Libby Updates: Sort and filter loans, holds, tags, and timeline activities

Based on popular request, customers can now filter their wish list and other tags by availability. If desired, customers can pin this filter to see titles that are immediately available to borrow from any of their tags.

Additional updates include:

  • Sort and filter options are tailored for each Shelf screen. For example, customers can sort their Loans screen by “due next” and sort their Holds screen by “expected next,” among other options.
  • Customers with multiple library cards can filter their Loans, Holds, or Timeline activity by library.
  • Customers can optionally pin their preferred sort and filter options. Once a filter is pinned, Libby will automatically remember that filter the next time the customer visits that screen. For example, a customer could sort their Loans by “due next” and pin that option to ensure their Loans screen always displays books in order of due date. Note: Not all filters can be pinned.

From the Timeline, after tapping Filter button users will see a graph of their reading activity by year. They can further filter to see their reading activity for a specific year graphed by month.

In an upcoming release, Libby will also have updated options for customers to sort and filter lists and search results when browsing our library’s collection—stay tuned for more information.

~ Hilary Lewis, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

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Have you heard of BookFlix? It’s an educational database that helps to build early literacy skills through its collection of children’s books.

It pairs each picture book with a non-fiction book on a related topic and gives you the option to read and watch the books. The picture books offer a read-along option and some titles are available in Spanish. Also included are activities designed to reinforce skills like sequencing and comprehension. There are a wide variety of stories to choose from, making this a great source to recommend to patrons.

-Erin Weaver, Bridgeville Public Library

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Farewell, Flipster

I am writing this to inform the staff that the digital magazine subscription service Flipster will be ending in Allegheny County libraries on December 31, 2022. Once an innovative forerunner in the digital magazine game, Flipster has begun to show its age, outshined by relative newcomers Overdrive and hoopla. Before we announce anything to patrons, we wanted to take the time to explain why we are sunsetting Flipster.

Considering budgetary restraints and service overlap, the Digital Resources Committee (DRC) conducted a thorough review of all three big names in digital magazines: Flipster, Overdrive, and hoopla. It is no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has been a shot in the arm for digital access. With the dust starting to settle on the pandemic (or at least settle into the dreaded “new normal”), a re-evaluation of digital services was necessary. While looking at each provider, we considered several factors: usage, cost, user experience, authority/company reputation, accessibility, content availability, vendor service and administration, and mobile functionality. Each committee member took the time to independently evaluate these services with these criteria, and lo and behold: a consensus formed prior to discussion.

On all fronts, Flipster was coming up short. The final scores were: Flipster, 161; hoopla, 226, and Overdrive, 244. We found Flipster lagging on a number of important factors: missing latest editions, buggy/hard-to-use interface, limited back-issue access, and little name recognition. In addition, since the start of 2020, Flipster’s circulation decreased, an obvious red flag during an explosion of digital access and use. For these reasons, Flipster is the weakest link and a redundancy with both Overdrive and hoopla available to patrons.

Some patrons may take issue with the passing of trusty old Flipster, and we should be prepared. We would recommend citing some of the reasons above, particularly accessibility and latest-/back-issue access. We have found two effective methods:

  1. Citing public libraries’ limited resources (pretty hard for folks to argue with this one)
  2. Redirecting patrons to our remaining services (hoopla and Overdrive)

Two other important things to note: we will be making a separate announcement for the public later this quarter, and if any library has a direct link to Flipster on their website, please add a notice after October 1 that the service will be discontinued after Dec 31, 2022.

If you have any issues, concerns, complaints, or pretty pictures to send to the DRC, you can direct them to the co-chairs of the DRC: Hilary Lewis at or Richelle Klug at or if you have any questions about this specific article/email, email me at

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Company Profiles & Investment Research Resources

Did you know that the library offers several resources to help researchers, investors and the general public learn more about companies and businesses?

The Consumer & Business resources link on the county eLibrary site provides access to several databases with a wealth of information.

Business Source Elite

For anyone researching the background profile of a company or business, they can start with Business Source Elite from EBSCO. This helpful resource offers Company Profile reports which break down key facts, company history, key employees, major products/services, top competitors, as well as company locations & subsidiaries.

Screen shot of EBSCO Business Source Elite site
Company Profiles can be found in the top menu (circled) of the Business Source Elite database.

Business Insights: Essentials

To get more detailed information about a company, researchers can use Business Insights: Essentials. In addition to basic information, this resource links to academic journals, investment reports, news, and trade journals. Furthermore, it provides links to related subjects like financial data, legal issues, management and company statistics.

Business Insights: Essentials provides in-depth company background information and related news.

Morningstar Investment Research

Finally, if patrons are looking for information specific to financials and investments, a great go-to source is Morningstar Investment Research. This trusted resource provides all sorts of financial information from stock ticker data to company ratings & performance, Morningstar analyst reports, company portfolio information and so much more.

Happy researching!

Richelle @ Sewickley Public Library

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