by searching for a title guaranteed to be available at that moment? It’s quite simple to do.
While on the main screen, you’ll see a plus sign in a circle next to the word “Preferences.” Tap that and you will see the many ways you can filter your main screen. One of those options is “Availablity.” Tapping the word and changing the highlighed option on the drop down menu from “Everything” to “Available Now” will ensure that only titles now available for loaning appear! While you’re on the preferences screen, you will notice all the other ways you can filter your search including: Format (ebooks or audio), Language, Audience (looking for just Young Adult titles?), and more. Now, everything on display in the “explore” window will show items to your specifications. Make sure you remember to click “Apply Preferences”!
This can be done while searching with the search bar as well! After you tap the search bar, there will be a link that says “More Options.” Click that and you will be able to apply all the same filters to your current search.
2. Use Tags to Keep Track of Books
Another cool feature of the Libby app is the ability to use “tags” to organize or categorize books. There are many ways to do so. I made three categories of “tags” each keeping track of different things. One tag was “TBR,” this tag kept track of books that I wanted to read in the future. I titled another tag “dragons” so that I could keep track of books I wanted to read that had dragons in them. Why not?
There are so many different ways to use this function. To create and edit your tags, tap the “Shelf” button on the bottom right of the Libby screen. You will see “Loans,” “Holds,” and “Tags.” Once you get to the tags page, you can organize them in three different ways. There will be a little bookshelf icon, a thumbs up icon, and a thumbs down icon. To make my Dragons Tag, I tapped the bookshelf icon. Then, I tapped the “ACTIONS” option, which let me rename the tag. You can change the tag folder to contain books, audiobooks, or magazines. Then you can click “library” and find titles to add to your list! Each title will have a little button that says “Tag” with a bookmark plus sign to the right of it -- that is where you can select the tag that you want to add to a title.
3. Send to Kindle
Number three on our list is probably one of the most important for Kindle owners. Any ebook that you have on your Libby shelf can be sent to your Kindle for reading. Once you check out a title, locate it on your “shelf.” When you first go to open your title, it will give you the option to read in the Libby app itself or by Kindle. Click “Kindle.” Doing so will open Amazon.com where you sign into the Amazon account you have attached to your Kindle. From there you can “deliver” it to your device.