App for public libraries allows easy access to ebooks and audiobooks


LONDON – 12 March 2019 Libby, the one-tap reading app for public libraries, was named one of TIME’s Best iPhone and Android Apps of 2018. This prestigious honour rewards the app’s role in supporting the transformation of public libraries to better serve their users with ebooks and audiobooks. Libby was created by Rakuten OverDrive, the leading global digital reading platform dedicated to serving UK libraries and schools with their London-based team.

“We are very happy with the service we receive from OverDrive,” said Helen Whitehead, E-Services Librarian at York Libraries. “Our e-issue figures are upper quartile and rising all the time, and we believe this is largely because it’s so easy for customers to browse and borrow. The Libby app is a joy to use, very clean and modern, and with admirably few steps required for setup. They may say ‘content is king’ but in our experience the mechanics matter enormously too, and we’re pleased to offer such a quality app.”

Libby was built with feedback from librarians and readers for maximum ease-of-use and allows users to borrow ebooks, audiobooks and magazines with their library card. The app provides the same app experience on mobile devices, desktops or operating systems for Apple®, Android™ and Windows®.

Since 2004, OverDrive has provided services for the UK and now partners with a growing list of 200 library authorities and schools, serving an estimated 60% of the UK population. OverDrive offers the largest collection of bestselling and award winning ebooks and audiobooks for public libraries from almost every major publisher. Country Manager Paul Davighi leads the locally-based dedicated UK team who assist public libraries and schools in maximizing the circulation and efficiency of their digital book collections.

Based on the libraries’ success, OverDrive is also expanding its school library service in the UK with a comprehensive collection of reading and learning resources along with the creation of Sora, the new student reading app based on Libby. Sora allows students to access both their school’s digital collection and the local public library’s children’s and young adult digital collections. OverDrive is also a fervent supporter of early literacy programmes along with community-based organizations, such as Cityread London.

To learn more about OverDrive, visit To learn more about Libby, visit or download Libby from the app store (iOS®, Android™, Windows®).



About Rakuten OverDrive

Rakuten OverDrive is the leading digital reading platform for libraries and schools worldwide. We are dedicated to “a world enlightened by reading” by delivering the industry’s largest catalog of ebooks, audiobooks, magazines and other digital media to a growing network of 43,000 libraries and schools in 76 countries. Named one of TIME’s Best iPhone and Android Apps of 2018, Libby is the “one-tap reading app” for libraries. Founded in 1986, OverDrive is based in Cleveland, Ohio USA and owned by Tokyo-based Rakuten.

Paul Davighi
UK Country Manager

David Burleigh
Director of Brand & Communications