Overdrive is getting quite ubiquitous for digital eBooks at the library. The company has the largest international footprint and a huge marketing department. In most cases the libraries that buy into Overdrive are the same ones doing business with 3M Cloud Library and Axis 360. A new report issued this week asks the question what eBook distribution system is preferred for US libraries?
A recent satisfaction survey went out from 3M to 200 different libraries in the United States. All libraries deal with both Overdrive and 3M and were told not to hold back on any punches. The goal of this survey is to ensure that 3M stays in tune with the rapidly changing needs of eBooks in public libraries. Out of the respondents the 114 libraries preferred the 3M Cloud Library and 78 picked Overdrive. If we look a bit deeper at the data, 38% answered that they were “very satisfied” with 3M Cloud Library versus only 14% being “very satisfied” with OverDrive. Similarly, when asked the question “How likely are you to recommend to other libraries?” 47% answered “very likely” to recommend 3M to other libraries while only 22% answered “very likely” to recommend OverDrive.
One of the big reasons why libraries dig the 3M ecosystem is because it ties into major ILS systems a little more fluidly. Triple iii and Polaris are the most popular ILS systems and are designed to simplify librarians lives, by reporting on checkouts, sales, and all aspects of daily library life. Most of this data ends up in annual reports to justify funding and also inform the American Library Association on lending behaviors. One of the big problems is when a library does physical and digital lending and deals with more than one company to facilitate it. Current ILS systems were not designed to function in this way and is a growing concern to major libraries all over the world. 3M is finding great success dealing with Polaris and other ILS vendors to incorporate its API tools into their platforms. This allows libraries to get firmware updates to their ILS platforms that have the 3M system built into it, making everyone’s lives way easier.
Tom Mercer the Marketing Manager of 3M told Good e-Reader “This survey shows that 3M is building a great product and working hard to ensure our librarians are satisfied. We believe our high customer satisfaction score and come from the easy to use back end tools and collection development recommendations as well as the continued circulation growth our libraries see each month from new and existing users.”
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.