Academic Libraries FAQs

Hello. What can we help you with?


An OverDrive digital library is a custom collection of ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, and more that’s open to students, faculty, and staff 24/7. Each institution selects titles based on their own needs, from our catalog of more than 3 million titles from over 30,000 publishers.

Users can access your OverDrive digital library using the award-winning Libby app on their phone, tablet, or computer. They can also send borrowed ebooks to Kindle (U.S. only) or download and transfer them to supported ereaders.

Yes. OverDrive offers video through Kanopy, the leading streaming video service for public and academic libraries. Users can discover your Kanopy collection in the Libby app.

Through OverDrive, you can also offer a variety of database and streaming media services, which are discoverable in Libby as well.

Yes. OverDrive offers a robust assortment of free, real-time reports for tracking your institution’s digital collection.

OverDrive provides a variety of free training and support resources, including:

  • Custom one-on-one training sessions, live webinars, and on-demand training
  • Digital and printable marketing, promotional, and getting-started materials
  • Support for faculty and staff members via OverDrive Marketplace for troubleshooting and questions
  • Direct support for users through the Libby app
  • A dedicated Libby Help website with how-to articles about the Libby app for library staff and users

If you’d like more support and training options for your institution, please ask a sales rep or your Account Manager for more information.

About digital collections

OverDrive offers a growing catalog of over 3 million digital titles from over 30,000 publishers. Our extensive catalog includes popular reading, literature, academic, and technical content. We’re constantly working with new and existing publishers to add titles to the catalog.

You can subscribe to OverDrive’s weekly email newsletter, ContentWire, to learn about new publishers and titles that are added to our catalog.

Staff can also browse and search for new titles (filtered by date added to Marketplace, release date, and more) using the extensive search options in OverDrive Marketplace, our shopping and reporting portal.

No. Each institution builds a custom digital collection for their users. Your staff will be able to browse OverDrive’s extensive catalog and select titles based on your institution’s curriculum and content needs.

OverDrive offers several options for purchasing and renting digital titles, from individual copies that never expire to yearly simultaneous-access plans to pay-per-use plans.

Yes. With publisher permission, OverDrive can assist you in transferring content from another vendor to our platform. Please contact your Account Manager for more information.

No. You must use OverDrive’s services to access our catalog of titles.

We provide a variety of MARC record options for cataloging your digital content. OverDrive MARC Express offers ready-to-load minimal MARC records to your institution at no cost.

OverDrive also works with BDS, eBiblioFile, and OCLC to make full, ready-to-load MARC records available for a small fee.

Additionally, OverDrive provides a suite of APIs that can offer a deeper integration between your OverDrive content and your existing content catalog. We partner with vendors like Polaris, SirsiDynix, Innovative Interfaces, TLC, and Bibliocommons (among many others), who can help pair together your physical and digital collections.

Lending digital titles

Your institution determines the number of titles your users can borrow at a time.

Titles automatically expire at the end of their lending period and are returned to your digital collection, so users never have to worry about late fees.

If users finish titles early, they can return them manually to free up space in their account

Yes. Users can renew digital titles if there are no holds on the title.

Your institution sets the lending period options for each type of content in your collection.

For ebooks, audiobooks, and magazines, you can choose to lend titles for 7, 14, or 21 days.

Some publishers reserve the right to set a lending period, which will override your institution’s preferred settings

Yes. If all available copies of a title are checked out, users can place that title on hold.

Your institution chooses how many titles you users can have on hold at a time.

Users will receive a notification when their hold becomes available. They’ll have 3 days to borrow it, or they can choose to have it delivered later. If a user has a hold delivered later, they’ll keep their place in the holds list, but the hold will go to the next person in line.

Yes. Users can add bookmarks, notes, and highlights in any borrowed ebook or audiobook.

Bookmarks, notes, and highlights are saved in the book and reappear there if the user borrows it again. Users can also export these items as a web page or spreadsheet, then save them or share them with others.

Bookmarks, notes, and highlights are visible only to the user unless they’re exported and shared. Learn more about adding bookmarks, notes, and highlights in Libby.

About apps, software, and devices

With Libby, users can browse, borrow, and enjoy titles from your OverDrive collection on almost any device. Users can download the Libby app on iOS and Android devices or go to to use Libby in a web browser.

Users can send ebooks directly from Libby to their Kindle (U.S. only) or download them on a computer and transfer them to other supported ereaders.

Users can download Libby on:

  • iOS 10+ (get it from the Apple App Store)
  • Android 5.0+ (get it on Google Play)

Users with a Windows computer, Mac computer, or a Chromebook can use Libby in a web browser at We suggest using the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge.


OverDrive can send authentication requests to active directory or federated authentication servers to validate users. We can also use your existing integrated library system database via SIP2, EZproxy, or similar protocol. If none of these options are suitable, we can also authenticate your users with an OverDrive-developed tool called User Login Manager.

User Login Manager is an OverDrive-hosted portal that allows your institution to upload and manage library card numbers or other user logins for your OverDrive service. User Login Manager is free with your digital collection.