Kobo on September 30 will launch the Aura ONE, a dedicated e-reader that promises seamless searching and one-click downloading of library ebooks via OverDrive. Using a review unit provided by Kobo and a personal New York Public Library (NYPL) account, LJ explored the process.
At the request of Sno-Isle Libraries, WA, OverDrive has developed a demand-driven acquisition (DDA) model for popular ebooks, enabling patrons to discover thousands of titles for which the library has not yet purchased a license. When a user checks out one of these titles, Sno-Isle is invoiced, and the ebook is added to the library’s collection in a transaction that appears seamless to the patron.
It all began when a high school librarian had an idea. Add a senior who just happens to be a programming whiz, and the rest is digital history.
The digital distribution platform has teamed up with schools in every state and parts of Canada to allow students to access a collection of interactive juvenile fiction and award-winning YA ebooks.
OverDrive and ASCD have partnered on a survey about digital content use in schools. Of the 80 percent of respondents who report using digital content in their schools or districts, four out of 10 are using it as part of their curriculum.
A new K–5 collection of teacher-recommended titles includes read-along eBooks in which words are highlighted while a narrator reads.
School libraries are moving toward ebook adoption; the question is how fast.
OverDrive is working on a project that could ultimately enable the company to convert PDFs and other file formats into the industry-standard EPUB format for ebooks, without significant loss of formatting and functionality, CEO Steve Potash said during his “Crystal Ball” presentation, which concluded the company’s biennial Digipalooza user group conference in Cleveland, OH earlier this month.
After years of expressing concern about the potential impact that library lending might have on consumer sales, major publishers have good cause to take another look at the library market for ebooks, according to executives from library ebook distributors OverDrive, 3M, and Baker & Taylor. With consumer sales growth slowing, bolstering institutional sales will likely become more of a priority for major publishers. OverDrive CEO Steve Potash noted that publishers, like all for-profit companies, are always looking for growth, and “there’s still a lot a growth in institutions, and there [are] significant opportunities for growth in education…. If retail is flattening, you have to experiment.”
Leading library ebook distributor OverDrive was sold to Rakuten on March 19 for $410 million cash, more than 16 times OverDrive’s annual earnings of $25 million. The purchase from private equity firm Insight Venture Partners, OverDrive’s majority owner since 2010, is scheduled to close in April. OverDrive will become a subsidiary of Rakuten USA, the U.S. arm of Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten. CEO Steve Potash will continue to lead OverDrive, and its headquarters will remain in Cleveland, OH.