Accessing libraries for reading is a “joyful” antidote to inflation


CLEVELAND – January 25, 2023  As public libraries continue their mission to serve their communities, a major milestone was reached for the most popular ebook, audiobook, magazine and comics app for library patrons: one billion digital books borrowed in Libby, the library reading app. The Libby app, created by OverDrive, is used in over 22,000 public libraries and thousands of colleges, universities, corporate libraries and learning centers.

The one billionth checkout in Libby occurred on January 21 through a member public library of the Arkansas Digital Library Consortium. The title – An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena, a murder mystery released in 2018 – reinforces the growing reality that readers of all ages use their local library to enjoy digital books of all genres, in addition to the most popular and trending new releases.

“This is the happiest of accidents,” said Jennifer Chilcoat, Director of the Arkansas State Library. “The Arkansas Digital Library Consortium has exponentially expanded the reading and learning choices that are available to Arkansans, and providing Libby’s billionth checkout is a joyful reminder of that impact. We are proud to be a part of Libby’s success story, and even prouder to be part of the success story of Arkansas’ great public libraries.”

Libraries played a critical role during COVID, providing essential services even while most buildings were closed. Consequently, more people than ever discovered the benefits of borrowing ebooks and digital audiobooks from their public library. As inflation has increased and families struggle with household budgets, free content from the public library has become a staple for many readers throughout the country and around the world.

Launched in June 2017, Libby provides 24/7 access to library ebooks and audiobooks in a streamlined reading app. Libby’s intuitive user interface provides an easy and enjoyable user experience for fiction or nonfiction books (ebook or audiobook), comic books, graphic novels, magazines, cookbooks and Read-Alongs. Libby has been downloaded by millions of readers and has earned thousands of 5-star reviews, a 4.8 Apple App Store rating and 4.1 Google Play store rating.

With the scheduled discontinuation of the legacy OverDrive app in April 2023, millions more readers will upgrade to Libby. New features are consistently being added in Libby, including the Notify Me feature which is currently being piloted by 60 libraries. This allows patrons to discover and express interest in titles that are not yet in their local library’s collection. Libraries use Libby to reach their community and introduce their valuable programs and free online services.

To find a public library near you, download the Libby app (iOS, Android) or visit


About OverDrive

OverDrive is a mission-based company that stands with libraries. Named a Certified B Corp in 2017, OverDrive serves more than 88,000 libraries and schools in 109 countries with the industry’s largest digital catalog of ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, video and other content. OverDrive empowers libraries and schools by expanding access for all through tireless industry advocacy and consistent innovation. Award-winning apps and services include the Libby library reading app, the Sora student reading app, Kanopy, the leading video streaming app for libraries and colleges, and, which offers one of the largest catalogs of supplemental materials that enhance literacy outcomes. Founded in 1986, OverDrive is based in Cleveland, Ohio USA.


David Burleigh
Director of Brand & Communications