By Nicole Merriman, State Library of Ohio
The Ohio eBook Project (OEP) is a consortium of 37 libraries that pool their resources to collectively purchase downloadable audiobooks and ebooks for use by library patrons right from their home computers and portable devices. The books and other materials purchased for the OEP collection are shared with all member libraries. For example, a member library in northeast Ohio can purchase a copy of a book that is available not only to their patrons, but to the patrons at an OEP member library in southwest Ohio. The OEP does mimic the paper book world in one important way – each copy of an item is available to one patron at a time. Patrons can place holds on popular materials, just like with paper books in the physical library. The vendor for this service is OverDrive, Inc., located near Cleveland, Ohio. OverDrive, Inc. is a company known for helping libraries bring downloadable materials directly to their patrons.
Currently, the OEP has more than 10,000 copies of over 7,000 titles. Downloadable material is available in several formats, including audiobooks in MP3 format. The big news in 2009 is that most audiobooks in WMA (Windows Media Audio) format can now be transferred to the iPhone™ and the iPod®. Using the Transfer Wizard in the OverDrive Media Console, audiobooks can be sent to Windows-formatted iPods. Of the more than 7,000 titles in the OEP, over 4,000 are WMA format audiobooks.
The OEP also has a reciprocal agreement with the SEO Consortium’s Digital Catalog and Download Center. With a focus on eye-readable ebooks, the SEO collection nicely complements the OEP collection. The SEO collection includes almost 10,000 copies of nearly 9,000 titles.
The Ohio eBook Project is not the only library or consortium in Ohio to use the services of OverDrive, Inc. To see if a library near you subscribes to OverDrive, go to http://search.overdrive.com/ and input your zip code.
The State Library of Ohio invites all Ohio libraries to inquire about joining the Ohio eBook Project. Please contact Nicole Merriman at 614-995-4117 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in joining the Ohio eBook Project or have questions about the downloadable books.
For more information and to see a list of OEP member libraries, go to http://ohdbks.lib.overdrive.com.