Should old releases be forgot and never brought to mind? I certainly don’t think so. On the contrary, ‘tis the season for retrospectives. As 2023 approaches, let’s ring in the New Year (or “read in the New Year,” sorry) by looking back at some of the biggest additions to the Libby app in 2022.
In my time working on Libby, it’s been inspiring to see the passion and effort the team brings to making the app as accessible as possible, and we’re all looking forward to continuing that work in 2023 and beyond.
These updates added the ability to read professional book reviews right in Libby. When available, a title’s details screen will link to reviews from sources like Booklist, Kirkus Reviews and Publishers Weekly.
When you tap one of the links, a panel pops up so you can read the review without leaving the page. Spoiler alerts are even included with reviews as applicable.
I personally love reading book reviews, and I think fellow lit-crit-enjoyers will appreciate having easy access to multiple reviews for books in their library’s digital collection.
Named for the little cards you sometimes see at libraries with information about noteworthy books, shelf talkers enable librarians to add personalized content to a title’s details screen. Shelf talkers can be used to share recommendations, favorite quotes, trivia and more.
Shelf talkers are a great way to learn more about titles you’re interested in, and it’s really cool that they give librarians a chance to share their knowledge, personalities and creativity directly with patrons through Libby.
I’ve talked here before about how tags are great. Libby added a new Tags screen to the Shelf, with the ability to filter your tags and create a new empty tag. Recent tags were added to the Shelf summary as well. This release also streamlined the user interface for tagging titles and provided updated tag tutorials to help new users get started with tags.
The following release was notable for introducing a new filtering system to the Shelf and Timeline, including a new “available now” filter. By filtering to “available now” when viewing a tag, you can see which titles are available to borrow right away.
If you have more than one library card, the multi-library search improvements in Libby will help you get the books you want faster. Now when you browse or search for a title in Libby, if it has a wait list at your active library, you’ll see the option to borrow it from another of your libraries, if one of them has a copy available.
If the book is checked out at all of your libraries, Libby will show you which library has the shortest wait time when you place your hold. Borrowing a book or placing a hold this way doesn’t change your active library. If you use Libby with multiple cards, this feature is a total game changer.
The new year is a time to both look back on the year that’s been and look forward to the year to come. Libby got some huge upgrades in 2022, and even more exciting things are in the works for 2023. Until then, I want to wish you all a very happy New Year!