What the Tech: app of the day, Libby

What the Tech

Public libraries are often taken for granted. A world of books you can check out for free. The app, Libby keeps those libraries open 24-7, even during a pandemic. Sort of.

All you need is a library card. Download the app, enter your card number and you’re suddenly browsing through most of the books, magazines and audiobooks available to borrow. If you don’t have a card, Libby can help. Thousands of libraries allow people to sign up for a library card online.

I found lots of best sellers available for loan. Popular books, like “Where the Crawdads Sing” are checked out. Best Sellers go fast, just like in a real library. You can place holds on items. This one, the most in-demand book right now, has a waiting list of over 6 months.

Yes, there are hundreds of books for young children and audiobooks. It might even be easier to browse books in the Libby app. You don’t need to be familiar with the Dewey decimal system.

Just search for a title or an author. I searched for Stephen King and found 102 books and 102 audio books of King’s work. Browsing through the selections I found mysteries, fiction, non-fiction, and books on business. Magazines such as Family Handyman, Reader’s Digest, The Economist and Newsweek.

The latest from Lee Childs is available and I checked it out. The book was immediately available on my phone and iPad and computer. You can also choose to have the library book delivered, for free, to a Kindle. I have the book on loan for 2 weeks.

You can check out up to 15 items and put holds on up to 20 books, magazines and audiobooks.

And no, there are no late fees. When your 2 weeks are up, the item automatically returns to the virtual library for someone else. If you’ve been missing your local library, Libby might be the best app on your phone.

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