OverDrive has long been a source of material for public libraries to loan to their patrons, but yesterday at the Beijing International Book Fair held in China the leading ebook service unveiled its greater access program for school libraries. The educational branch of the lending service has grown over 500% since 2010, in just the first eight months of 2011. OverDrive was in Beijing to meet with education officials and publishers seeking to add their content to the over 300,00 titles currently available in OverDrive’s catalog.
“OverDrive’s School Download Library helps teachers by complementing existing curricula and increasing student engagement. Publishers in OverDrive’s extensive catalog include Scholastic, Wiley, Houghton Mifflin, Encyclopedia Brittanica, Saddleback Educational Publishing, Listening Library, Lerner Publishing Group, ABDO Digital, Gareth Stevens, Charlesbridge Publishing, Dorling Kindersley, Heinemann-Raintree, Chronicle Books, Marvel Comics, Disney Digital Books, Open Road Integrated Media, Oxford University Press, ABC-CLIO and Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, plus many more providing test prep, study guides, foreign language learning and other educational tools,” according to a press release issued by OverDrive.
Although OverDrive has been the ebook lending provider for over 15,000 public libraries for quite some time, the number of school libraries who rely on OverDrive for digital material is only in the hundreds. Those schools, however, are found in fifteen countries worldwide, including the U.S., U.K., and several others throughout Europe and Asia. Schools in those countries are enabled by OverDrive to establish their own custom libraries, drawing educational and popular titles for their specific needs and making them available to students and to faculty.
One aspect that has made OverDrive so popular with both public libraries and educational institutions is their vast compatibility with a wide variety of devices, driven through the Windows, iOS, and Android platforms to distribute ebooks, videos, music, and audio downloadable content.