OverDrive to announce solutions for libraries to meet explosive demand for eBooks
As a result of unprecedented demand for eBooks, library directors, advocacy groups, and readers challenged leading eBook supplier OverDrive to find equitable and sustainable solutions to balance the interests of libraries and publishers. Key priorities for librarians include streamlined steps for customers to discover and borrow eBooks on a variety of platforms and devices, strong publisher support for library eBook lending programs, and additional options for digital book collections to meet the swell in demand.
Following a series of meetings with the Ohio Metro Library Directors, OverDrive will address these challenges by announcing a series of platform enhancements at the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference (booth #3326) in New Orleans, June 24-27, 2011.
Titled ‘OverDrive WIN,’ this update to the leading eBook and audiobook service for libraries will:
• Eliminate the need for librarians and readers to deal with various eBook file formats
• Reduce library staff time for collection development and help-desk support
• Offer support for Kindle Library Lending coming later this year, in addition to every major operating system, reading device, and mobile platform
• Add hundreds of thousands of in-copyright eBook and digital audiobook records with free “eBook Samples” for immediate access on reading devices and platforms
• Enable patron driven acquisition, an opt-in program that will allow readers to immediately borrow a title, recommend to a library, or ‘Want It Now’ from online booksellers
• Provide new ‘always available’ eBook collections for simultaneous access of romance, self-help, young adult, children, and other fiction materials
• Launch ‘Open eBook’ titles, free of DRM
“Like so many libraries around the globe, the nine Ohio metropolitan libraries have experienced unprecedented demand for eBooks, so it was essential for us to meet with OverDrive to discuss the future of eBook lending and to conceive new models that would benefit libraries and publishers,” said Pat Losinski, director of the Columbus Metropolitan Library and spokesperson for the Ohio Metro Library Directors group. “We entered this discussion with four main goals, and the solutions presented check every box for moving libraries forward in the eBook space,” he continued.
“Thanks to the collaboration of leading publishers and our library partners in Ohio and on the OverDrive Library Advisory Council, we’ve been able to develop go-forward solutions that can help meet the explosive demand for eBooks from public libraries,” said Steve Potash, president and CEO of OverDrive.
“Complete publisher eBook catalogs on ‘Virtual Branch’ websites — featuring all front, mid, and backlist titles in virtually every subject — will provide readers with the chance to discover and immediately sample tens of thousands of bestselling and popular eBook titles from their local library,” said Dan Stasiewski, OverDrive’s lead library advocate. “This, along with more simultaneous access collections and a patron driven acquisition model, will reinforce the library as the first stop for discovering and enjoying books, both online and off,” he added.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Information from Overdrive press release)