May 5, 2021

Q&A David Burleigh, Director of Marketing for OverDrive

David Burleigh Q&A David Burleigh, Director of Marketing for OverDriveOn October 16, Library Journal and School Library Journal will host “The Digital Shift: Reinventing Libraries.” Our fourth annual online event has itself been reinvented in a new format, offering program tracks focused around community, instruction, and getting beyond the container to new content.

OverDrive is a platinum sponsor of the event, and LJ reached out to Director of Marketing David Burleigh in the fourth of a series of interviews addressing how the ongoing digital shift is transforming the libraries of today and tomorrow.

Library Journal: What do you predict will be the next big disruption/innovation to impact the library landscape?

David Burleigh: The next series of innovations will come as a result of the accelerating demand in the education space. Serving students and learners of all ages (Pre-K–12, higher ed, and lifelong learning) will provide new engagement with library users and drive the next wave of innovation.

LJ: How does your company’s strategy reflect this?

DB: OverDrive is currently engaging with educators at all levels to develop reading enhancements to further the success of students. This is embodied in our HTML5, browser-based reading tools which help readers and educators respond to readers’ engagement with digital content. OverDrive’s fastest growth for the past two years has been in school, university and special libraries providing popular children’s and young adult and educational content in every genre.

LJ: When, if ever, will libraries be primarily digital, and what will people still use print for?

DB: In some markets they already are. This started with professional libraries (law, tax, accounting), and is migrating into every other library segment. The next generation of readers will expect all content to be offered primarily (if not exclusively) as digital.

LJ: What do you hear from libraries that their greatest needs are, and how are you striving to meet them?

DB: Libraries most often talk about the need for budgets to serve the demands for delivery of digital content, while still managing to serve their print and physical product users and readers. To help meet this need, OverDrive is starting to use digital book analytics of how patrons are seeking materials and how and when they are being used to provide intelligence to our library partners to help them provide the most value to their readers and community. We are also regularly offering bundles and discounts from publishers as well as adding more publishers that offer rights to simultaneous access materials.

LJ: What business will libraries get into that is undreamt of today?

DB: Supplementing educational institutions by curating and sourcing digital content for curriculum, business, and knowledge workers.

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