CARLINVILLE – Thousands of resources are found within the walls of the Carlinville Public Library. Now, users have the opportunity to access even more materials.

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In January, the library obtained Libby, a free app that allows users to borrow e-books, e-audiobooks, and magazines, including adult and children’s titles from all genres.

The Libby app is free to all Carlinville library cardholders, and may be downloaded through a phone, tablet, or laptop.

"Libby gives cardholders access to 89,000 choices of materials, including books, magazines, e-books, and e-audiobooks,” said Hannah Miller, the director of the Carlinville library. “We have 30,000 books on site here, but Libby offers even more choices.

“It gives us the latest titles and a wider selection of materials than we could offer in print,” continued Miller, “and it’s available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, whenever the user wants.”

Everything from classic to current literature is included with Libby, which is known for its user-friendly format. “Libby also has a section of guides, with curated collections for kids and teens by genre, like mystery, thriller, and the like,” said Miller. “There is a lot for young readers, as well as adults. It’s easy to use, because you can go into Libby with a specific title in mind, or browse.”

Carl Zeidler of Carlinville, an active Libby user and library board member, raves about the selection and ease of Libby. “It’s a positive addiction,” he laughed. “Once you get started, you don’t want to stop.”

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Zeidler is particularly fond of the e-Audiobooks, which he uses while on the road. “I have a limited amount of time when I can sit and read, but I have a lot of time in my car,” he remarked. “When I’m driving, I can just listen to audiobooks. It not only keeps me alert and increases my literacy, but also makes time go by faster.”

Libby is administered by Overdrive, a London-based content distribution service founded in 1986. The company claims to have the largest digital content catalog on the globe, with service to 88,000 libraries and schools in 109 countries.

In this area, the Carlinville library is one of the few to offer Libby. “It’s been a really good thing for us,” said Miller. “We have increased our number of cardholders, including some who have specifically asked about Libby.

“Every month since January, we’ve picked up new users,” commented Miller, “and our circulation numbers are up. We’ve been extremely pleased with the response.”

Zeidler recently listened to the George Orwell classic 1984, a book he had originally read in college. “It was so much fun to re-do it, a book I hadn’t read in over thirty years,” he said. “I’m just blown away by how much is on Libby.

“Libby would be great for family vacations,” suggested Zeidler, “because listening to audiobooks is a fantastic way to pass time, and keep kids more engaged. There’s so much you can do with Libby, and so much to experience and enjoy.”

Carlinville library cardholders may access the Libby app at no cost. All Carlinville residents over age five are eligible for a free library card, which is pre-paid through taxes to the city. People living outside the city limits, but within the Carlinville school district, may purchase a library card for a yearly fee of $70.

For more information on Libby, contact the Carlinville library at 217-854-3505 or mail@carlinvillelibrary.org.

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