Overdrive is currently the largest digital distributor that libraries in Canada, US, UK and Australia employ to fill their catalog with audiobooks, eBooks, music and video. The company has announced a series of new initiatives that will make librarians lives easier in managing their collections and enhancements to the Overdrive Media Console.
One of the pitfalls of managing a physical or digital collection is having the buy the titles in advance, under the one loan, one use model. Librarians really need to understand the needs of the community to make sure their content appeals to the widest demographic possible. Lets face it, if you want to get hundreds of new fiction and nonfiction titles, you will have to pay thousands of dollars to purchase books patrons might not even use.
Overdrive is developing a new solution called the cost-per-checkout (CPC) model that allows libraries to make available a supplier’s entire catalog of titles, but only incur a charge when a user borrows a title. The company intends on rolling this out across the board, but is starting modestly with their recent deal with Warner Brothers for streaming videos.
There are new catalogs that will be available soon that libraries will be able to purchase. Graphic novels, manga (English and Japanese) and popular children’s eBook series and picture books using EPUB3 with fixed layout. Overdrive is also putting a priority on hooking schools up with deals who order multiple units. Finally, they are going to launch consortia-friendly programs to enable Advantage titles to be migrated from individual libraries to shared collections, as permitted by publishers and suppliers.
The Overdrive Media console app for Android, Blackberry, iOS and a myriad of other platforms is the tool patrons use to read eBooks, listen to audiobooks or watch videos. The main pitfall is the Adobe Digital Editions step to insure that the title has been legitimately borrowed or purchased. The vast majority of patrons are not super tech savvy and may not understand the process. The Media Console app will receive an update this summer that will remove the Adobe step and also add synchronized audio narration with text, dictionary support, and other features beneficial to students and researchers.
“We are constantly innovating in response to requests from libraries and users. This includes libraries that are disappointed with competitor eBook collections due to low checkouts and fewer features,” said Shannon Lichty, OverDrive’s director of partner services. “As a result, we are supporting library requests to migrate their eBook and audiobook titles currently on other platforms to OverDrive in order to instantly benefit from higher circulation and compatibility with more devices.”
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 CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.