A library patron logs into the Libby app, which allows Grand County Public Library patrons to access digital ebooks and audiobooks from their smart devices. [Photo courtesy of Maggie McGuire / Moab Sun News]

There is a library that never closes so close that you won’t even have to leave your home. It’s right in your pocket, within a smartphone app that allows library patrons to access materials any time.

Libby is an app that allows public library users to borrow ebooks and audiobooks at any time for free using their library card. It’s available as part of Grand County Public Library’s online resources. After downloading the Libby app, users have immediate access to thousands of items, including graphic novels and children’s picture books.

“It’s so fantastic,” said Maddie Logowitz, enthusiastically. The local artist went through many audiobooks while working on a large project and found the digital app to be an essential resource. Logowitz appreciated that she could quickly choose a new audiobook to listen to without breaking her concentration or leaving her studio.

“You can find a lot of different audiobooks and you can try random ones out immediately to see if you like them,” she said, “I’ve found some great stuff that way.”

“So many different people use the app for so many different reasons,” said Grand County Public Library Assistant Stephanie Flint.

“I see parents using it with their kids, elderly people downloading ebooks and of course, people who drive a lot love getting the audiobooks,” she said.

Flint noted that books can be downloaded from Libby and accessed offline, so there’s no need to have a consistent internet connection.

“It makes it great for backpacking or places where you know you’re not going to have a good cell connection,” she said.

Books can also be transferred to a Kindle or other ebook reader for more comfortable reading.

For those with less experience with cellphone apps, Flint emphasized that the library assistants are available to help.

“We’re always happy to hunker down with people who bring in their device and help make it work,” she said, reporting that it wasn’t an uncommon request.

Libby isn’t the only digital resource that the Grand County Public Library offers to patrons. The library also allows patrons to access other apps, databases and online resources that can help with everything from car repair to studying for standardized tests.

“The library is proud to offer access to numerous online resources, like ebooks and audiobooks but also all kinds of popular news, outdoor and fitness magazines,” said Assistant Director Meg Flynn.

“We also offer a conversational language learning app called Mango, access to school and career learning like standardized tests for nursing and other certifications; there’s even an auto repair database that provides service and repair information for all kinds of vehicles,” Flynn said, pointing out that these are all free resources that you use your library card to access.

For those that don’t have a library card yet, Flynn emphasizes that the library makes it “super easy” to get a card.

“Keeping things accessible is really important to us,” said Flynn. “The library’s mission is to connect people to the information they need and inspire and empower our community. Digital resources are a way we can do that 24 hours a day.”

Flynn noted that some patrons love their library cards so much that they have their identification numbers memorized—which may lead to challenges in the new year, as the library is replacing all existing cards to guarantee access to databases that require more up-to-date barcode numbers.

“A lot of people are really attached to our cards, but in the big picture this will move us towards getting our systems in line with all these new systems,” said Flynn, promising that the transition will be gentle.

“It’s a small price to pay for access to all these wonderful resources,” she said.

A full list of the online resources provided by Grand County Public Library can be viewed at www.grandcountyutah.net/628/Digital-Collections

Public library app offers digital audiobooks, resources