OverDrive/Libby, by OverDrive :eBook and eAudiobook FAQ

OverDrive is a service offered by Fort Bend County Libraries that gives cardholders a selection of eBooks and eAudiobooks to borrow at no cost. Libby, by Overdrive is an app that allows you to read eBooks and listen to eAudiobooks on your phone or tablet.  

OverDrive is discontinuing the original/legacy OverDrive app and making the Libby, by OverDrive app the primary way to enjoy the digital library.   The original/legacy OverDrive app will be fully discontinued in early 2023. 

Watch a video and find more information about how to switch from the original/Legacy app to the Libby, by OverDrive app here

Kindle Fire users can download Libby onto their device manually, as Libby is not currently available to download directly from the Amazon Appstore. OverDrive has requested information and a timeline for approval from Amazon but has not yet received an update.

Users can also deliver Kindle Books to a Fire tablet from a device that supports libbyapp.com (US only).
The OverDrive app will also be available from the Amazon Appstore until further notice.

Using the icons in the footer, you can:

  • Tap search to search for titles.
  • Tap Library to open the library collection you were most recently browsing.
  • Tap shelf to see your loans, holds, and tags for all your libraries.
  • Tap timeline to see your timeline.

If you'd like, you can turn on labels for the footer icons:

Note: This setting is only available if you use Libby in English.

  1. Go to Menu> Settings.
  2. Tap Customize Navigation.
  3. Turn on Labeled Icons.

Libby nav bar with 'labeled icons' turned on

Learn more about navigating the app.

  • A valid library card (with less than $5.00 in fines) and password (PIN) or a valid e-Card.
  • Access to the Internet.
  • For downloads, the software (app) for your specific type of computer or mobile device. Users may find OverDrive's new Libby app simple to use. eBooks and eAudiobooks from OverDrive can also be used in your browser from the FBCL OverDrive webpage without the need to download them to a mobile device.
  • You may also need a valid email address in case you place an item on hold and want to be notified when your titles are available for checkout.

You can search for titles in the FBCL catalog and check them out from there, or you can search in the OverDrive's  Libby app, or OverDrive's website.

Open and log in to the app or the website, and navigate to your "bookshelf" or the "loans" section of your "My account." If you check out by using the library catalog, you will be directed to OverDrive's website or the Libby by OverDrive app to complete your borrow.

You can have 5 OverDrive items checked-out at one time.

eBooks and eAudiobooks borrowed from OverDrive return after 14 days.  All items return automatically, so there are never any late fees.

All items return automatically but if, for example, you have 5 items checked out and you want to return one so that you can check out a different fifth item, you have several choices.

A “return” or “check in” option is next to the title in your Library Catalog “My Account” Items Out tab and under the title on your OverDrive shelf (if the title has not yet been downloaded). If the item has been downloaded from OverDrive, you can use the return option associated with your device. See instructions in "OverDrive Help" for returning and removing downloaded items under Categories - eBooks  or Categories - Audiobooks.

OverDrive eBooks and eAudiobooks are licensed for use by one borrower at a time, so in some cases, users may have place a hold and wait for access to the most popular titles.

You can have 5 OverDrive items on hold at a time.

Items being held for you in OverDrive will wait 72 hours (3 days) for you to check them out before your held item is removed from your account.

If you take no action on an available hold, once per hold, if you take no action:

  • The "deliver after seven days" option will be automatically applied at the end of the three-day pickup window.
  • You'll stay at the front of the wait list.
  • The current copy will go to the next person in line.

If you take no action a second time, your hold will be canceled automatically.

When a hold becomes available for you, you'll now have the option to borrow it or have it delivered later. The "deliver later" option keeps you at the front of the wait list but passes that copy of the title to the next person in line. This feature gives you more control over your holds, so you can borrow and read titles when it's most convenient for you.

To deliver a hold later:

  1. Go to your Holds page on your library's OverDrive website or in the Libby by OverDrive app.
    You'll need to be signed into the site to get to this page.
  2. Select Deliver later next to the title.
  3. Choose the earliest date you'd like the title to be delivered. After that date, you'll get a copy when the next person returns it
  4. Select Confirm.

Once you reschedule delivery, you'll see a "Deliver after" notification next to the hold.

You can change your delivery date by selecting Edit hold. You can choose a different date or select "as soon as possible" to receive the next available copy.

You can access your digital hold via either the OverDrive website or the Libby by OverDrive app.

How to Access Your Holds Via  the OverDrive website

To borrow the title:

    Go to your Holds page on your library's OverDrive website.

    You'll need to be signed into the site to get to this page.

    Select Borrow next to the title.

    From there, you can choose a reading format for your title.

If you received a notification email but don't see your hold, visit this article for more help.


How to Access Your Holds Via Libby by OverDrive app on phone or tablet

You can find all of your holds by going to Shelf > Holds. From there, you can see where you are on the wait list for each hold, and edit or cancel holds as needed.

You may watch a short video tutorials about using the Libby by OverDrive app here

You can either use “OverDrive Read” or “OverDrive Listen” to use your checked-out book without downloading, or follow the in-app instructions. Read more downloading instructions in "OverDrive Help" for downloading under Categories - eBooks or Categories - Audiobooks. Using OverDrive's new Libby app, borrowed items download to the app automatically.

Downloadable apps like Libby cannot be used on Kindle eReaders such as Paperwhite. In Libby, Kindle eReader users can click on Device Preferences under Settings to select “I read books on My Kindle,” which turns off auto download to Libby and allows OverDrive eBooks to be sent to a Kindle. You can click on the book title and select “Send to Device.” Select Kindle and Libby will take you to Amazon so that you can “Get Library Book” via your Amazon account.

Watch a video on how to use Libby, by OverDrive to borrow and place holds here

During regular library business hours, please visit us or call 281-341-2605. To ask a question by email, contact digitalres@fortbend.lib.tx.us. A librarian will reply to your email within two working days.

Click hereto be taken to OverDrive's Help page or click here to be taken to the Libby, by OverDrive App help page.