Tips on using Libby

Download eBooks, audio books and magazines directly to your device with Libby. Explore the county’s digital collection here.

Information on getting started:

  • Free app through your device’s store. 
  • Items available through Libby include: eBooks, audio books & magazines!  
  • Borrow up to 20 items at one time and place 20 holds at one time. Magazines do not count to your borrowing limits. 
  • No late fines & items will return themselves (but you can return them early!) 
  • Only a select number of copies of a title. May have to place holds on items. For content that is always available digitally (no waiting!), check out Hoopla.
  • Can download items for offline use.  
  • Visit for more digital resources.  

Learn how to download & navigate the Libby app:

Navigating the Libby App:

  • On the bottom of your screen: Tap Library to open the library collection you were most recently browsing. 
  • Tap the Reading now circle to open the loan or sample you were most recently reading. 
  • Tap Shelf to open your loans, holds, and tags for all your libraries (can have a card from more than one library location). 

Note: Libby is not available for Kindle Fire, but you can use the OverDrive app on your device.

In the Libby Menu:

  • Tap Manage Notifications to change your notification settings. Once set up, in-app (“menu badge”) notifications appear at the top of the menu. Tap a library to browse their collection. 
  • Tap See Library Cards to see your library cards, see loan and hold limits, rename cards, add cards, and remove cards. 
  • Tap Add A Library to find another library. (If you have another card from outside of Allegheny County. i.e. Washington County.) 

How can I tell a book is available to borrow?:

  • On a search results page or a title details page, a Borrow link indicates that a title is available to borrow. 
  • Place Hold link indicates that the title is not currently available. 

Why can’t I find some titles in my library’s collection?

  • The library may not own a copy of the book. Since libraries build their own collections, not every library has the same books available. 
  • The search terms may be too specific. Try shortening or changing your search terms, then search again.  For example, try searching by author as opposed to title.
  • Your list preferences may exclude certain titles. To check, tap Preferences at the top of any list and make sure these options are selected if you are having problems finding what you are looking for to make your preferences more general.
    • Availability: Everything 
    • Format: Any 
    • Language: Any 
    • Audience: All 
    • Compatibility: Libby 

Renewing titles: You can renew a title a three days before its due using these steps: 

  • Go to Shelf > Loans
  • Tap Manage Loan
  • If you’ve borrowed the book from multiple libraries, select the due date for the copy you’d like to renew. 
  • Tap Renew Loan, then Renew

Why can’t I renew a title?: There are a few reasons why you might be unable to renew a title: 

  • Someone else has the book on hold. In this case, you’ll see a Place Hold button (instead of Renew), which means you need to wait to borrow the book again.  Just like print items, can’t renew if someone else has that item on hold. For many items, there are more than one copy in the system.   
  • It’s too early to renew the book. You’ll be able to renew a book a few days before it’s due. If it’s too early, Libby will tell you how much longer you need to wait before you can renew it. 

Browsing by subject & genre: To see all of your library’s subjects:

  • Tap Library in the bottom navigation.
  • Scroll down to see: Explore > Subjects
  • From there, tap a subject to browse its titles. You can also tap Sort Subjects to display them alphabetically or by most titles to least. 

Filtering By Format: You can set list preferences, filter lists and search results, or do an advanced search to show only books or only audiobooks. 

  • Tap Preferences at the top of your library’s home screen or any list. 
  • Change the “Format” option to Books or Audiobooks
  • Tap Apply Preferences

Advanced Search:

  • Tap the search bar.
  • Tap More Options
  • Change the “Format” option to Books or Audiobooks
  • Enter any other criteria (if desired), then tap Search

Returning books:  

Books are automatically returned to the library on their due date. When they’re returned, they’re also removed from your Loans and deleted from your device (if downloaded). 

If you finish a book early, you can return it before its due date using the steps below: 

  • Go to Shelf > Loans
  • Tap Manage Loan
  • Tap Return Early, then Return

Need additional help? View step-by-step instructions for your device:

ChromebookKindle Fire
Kindle Paperwhite Mac
MP3 playersNook

Email the library with additional questions: