Libby has just a few options, but they can be important, so read on if you would like to know more about customizing your experience with Libby.
This is the home screen for the Digital Library of Illinois. This will be the first thing you see after logging in. In the upper right corner is a tiny Libby icon. You can tap this to open a menu as seen in the next image.
This menu will allow you to see which library you are currently using or add more library cards and libraries. You can also access the Notifications Menu from here. You can also access the built-in Libby help system which is a series of short videos produced by OverDrive, the creators of the Libby app.
Libby Academy (the help system) is really useful for learning the ins and outs of using Libby as an e-reader, especially if this is your first time using an e-reader of any kind. There is a video about looking up words, for instance. A similar feature exists on many e-readers when they are connected to the internet.
Near the bottom of this menu you may also choose how you would like to read books, which is to say which app you would like to use. Tap "Read Books With..." to choose between
Lastly, the Get Some Help link is for troubleshooting the software rather than the library contents. If something isn't working as you expect it, you might check there first for answers to frequently asked questions.
Back on the home screen you have some book covers and two primary buttons just above them. Tap Preferences.
The next image shows the preferences menu. There are quite a few and this may look intimidating for a first time user, so we are going to discuss these options for a moment.
The first option, Format, is a choice between a textual book which one reads and an audiobook to which one listens. If you plan to connect your phone to the car's Bluetooth and listen to the latest novel from your favorite author during a long trip, the second choice is for you. This acts as a filter so that you only see audiobooks, and not print books when you go exploring, or vice versa.
Another filtering option, your choice of language is going to limit what you see in the library to just those titles in your preferred language. If you only speak English, you would probably choose English here, as books in Chinese aren't going to do you a lot of good unless you are learning another language.
Please note that unlike many of these little pop-up menu items, this one may scroll up and down, as shown by the light blue arrows. Just touch the screen and, without lifting your finger, slide it up and down on the screen to see other options. When the choice you want is in view, you may lift your finger from the screen and then tap to select.
Audience selection is going to give you the option to filter just to an intended target age group for the books you may borrow from the Digital Library. If you are looking for something to read to the kids before bed, Juvenile might be a good choice here.
If you are unsure of what the intended audience is for a particular author or book, All might be the best choice until you find out. The Harry Potter series, for instance, features books from both Juvenile and Young Adult. As Harry got older, so did his audience, having grown up with him.
This selection is actually multiple choice, though the menu will disappear with each selection. Simply tap the Audience selection again. In the following images, Young Adult and General Content have been selected. Tap Audience again and then tap Juvenile to add it to your filters, as shown.
Compatibility is the unfortunate consequence of competing platforms. If you remember Betamax vs. VHS or Blu-Ray vs. HD DVD, or used the internet in the days of Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator, or perhaps played video games over the last few decades, you probably have a pretty good idea of what this is about.
Some books just may not work on some devices!
Amazon pretty much just likes Amazon things, not surprisingly, so e-books in Adobe's format won't work on a Kindle e-reader. On an Amazon tablet, however, like a Kindle Fire, one can find reading software that will work as it is really an Android tablet underneath the labeling. Please note that Libby is not currently available in Amazon's app store. The original OverDrive app is, however, and one may access the Digital Library of Illinois in a similar manner.
Availability is another way of asking if you are willing to wait. With Everything selected, you will be able to see the entire catalog (that is not otherwise filtered by audience choice, language, or compatibility) and be able to place holds on items so that you may be put on the waiting list.
You may place up to ten holds at one time. The Libby app will notify you when your items become available. You may choose how Libby notifies you about things, which we will look at below.
If you select Available Now, you won't see any items you cannot borrow right at this moment. If you are looking for something to read right now, this is your option.
Sort by changes the order in which books are listed when you search.
The Default sort is Relevance.
Relevance would try to get you the books that the system thinks most closely match your search terms. The results may not always make sense to you, but search engines improve every day.
Popularity is exactly what it sounds like. Books with buzz float to the top.
Date Added will show the newest arrivals to the collection, whether or not the book is new to the world.
Release Date puts the latest publishing date on top.
Author will organize alphabetically by author. This could be useful if you remember something like, "It's a book about love and the author's last name starts with a 'T'."
Title is alphabetical by the full title of the book.
Once everything is set as you like, you must tap Apply Preferences or no changes will be saved.
After you tap Apply Preferences, the menu will close and return you to the Libby home screen. You may notice that the Preferences item now shows a small indicator of the number of custom settings you have set.
If things do not work as you expect them to or you cannot find that one book your friend told you about, this would be a good spot to check first.
Now, it's time to...
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