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The (wonderful, life-saving) Libby app is becoming more accessible.

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January 3, 2022, 12:41pm

The Libby app came into my life early in the pandemic, when in-person trips to the library weren’t possible and indie bookstores were up against massive USPS delays. The app—which allows users to instantly borrow ebooks from their local libraries—was an incredible gift. Twenty-two months, one baby, three vaccine doses, and countless empty government promises later, I still use it to read most days. And while I’m aware that many people find reading on a screen untenable, to them I say—you try nursing an angry newborn while turning the pages of a physical book.

As a shameless Libby evangelist (you can take out ten books at a time! You can read them in-app or on a Kindle! They return automatically!), I was delighted to learn that OverDrive, the company behind the app, has partnered with the accessibility platform Fable, which is powered by people with disabilities, to make Libby easier for blind and low vision readers, as well as those with diverse cognitive or motor needs, to use.

Current or planned accessibility improvements include compatibility with screen readers, the ability to reduce color and text variation, adjustable text size, and more lighting options.

I’m delighted that libraries continue to be one of the greatest forces for good in all of American society (low bar, I know). And while I am always loath to declare my allegiance to anything that lives on my phone, I would die for the Libby app.

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