Ohio Digital Library

Ohio Digital Library

Enrollment in the Ohio Digital Library is open to public libraries in Ohio serving populations of 100,000 and under.


  • Provide patron authentication via the preferred methods of SIP, SIP2, NCIP or Patron API. (Libraries should check with their ILS vendors regarding available authentication protocols, as there may be a cost involved to implement patron authentication.) If your library does not use patron authentication, OverDrive offers an alternative program.
  • Pledge to spend the required percentage of their annual collection budget on materials for the consortium.
  • Agree that all digital materials will be added to the shared collection.
  • There may be additional fees authentication setup that are the responsibility of the library.
  • Agree that any books purchased for the Ohio Digital Library’s collection will remain in the collection in the event that a library leaves the consortium.
  • Agree to provide front-line support for your library’s patrons. (Additional support for library staff is provided.)
  • Agree to volunteer staff to serve on task forces or committees to aid in the guidance of the Ohio Digital Library.
  • Agree to follow all policies and guidelines put forth by the Ohio Digital Library and State Library of Ohio.

Getting Started

If you are interested in enrolling please contact Anne Kennedy at akennedy@library.ohio.gov

Before the enrollment process can begin interested libraries must complete and submit enrollment paperwork. The documents include but are not limited to:

  • Ohio Digital Library Library Contact Sheet – Contact information for use by the Ohio Digital Library Manager
  • Memorandum of Understanding or MOU – Agreement between enrolling library and the State Library of Ohio
  • Schedule C – Agreement between enrolling library and OverDrive, Inc.
  • ILS Vendor Information or Library Card Manager – This form is used by OverDrive to set up authentication

Once the enrollment documents are submitted, there is a two month enrollment process. During this process your library will work with the State Library of Ohio and OverDrive to setup authentication for your patrons. There will also be training webinars held that are recommended for all staff members on how to use the service, how to order materials, and consortium policies and guidelines.

This enrollment period is a time for your library and staff to learn how to use the system before it is available to your patrons. Attendance at all the training sessions is mandatory, so if you believe staff at your library will be too busy with other duties during this period please contact Anne Kennedy, Project Manager at the State Library before enrollment with any concerns.

The cost of the Ohio Digital Library is 4.5 to 5 percent of a library’s annual collection budget in the purchase of materials for the shared collection.

The library does not send the enrollment fee to the State Library or OverDrive. Instead, once a library is enrolled and launched, they can then purchase materials to add to the collection. The State Library will track each library’s spending to ensure they are meeting their minimum requirement.

Ohio Digital Library member libraries are encouraged to be knowledgeable about what is available and in demand in the Ohio Digital Library collection.  Libraries should be aware of the Collection Development Statement developed by the State Library of Ohio and approved by the Ohio Digital Library Advisory Committee when purchasing material.

These guidelines for collection development and ordering are in place to help the consortium build a dynamic collection that meets the needs of library users.  As the number of libraries involved with selecting and ordering material increases, libraries need to be more aware of how the collection is compromised and used.

The State Library recommends the following goals to assist the group in meeting patron demand:

  Goal: Recommended maximum hold ratio on items is 12 items.

  Goal: Lower the average wait period on items.

Actions that will help the group meet this goal are:

  • Purchase items in demand with both high and low hold ratios
  • Lower the recommended hold ratio 12
  • Utilizing holds manager to fill holds
  • Purchase multiple copies of popular materials during the initial purchase, if possible
  • Order regularly

These guidelines are developed to help libraries meet the consortium’s collection development goals of building a dynamic collection that meets the needs of its users.

Order Regularly

Distributing spending throughout the year allows your library the flexibility to respond to demand and patron requests more easily.

  • Evenly distribute spending throughout the year
  • Integrate digital ordering into your regular print ordering process
    • When you order print, also order digital titles

Respond to Patron Demand

Purchase materials that are:

  • In high demand, for example, titles that have holds ratios above 12
  • Purchase backlist titles
    • Check series whose older titles that might not previously been able to purchase on OverDrive’s Marketplace
  • Examine reports and statistics for trends in use
    • Turnover Rate Charts
      • The number of checkouts divided by the number of copies owned
      • The turnover rate is the average number of checkouts per copy
      • What is high circulating but there are only a few copies or titles in the collection?
    • Activity Charts (by Subject)
      • See what subjects (or other sort) circulate the most
    • View Title Statistics
      • View the top 100 subjects by checkout for a specific time period
    • Current Waiting List
    • View the “Reports” section of this document for more information about reports in OverDrive Marketplace.

Add New Content

  • When adding new content that is most likely going to be very popular consider purchasing multiple copies to start, if possible
  • Focus on popular material:
    • Check the bestseller lists
    • Classics (if not already owned)
    • Award winners/nominees
  • Monitor bestseller lists
    • NYTimes fiction and nonfiction lists
    • USA Today
  • Monitor book review sites
    • LibraryReads
  • Add titles that are in the news
  • Add titles that are being turned into a movie
  • Move beyond basic new popular titles
    • Add backlist titles
      • If you are purchasing items from a popular author, also add titles they have previously purchased
    • Complete series
      • If you are purchasing titles that are mid- or end of series, check and see if the rest of the series is owned
      • Try to complete series in the same file type, if possible
    • Compare the digital collection to popular print collections
      • Consider which popular genres or authors from your library’s print collections are missing

Unavailable for Purchase

Every library staff member purchasing digital material should be aware of publisher restrictions on the sale of digital media to libraries.  Currently there are a number of publishers which refuse to provide either ebooks, audiobooks, or both formats to public libraries for loan to patrons.  The reasons behind these restrictions vary from publisher to publisher.  Below is a list of current publishers and their imprints who do not provide content to libraries.

  • BrillianceAudio Audiobooks

Automated carts

OverDrive has two tools, Smart Lists and Holds Manager, that allows libraries to easily fill holds or purchase new content based on the criteria you set through an automated process.  The tool runs periodically as set by the library and creates a list of titles to be purchased.

Some parameters for the Holds Manager and Smart Lists:

  • The format type to purchase
  • The recommended hold ratio or number of holds for material
  • How often the tool should run (daily, weekly, or monthly)
    • The frequency will depend on your library’s order frequency
  • Monthly budget
  • Maximum number of copies to purchase per title
  • Popular authors or series, Smart Lists only
  • If the tool should automatically purchase the material or it should be saved as a cart for your review (recommended)

Holds Manager

In order to facilitate reaching the consortium’s collection development goals, the State Library will manage an account called “Holds Manager.”  Member libraries can contribute all, a portion, or none of their minimum contribution amount to the Holds Manager account.  These funds will then be used to purchase titles with high holds, expiring metered access titles, or titles for the overall good of the consortium’s collection development.

The materials purchased by the Holds Manager account are based on overall holds and hold ratios for the group, not for individual libraries.  Many libraries have expressed concern about this but remember that your library patrons are using materials purchased by other libraries, and other libraries are using materials purchased by your library.  Lowering the number of holds and increasing availability benefits everyone in the group.

Libraries that are interested in contributing to the Holds Manager account will need to indicate interest on their current year’s MOU or contact the Project Manager, Anne Kennedy, akennedy@library.ohio.gov, throughout the year.  Your library will be invoiced by OverDrive for the amount you indicate.  The invoice will list “For content credit” for the description.

All dollars contributed to the Holds Manager account will be attributed to your library’s overall annual Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) obligation.  Libraries are not required to participate and contribute to Holds Manager but it is recommended.

Advantage Libraries

Member libraries have the option to sign up for an Advantage account for their library.  Advantage accounts gives libraries that are members of a consortium the ability to offer titles for the benefit of their patrons. OverDrive Advantage members can purchase additional copies of popular titles that are already in the shared collection as well as titles that are not yet available.  If your library purchases a title for your Advantage collection, you must purchase one for the consortium collection.

Patrons browsing the consortium’s OverDrive-powered website will only see titles that are available to all members. In addition to the full consortium collection, Advantage members have a custom URL for their patrons that always displays the Advantage titles they have purchased.  It is recommended that your library link to this custom URL on your website.  Additionally, your library should encourage your patrons to always login with their library card before beginning to browse for titles so they can see the full range of titles available to them.

OverDrive Advantage members receive a special login to their consortium’s current Marketplace account.

  • A library’s Advantage collection will be integrated into the existing shared collection, but only patrons of individual OverDrive Advantage libraries can view and check out these titles.
  • Loan periods and lending rules established by the consortium remain the same for OverDrive Advantage titles. For example, the Ohio Digital Library loan period for audiobooks is 21 days in the consortium therefore audiobooks in a library’s Advantage collection will also have a 21-day loan period.
  • If a library decides to leave the consortium, the Advantage collection is transferable to a new OverDrive-powered website.
  • Libraries can order MARC records for their OverDrive Advantage titles.
  • Libraries can track the success of their Advantage collection with Marketplace’s reports.

Beginning January 1, 2018, Advantage libraries’ one copy/one user titles will be automatically shared with the consortium collection.  The Advantage libraries will maintain ownership of these titles and will maintain priority on holds for their own users.

The Advantage libraries will be able to choose which metered access titles will be shared with the consortium collection.  It is recommended that older titles not in current high demand are shared with the consortium collection.

Beginning January 1, 2018, 20% of the Advantage spending will be counted toward the library’s overall MOU obligation.

Intellectual Freedom Statement

Ohio Digital Library members have the right and obligation to respond to their patron’s inquiries including material challenges.  If a member library wishes to have a digital item considered for removal from the Ohio Digital Library’s collection in response to a challenge, they should submit a request to the Advisory Committee for consideration.

Selection decisions are based on the merit of the works as they relate to the goals of the Ohio Digital Library.  Works are selected to meet the expressed and anticipated needs of the statewide community.  These works are inclusive of statewide cultures and opinions, not just the opinions of a particular community.  Ohio Digital Library members are located throughout Ohio and work to ensure a balanced and fair collection.  Variety and balance of opinion is sought in all digital formats.

Approved by the Ohio Digital Library Advisory Committee on November 20, 2017

 Help & Instruction

Help Overdrive – on the Overdrive website for general help questions.

Staff Training on the Overdrive website.

Readbox How-To Guide

Additional Information

Advisory committee

Local Author Information for the Ohio Digital Library

MARC records

Overdrive has a collection of print-ready materials, digital resources, and communication templates for libraries to download and use. Click here to visit their Marketing and Outreach page.

Libby business cards customized with the Ohio Digital Library logo were distributed in late 2017. Member libraries request additional cards by contacting Anne Kennedy at akennedy@library.ohio.gov.

Look for these magazines  and more in the Libby app!

Download JPG files in a variety of sizes.

Ohio Digital Library - Magazines and Libby graphic

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Ohio Digital Library Magazines

Download PDFs with bookmarks that my be customized with name of library and a half-sheet flyer.

Ohio Digital Library Magazines Bookmarks

Ohio Digital Library Magazines and Libby App Bookmarks

OhioDigitalLibrary-MagazinesLibby_HalfsheetOhio Digital Library Magazines Half-Sheet Flyer

Image - first page 2021 Ohio Digital Library ReportClick here to view 2021 Infographic of the Ohio Digital Library’s report of  use, collections, and more.

small image of 2020 Ohio Digital Library InfographicClick here to view 2020 Infographic of the Ohio Digital Library’s report of use, collections, and more.

Click here to view 2019 Infographic of the Ohio Digital Library’s report of use, collections, and more.

Click here to view 2018 Infographic of the Ohio Digital Library’s report of use, collections, and more.