Last week wrapped up a very successful Digipalooza conference where nearly 500 library and school partners from around the world came together with publishing executives in Cleveland to develop plans and enhance the future of the library world. This unique educational and networking conference addressed the massive surge in library eBook and audiobook borrowing with panels on industry trends, best practices and upcoming enhancements to the OverDrive service. Wrapping up the conference was the highly anticipated Crystal Ball Report by OverDrive CEO, Steve Potash. With high energy, Steve looked ahead and took participants into the future with his vision for digital media in libraries and schools.

Steve opened up his report with his first theme: Access. He reiterated that the new OverDrive (codename: Thunder) will provide the deepest reader engagement opportunities and curation ability in the industry and how it will simplify the digital reading experience like never before. He previewed that the next step for libraries is individual customization for each user, allowing your readers to get recommendations and alerts based on what they enjoy.

The second theme revolved around content. In the coming months, countless PDF titles that were never optimized for digital reading will be unlocked, opening up the capability to enjoy titles that previously were unapproachable with tablets and smartphones. Being able to convert PDFs into manageable formats opens up greater possibilities in the world of young readers including classroom textbooks. This led to the third and final theme of the crystal ball report: Education.

You will find the next wave of eReading in the school classrooms and libraries all around the world. Over the last few years, OverDrive has helped meet students’ and educators’ needs with a custom combination of digital content solutions. By weaving digital reading into the classroom, schools can provide the education technology necessary in today’s world and create classrooms that prepare students for future success. It also creates a lifelong love of reading. The future public library users are the hundreds of millions of students who currently aren’t accessing the materials the library can offer. By partnering with your local schools, libraries can create new library card users who are already comfortable with a digital reading experience.

The future of digital reading is all about access, content and education. In the next few years, OverDrive will advance all three areas to continue to provide the best value in the industry for both our library partners, our schools and your users.


Adam Sockel is a Social Media Specialist at OverDrive