Public Libraries FAQs

Databases & Streaming Media services

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Hello. What can we help you with?


Your OverDrive digital library is a custom collection of ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, and more that’s open to your users 24/7. Each library builds their individual digital collection 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 collection of free, real-time reports that allow library staff to track their digital collections.

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

  • Custom one-on-one training sessions, live webcasts, and on-demand training
  • Digital and printable marketing, promotional, and getting-started materials for your digital collection
  • Support for your library 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 library, please ask a sales rep or your Account Manager for more information.

About library collections

OverDrive offers a growing catalog of millions of digital titles from over 30,000 publishers for library users of all ages. This catalog covers virtually all genres and includes popular publishers and many bestsellers. 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.

No. Each library creates its own custom digital collection for their users. Your team will be able to browse OverDrive’s extensive catalog and select titles based on your library’s collection development goals. If you enable the “recommend to library” feature for your library, users will also be able to recommend titles from the entire OverDrive catalog for your library to purchase.

OverDrive offers several different lending models for digital content. Titles available under the Simultaneous Use model can be borrowed simultaneously by an unlimited number of users. Many OverDrive titles are available under the One Copy/One User lending model. This means that if your digital library only has one copy of a title, then only one user can borrow that specific title at a time, just as if it were a physical book. The more copies you own, the more copies can be borrowed simultaneously. Some publishers offer other lending models that let you rent titles for a certain period of time or number of circulations, or pay only when titles circulate.

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 subscribe to one of 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 library 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 library 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 library, 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 library can choose the lending period 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.

Your library can offer multiple lending periods per content type. For example, you may choose to give your users the option to borrow audiobooks for 7, 14, or 21 days, but limit their options for ebooks to 7 or 14 days only. This allows your users to choose the lending period that works best for them for each type of content.

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

Yes. If all available copies of a title are checked out, users can place that title on hold. Your library determines the number of holds your users can place 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.

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 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 library to upload and manage library card numbers or other user logins for your OverDrive service. User Login Manager is free with your digital library.