Steve Potash, CEO of OverDrive, was in attendance at the Digital Book World conference this year and spent a few minutes with GoodEReader discussing the current state of ebook lending from public libraries. Potash and OverDrive were fresh from the ALA Midwinter Conference in Dallas, Texas, where the American Library Association made some startling but timely moves in working towards a solid working relationship with several of the Big Six publishers.
All of the Big Six publishers who had previously allowed their titles to be borrowed through OverDrive’s catalog to public libraries pulled their digital editions in 2011 amid concerns about ebook piracy and the interests of the authors. The leadership of the ALA and its working group spoke candidly about the need to align the interests of the libraries with the sentiments of the publishers; last week ALA announced that it had asked for and was granted a meeting with three of the publishers who had previously offered their titles for lending.
Potash spoke more to the trends in ebook lending and the advancements that OverDrive is bringing to the industry. OverDrive is the leading digital content lending platform, supplying media to over 15,000 public and university libraries. Their efforts make it possible for library patrons all over the country to enjoy ebooks on portable devices as part of their membership in their local libraries.