At OverDrive, we’re always working to support your mission to serve readers in new and innovative ways. Over the last year, we have developed, tested, and launched several Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies into Libby to further enhance how you reach and support your patrons.

We are excited to share a few examples of how readers are using AI with your library in Libby.

AI-assisted support

Since launch, OverDrive has provided direct support to your users through Libby. We also recently added AI-assisted support to the Help & Support section of Libby’s in-app menu to answer common questions (e.g., how to return a title early, how to renew a title, how to change a title’s lending period, and more) in real-time, 24/7/365.

In practice, our tech support team reports that approximately 30% of all user help requests are now instantly addressed by this technology. We hope this also reduces questions that come to your library help desk and allows your patrons to enjoy more time reading.

See Libby’s AI-assisted support in action

Libby Action for Google Assistant

With the growing use of voice-based services (think Apple’s Siri), OverDrive has been developing new ways that users can interact with your library in Libby using speech.

For those with a Google Home or Google Assistant on their devices, you can now try our first release of the Libby Action for the Google Assistant. Google offers this voice-activated service on over 1 billion devices including Android and Apple smart phones, Android smart watches, smart speakers, Google Home, smart TVs, and smart displays. Simply say “Hey Google, talk to Libby” to get started.

The Libby Action helps users discover and borrow books from your library’s digital collection with speech. Users can ask the Libby Action to help them search for a book, read a description, get a recommendation for their next read, borrow a title, and more.

Preview the Libby Action for Google Assistant

Imagine this: You’re driving to work and listening to the latest episode of your favorite podcast (Professional Book Nerds). Samantha Shannon is being interviewed, and her brand-new book, The Priory of the Orange Tree, sounds really interesting—but, you’re behind the wheel and can’t (and shouldn’t!) take your eyes off the road. So, instead of hoping you remember the book when you get to the office, you ask Libby to find and borrow the book from your local library. Voilà, you’re all set to read on lunch!

What’s next?

As we continue this journey, we are working on additional ways to empower your library to serve and delight more readers. We will be regularly adding more capabilities to the Libby Action for Google Assistant and hope to soon integrate with more AI-based platforms. OK Google, End.