Maryland libraries and ebooks
July 10, 2022 8:32 AM   Subscribe

I have “online” library cards at three different Maryland libraries, and I have them set up in Libby. But when I search for a title in Libby, it searches “Maryland’s Digital Library” regardless of which card I have set to “Active.” Are different ebooks available in Libby via the different libraries, or are they all accessing the same collection? If they are different collections, how do I search them separately?
posted by 2 cats in the yard to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Here is a list of member libraries for that Digital group.
Are all of your libraries listed here?
Do you have other cards— if so, those other cards would show separately…
Baltimore County for instance.
posted by calgirl at 9:02 AM on July 10, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Many of Maryland's public libraries are in the same "consortium" for Libby's purposes; you can see the list of current members and links to their websites.

Some systems, like Baltimore County, do have their own collections.

If you're looking for a particular ebook, you can go to your individual library site, and it may be available from hoopla or another service through their catalog.

(On preview, longer what calgirl said)
posted by the primroses were over at 9:06 AM on July 10, 2022

Best answer: Below the search box there’s a button to choose the collection you are searching. I have six library cards set up in Libby, and they show up as six different collections. If you just have one option then your three memberships all point to the same collection.
posted by caek at 9:08 AM on July 10, 2022

Response by poster: Ok, so it looks like for Overdrive/Libby, these three libraries are all accessing the same collection but for others (hoopla, cloud library, or maybe others) they may access separate collections. Thanks.

Follow-up question: I figured out how to add libraries to WorldCat, how to search for ebooks, and how to search for (e)books near a location - but how do I search for ebooks in my set of favorite libraries?
posted by 2 cats in the yard at 10:12 AM on July 10, 2022

Best answer: if you use Chrome, Firefox, or Edge you may find the Library Extension Browser extension really helpful. You can set it up with all your libraries as well as Hoopla, maybe others too, and then when you look at a book on Story Graph, Goodreads, Amazon, or a lot of other book sites, you can see all in one place which if your libraries have copies and whether they’re available.
posted by Stacey at 10:18 AM on July 10, 2022 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Thank you all. Library Extension looks great for this. I do use an ipad more than a laptop and it looks like that doesn’t work on iOS, so if anyone knows anything for searching specific libraries that would work on iOS, that would be great.
posted by 2 cats in the yard at 7:23 AM on July 11, 2022

Response by poster: Another update, if I may: It turns out that the libraries within the Maryland consortium access an overlapping but not identical set of collections. I was told this by a local librarian and also I have now had at least two cases where I find a book in one library’s collection but not in another, or the same book with different wait times, even though they are all within the same main consortium. The best way to search within Libby seems to be to activate each card in turn and repeat the search, though other searches (such as Library Extension, WorldCat, or (for Maryland, at least, Marina) are more efficient and can include other Libby collections as well as other online libraries and physical book collections.
posted by 2 cats in the yard at 7:42 AM on July 30, 2022

To search Libby for the book you want at your nearest local library, you can do this:

Go to Type in: "title of your book"

For example, A Study in Scarlet Women. Scroll down to the bottom, where it says "At Libraries Near You" and it will list the number of copies at each nearby library if available.

If you have multiple cards and there's a Place Hold for your book, you can do the following (this works on Android, I'm not sure about iOS):

1) Use the Libby app and once you've found the book you want that has a wait list, instead of clicking "Place Hold" click on the little card with the small clock on it to the right of the author/title.

2) A half screen with a little pointy arrow on top will pop up at the bottom that says how many copies, people waiting, etc. Swipe this half screen upward and you should see your other library cards, along with their copies and wait times--so you can pick the one that has the shortest wait time.
posted by judypjhsu at 11:17 PM on August 23, 2022

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