OverDrive, the service you can use to borrow ebooks, audiobooks and other digital media from your local library, school or university, is shutting down. In a blog post spotted by TechCrunch, OverDrive announced last week it would shutter the app on May 1st, 2023. The company first shared it was planning to sunset OverDrive in 2021, revealing at the time that it would delist the service from app stores in February 2022.
The shutdown represents an effort by OverDrive to move the majority of its users over to its newer Libby app. The two services have existed alongside one another since Overdrive introduced Libby in 2017, though there’s little reason to use the older app. Libby offers a handful of features that aren’t available on OverDrive, including, most notably, support for multiple library cards, a unified bookshelf for all your loans and holds and Apple CarPlay support.
If you use OverDrive to enjoy books on your e-reader, you’re probably wondering how the shutdown will affect your Kindle or Kobo. Amazon did not immediately respond to Engadget’s request for information on how it plans to handle the transition. However, most signs point to the shutdown being a minor inconvenience for users who haven’t already moved to Libby. In the US, you can send most books you find on Libby to your Kindle device. Moreover, if you’re still using OverDrive, you can sync your wish lists to Libby. As for Kobo devices, a Rakuten spokesperson spokesperson explained that the switch from OverDrive to Libby will have "no effect on the library browsing, borrowing and reading experience on Kobo e-readers." Engadget will update this article once there’s more to know.
Update: This article has been updated after publishing to include a quote from Rakuten about the impact of OverDrive's shutdown on Kobo devices.