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Help and FAQs (for library staff and users)

If you have questions about the Nebraska OverDrive Libraries shared collection of digital audiobooks, eBooks, and magazines, you may find answers below.

Access & Login Questions

Where can I access the Nebraska OverDrive Libraries collection?

On the web:

Through Libby:

Why am I getting a "We could not verify your card" error when I try to log in to Libby for the first time? My card works on the Nebraska OverDrive Libraries website...

When you log in to Libby for the first time, Libby asks "do you have a library card?" After answering "Yes," you will be offered several ways to find your library. If you search for your library by name or city, remember that your library/city name may by shared by libraries/cities in different states. This means your Nebraska library doesn't always appear at the top of the list of "Matching Libraries."

If you accidently select the wrong library (Oakland Public Library in California instead of Oakland Public Library in Nebraska), your card number and PIN won't be recognized, hence the error message. Try again and make sure you pick the correct library. (Hint: It should say Nebraska OverDrive Libraries at the top of the entry.)

Questions About Where to Find Help & Support

Where can I find online help?

Libby Help - For Libby users.

OverDrive Help - For Nebraska OverDrive Libraries website users.

What if I'm experiencing a problem that's not addressed in Libby Help?

In the Libby app, patrons can contact support directly if they don't find a satisfactory solution through in-app help. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Tap the Libby Menu icon.
  • Scroll to "Help & Support" and tap "Get Some Help."
  • Type your question in the "How can we help?" box and tap the magnifying glass icon to search.
  • If your search doesn't retrieve a satisfactory answer, scroll to the bottom of the screen and tap "ask our Support team."
  • When prompted, indicate if you have a problem, a question, or an idea. Follow the on-screen instructions to submit your problem, question, or idea.

As an alternative, if you've followed links to the Libby Help site but aren't finding solutions, scroll to the bottom of any help page and tap "Contact support." You will be provided with instructions similar to those above, but if you select "Not able to access the help form in Libby?" you'll be offered an opportunity to fill out and submit an alternate support form.

General Questions

Why am I being pushed to use Libby?

OverDrive introduced the Libby app in 2017, with the goal of developing a simpler, more intuitive alternative to the original OverDrive app, using newer technology. Since then, both apps have coexisted, each offering users access to the exact same Nebraska OverDrive Libraries collection of audiobooks, eBooks, and magazines—just with a different look and feel.

OverDrive has continued to work diligently to enhance Libby, incorporating improvements and new features (e.g., better tracking of book series, unlimited custom tags, push notifications on mobile devices), while at the same time maintaining and supporting the original OverDrive app. Now OverDrive feels the Libby app is ready to stand on its own. Discontinuing the OverDrive app in early 2023 will free up their developers to focus future efforts exclusively on Libby. Having a single app will also simplify how librarians train users, answer questions, and stay up to date with changes.

OverDrive understands that change is difficult and they've created multiple resources to support you through it. To get started, OverDrive invites you to visit their Upgrade to Libby page, where you'll find links to download the app, a Libby walkthrough video, FAQs, and even an opportunity to sign up for a free training webinar!

Can I transfer the wish list I created in the OverDrive app to Libby?

Yes! If you created a wish list in the OverDrive app (or on the Nebraska OverDrive Libraries website), you can automatically import it into Libby as a smart tag. After logging in to Libby for the first time you'll be prompted via an in-app notification to import your wish list. To get started, tap the Libby Menu icon and select the "Sync Wish Lists" notification that appears at the top of your screen. Follow the prompts to sync your wish list.

For more information see Adding your OverDrive wish lists to Libby

I already created a "wish list" tag in Libby and have been using it to track titles I want to read. Is it too late to sync this wish list with my original OverDrive app wish list?

It's not too late! All you need to do is add OverDrive Wish List "smarts" to your current Libby wish list tag. (Libby "smart" tags have special powers that let them do more than regular tags.) Here's how to upgrade your regular wish list tag:

Tap the Shelf icon to the right of Libby's Menu icon. Tap Tags at the top of the screen. Select your wish list tag. Tap Change. Select "OverDrive Wish List" smarts. Tap Update at the bottom of the screen.

Going forward, your new wish list smart tag will keep track of not just titles it's applied to in Libby, but also all titles you save to your OverDrive wish list.

For more information see Changing a regular tag into a smart tag.

When I start typing a title/author in the search box, the title/author shows up in a drop-down list, but when I click on it, it says not in the collection. Why?

The drop-down suggestion list that appears is to help with spelling of items that are available for sale through OverDrive, not just those titles/authors actually included in the Nebraska OverDrive Libraries collection.

Questions About Checkouts

Why should I use the "Read Sample" feature instead of checking out a book and reading the first few pages to determine if I want to read it?

Some eBooks are licensed by number of checkouts—typically 26 or 52. After those checkouts are used up, the consortium has to pay to license the title again to keep it available. If a person checks out a licensed eBook just to read the first few pages to see if it is of interest and then immediately returns it, that counts as a checkout the same as if they'd read the entire book. In order to make the best use of our budget, please take advantage of the "Read Sample" option.

Why should I return my items after I've finished reading/listening to them when the system returns them automatically?

Returning an item as soon as you are done with it means that it will be available sooner to the next user waiting to check it out. This is especially important in instances where our only option is to license a title for a specific time period set by the publisher. For example, if the consortium licenses an item that is only available for 12 months, and the item stays checked out an extra week here and an extra week there to readers who are done with it, those weeks add up, meaning fewer people may get a chance to check it out before it expires. While the consortium relicenses some high demand titles after they expire, budget limitations prevent us from relicensing everything.

Why shouldn't I check out more titles than I can read at a time and just renew those I don't get to?

As mentioned above, some eBooks are licensed for just 26 or 52 checkouts. Every renewal counts as a checkout. If you check out more titles than you'll be able to read during a single checkout period thinking you'll just renew those you don't get to, you are using up two checkouts per book. Please try to save renewals for really long books, or for instances where unforseen circumstances keep you from getting to a book during the initial checkout period.

When you're tempted to check out more titles than you'll be able to read, consider this: The "Renew Loan" option only appears a few days before a title is due. If someone else has placed a hold on the title before you've been offered the opportunity to renew it, you won't be able to renew it; your only option will be to put it on hold. This is a scenario where it would have been just as useful to save the extra titles to your wish list. 

Why am I limited to six checkouts?

This shared collection serves a large population across the state so the number of items any one person can check out at a time has been limited to six.

Why should I sign in with my library card before searching the collection?

Some libraries that participate in the Nebraska OverDrive Libraries consortium purchase/license additional copies of high demand titles, as well as titles not owned by the consortium. These libraries can choose to keep these titles for the exclusive use of their own users, or they can share them with the consortium but retain priority access for their own users. If your library purchases additional titles/copies, the only way you will see them is if you are logged in with your library card. You never know, your library may have an available copy of a title that looked like it had multiple holds on it before you logged in.

Questions About Holds

Why am I limited to three holds?

The consortium has to strike a balance between purchasing new content for the collection and purchasing additional copies of high demand titles already in the collection (i.e., titles with lots of holds) in order to shorten long wait times that frustrate users. Unfortunately, the more holds users can place, the longer the wait times for popular titles will be. Bottom line, without a budget increase the consortium wouldn't be able to meet the demand for additional copies that would result from increasing the hold limit.

Many users have adapted to the three-hold limit by taking maximum advantage of Libby's wish list tag. After placing the three titles they're most eager to read on hold, they apply the wish list tag to other titles they know they want to read eventually. Then, any time they're trying to figure out what to read next, all they have to do is consult their "wish list" to see which tagged titles are available.

I had a hold on a title and the title disappeared; what happened?

Some titles are licensed rather than purchased and they expire after a certain length of time (e.g., 12 months or 24 months) or a certain number of checkouts (e.g., 26 or 52). Depending on past circulation, the number of holds, and the cost of the title, an additional copy may not be licensed. In that case, holds on the title are removed and the title is weeded (i.e., removed) from the collection.

What's a potential downside to repeatedly using "Deliver Later" in response to hold notifications?

The ability to respond to a hold notification with "deliver later" is a popular feature, but it comes with a downside—potentially slowing the circulation of items and making the wait longer for patrons farther down the holds list. Read on to find out why this happens and what you can do about it!

To provide some background, when you get notified your hold is available, you have three days to decide whether to borrow it, deliver it later, or cancel it. Delivering a hold later keeps you at the front of the wait list, but passes the current copy to the next person in line. The default "deliver after" date is seven days, but a slider allows you to choose a date up to 180 days in the future. Once your "deliver after" date arrives, the next available copy of the title will be offered to you.

Here's the downside: If multiple people at the front of the wait list each wait three days after receiving a hold notification before choosing "deliver later," and each also accepts the default "deliver after 7 days" option, the title might bounce between people at the front of the wait list for multiple days before someone it's offered to finally checks it out. This is not good for anyone.

There are several remedies. First, if you're approaching the front of the wait list for a title at a time when you'll be too busy to check it out, consider suspending your hold before it is offered to you (Shelf > Holds > Manage Hold > Suspend Hold). Second, if you do get a hold notification, please don't wait three days to select "deliver later" if you can help it. Finally, if you're pretty sure you still won't be ready to check out the item at the end of the default one-week "deliver after" date, please use the slider to select a date futher in the future.

There are over 50 holds on the xyz title (the latest BookTok sensation, Netflix movie, etc.) but there is only one copy for checkout. Why aren't more copies being purchased?

Sometimes publishers decide to pull titles from the OverDrive sales catalog after several years, meaning libraries can no longer purchase/license additional copies of the title if it suddenly goes viral.

Questions About Title and Format Availability

Why isn't the latest title from Dean Koontz (or other popular author) in the collection?

Some authors, including Dean Koontz, have signed exclusive contracts with publishing companies owned by Amazon, which does not distribute eBooks and downloadable audiobooks through vendors such as OverDrive. Audible and Brilliance Audio (audiobooks) and Thomas Mercer (print and eBooks) are Amazon-owned companies.

Why aren't all the titles of a series available in the collection?

There are several possible reasons for this, and you may ask your local library which might be the one:

  1. A publisher may choose not to make all the titles in a series available in eBook or audiobook format or the publisher pulls older titles after a time.
  2. A series may be published by more than one company, and one of those companies may choose not to distribute their eBooks or audiobooks through vendors like OverDrive.
  3. Some publishers choose to lease ebooks/audiobooks to libraries instead of selling copies that can be kept forever. These titles expire after a specified length of time or a certain number of checkouts. Most of these titles cost between $30 and $75 per copy, and the Nebraska OverDrive Libraries cannot afford to keep re-licensing all the older titles in every series forever.
  4. If the first few titles in a series do not have many checkouts, selectors consider the price and purchase/licensing options and may choose not to continue with later titles in a series.
  5. There are many series out there to keep track of and selectors are human, a series entry might have been missed on its release date.

Why hasn't the audiobook version of xyz title been purchased? The ebook version is in the collection.

There could be several reasons for that, and you may ask your local library which might be the one:

  1. Not every title has an audiobook version.
  2. An audiobook may be published later than the eBook. While the selectors try to catch the audiobooks when they are eventually released, some slip by.
  3. The audiobook may have been in the collection earlier but expired because it was licensed by time. If it was not checked out often, it may not have been re-licensed.
  4. Sometimes the price of the audiobook is prohibitive, and, if previous audiobooks by the same author have not circulated well, the selectors decide not to acquire it.
  5. The audiobook publisher may choose not to distribute its titles through vendors like OverDrive.
  6. Some publishers limit distribution by geographic area—for example, a specific title may be available in Australia through OverDrive, but not the United States.

Why hasn't the ebook version of xyz title been purchased? The audiobook version is in the collection.

There could be several reasons for that, and you may ask your local library which might be the one:

  1. Some publishers choose not to distribute their titles through vendors like OverDrive.
  2. The eBook version may have been in the collection earlier but has since expired because of time or checkouts licenses.
  3. If eBook versions of previous titles by the same author have not checked out often, selectors consider the price and purchase/licensing options and may choose not to purchase the eBook version.
  4. Some publishers limit distribution by geographic area—for example, a specific title may be available in Australia through OverDrive, but not the United States.

I found xyz title in the catalog, but my local library says it is not available for them to purchase through OverDrive. Why not?

While the catalog at shows every title and format OverDrive has the right to distribute, some publishers limit distribution by geographic area—for example, a specific title may be available in Australia through OverDrive, but not the United States.

Why do you buy eBooks that are not available in Kindle format?

Not every eBook will be available in Kindle format. While our preference is to buy eBooks that are available in Kindle format, we aren't going to abstain from purchasing a title users are interested in just because the Kindle format is not available.

How can I recommend a title be added to the collection?

Contact your local library and give them the title and author you would like added to the collection. The staff can check to see if it is available through OverDrive, and, if so, pass along the recommendation to the selectors. Not every recommendation can be purchased due to cost/demand/policies.

How do you decide what titles to add to the collection?

The guidelines followed by our selectors are spelled out in the Nebraska OverDrive Libraries Collection Development Policy.

What if I have a concern about a title I found in the collection?

See the Request for Reconsideration/Material Challenges section of the Nebraska OverDrive Libraries Collection Development Policy.

For more information, contact Databases.