Parents' Guide to

Libby, by OverDrive

By Ana Beltran, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 5+

Browse, borrow books with online library; filters available.

Libby, by OverDrive Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this app.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 7 parent reviews

age 18+

No Reliable Filters

Though this app is very user friendly and gives access to an infinite number of ebooks, this is not suitable for children without heavy supervision. The app does not filter based on the library cards, so even if you are connecting a child's library card as long as it is a valid library card, the user will have access to the library's entire collection, including highly inappropriate content. The app does have a drop-down menu to "filter" but it is easily changed. Unless you plan to heavily monitor what your child is reading or accessing on this app, I would not recommend it. If you heavily monitor it then it is very user friendly and a great app, but beware of filtering issue when a child is using independently.

This title has:

Easy to play/use
4 people found this helpful.
age 14+

Back-door full internet access!

Yes, it is amazing for finding books through all of our various library accounts. The app works perfectly well for library access, books and reading. . It does, however, also allow full, uncontrolled access to the internet. In any book you can click on a word for a definition. Scroll to the bottom of the definitions provided and there is a Google button. First place it suggested after clicking was YouTube. No amount of parental controls on the device kept that from opening. Reading a book to unfiltered YouTube in three clicks!
2 people found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (7):
Kids say (2):

This tool allows kids to enjoy the library experience from virtually anywhere, encouraging them to explore different types of books and making it extremely convenient to borrow ebooks and audiobooks. Families will love accessing different books for free and expanding their personal reading list without the hassle of purchasing books or making a library run. Families of early readers may find this particularly useful and cost effective, since little ones will need an ample selection of books to read regularly in order to practice their reading and comprehension skills. The read-along feature also supports early readers and helps them use the app with greater independence. The juvenile and teen categories have a variety of titles that kids will find appealing. One of the best features of this app is the variety of titles available; borrow best sellers, classic titles, and new releases. Readers can even borrow books in different languages. Users can stream books directly from Libby, by Overdrive, or enjoy the flexibility of downloading for offline access or linking the app to their e-reader, adding to the app's accessibility. Families can narrow search options by activating the juvenile or young adult audience preference, which provides some ease of mind when kids are independently browsing through the collections. This feature definitely makes an otherwise unfiltered selection of titles more kid-friendly. There are two inconveniences when using this app. First, since you are borrowing books from your public library, you have to have a library card or make the trip to your local branch to get one. Second, not all books are immediately available and have to be placed on hold. This was particularly true with super popular and current titles. However, these little inconveniences don't outweigh the convenience, flexibility, and variety offered by Libby, by Overdrive, which definitely brings the library experience to readers' fingertips.

App Details

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