By Nicole Merriman, Library Consultant
Libraries have several options when considering whether to add downloadable audiobooks and/or eBooks to their collections. A few of the vendors include OverDrive, Netlibrary, Recorded Books, and Ingram.
This article will focus on Ohio libraries’ use of OverDrive. Currently, over 150 library systems in Ohio use OverDrive, either as part of a consortium or as a standalone library. The consortia using OverDrive include CLEVNET, the SEO Library Consortium, the Ohio eBook Project, Digital Downloads – A Library Collaboration, and the Dayton Metro Digital Library.
Libraries using OverDrive offer downloadable audiobooks and music, eBooks and videos. Patrons can listen to downloadable audiobooks and music on MP3 players, Apple products, home computers, and some smart phones. EBooks can be read on home computers or these eReader devices: Sony Reader products, the Barnes & Noble nook and the Kobo eReader. OverDrive is currently working on attaining eBook compatibility with Apple’s iPad.
There are no fines, as files automatically expire or patrons agree to remove them. EBooks can even be returned early (though this is not the case for audiobooks). Each consortium or library decides its own policies. Lending periods vary between one week and three weeks, and in some cases, patrons can choose the length of their lending period. Depending upon the library or consortium, patrons can check out between five and 25 items at a time.
If patrons would like to see which Ohio libraries offer OverDrive, they can go to http://search.overdrive.com/. Patrons can also search by title and see the closest library that offers the title via OverDrive.
Library staff using OverDrive should be aware that OverDrive’s Training Month is coming in September. Staff from any OverDrive library or consortium is welcome to attend various web-based training sessions during the month of September. OverDrive has a reputation for its excellent training. Please see http://www.overdrive.com/products/dlr/training/ for more information and to register for training.
As a bonus to patrons of both the Ohio eBook Project and the SEO Library Consortium, both systems have a reciprocal borrowing agreement. Together, the two collections have over 23,000 copies of nearly 19,000 titles. Patrons of libraries in either consortium can borrow up to 10 items in each collection, for a total of 20 items.The State Library of Ohio administers and subsidizes the Ohio eBook Project and invites libraries not currently using OverDrive 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 OverDrive. Interested libraries can also visit http://library.ohio.gov/IT/ebook for more information.
Examples of Ohio library websites: