By Liz Tousey, Librarian and Collection Development Analyst with OverDrive

All publishers and titles menitoned in this article are available here.

OverDrive’ Simultaneous Use lending model allows you to circulate unlimited copies of a chosen titles or set of titles concurrently, for the length of your selected plan. The length of most plans is one year, but several publishers offer six-month plans as well. Pricing depends on your community population or student enrollment. To find the publishers, titles, and plans offered, click on the Simultaneous Use option next to the SHOP tab.


Sounds like a great idea, no? Well below are a few more reasons that you may or may not have thought of when considering the utility of such a plan.

We’re Listening to Audiobooks More Often, and for a Multitude of Reasons

There has been much chatter out there in the ether about the huge increases in popularity and sales of audiobooks. And for many users, it takes longer to listen to the audiobook than it does for them to read the text. I know I often need the full checkout time for the audiobooks that I listen to, and find that I need to renew those titles more often than eBook titles. With Simultaneous Use titles from publishers like Blackstone, Tantor, and Listen and Live, you can reduce and prevent long hold times for titles. And you know road trip season is coming soon for those of us in the U.S., so now is a great time to think about these options. On the school side, we heard from a few administrators who initially purchased audiobooks to increase access for their differently-abled students, but found that the general student population was checking them out like gangbusters as well!

In the classroom, a Simultaneous Use title allows for whole classes of students to download and listen to the audiobook version of a required text. Audiobooks help with understanding, pronunciation, and context, and are particularly helpful for studying texts that are meant to be spoken aloud or performed, such as poetry and plays. For example, several publishers, such as L.A. Theater Works, offer full cast recordings of Shakespeare’s plays, which are much better understood when heard, rather than just read on a screen or a page.

Get the Latest Editions, Say Farewell to the Previous Editions

There are many an excellent and timeless book, but travel guides and reference materials are all about the latest editions. Travelers want all the newest information on what can be seen and done in the region they are planning to visit, and a 10-year-old book on a trendy locale can lead one very much astray. Look to Lonely Planet to provide you with some of the latest and greatest for your patrons with wanderlust. On the reference side, with so many breakthroughs in science and technology, classrooms will benefit from the latest editions needed for research and projects. Renew your content from Britannica, Xist, and Cherry Lake every year with the newest content so you can empower your students to read great books, write great papers, and build great things! Information literacy activated!

Go Indie with Book Clubs and Reading Circles

So we’ve all read The Martian, Girl on a Train, and The Fifth Wave… What’s next? Many publishers who offer Simultaneous Use titles are independent, so consider pitching some excellent indie fare from IPG, ePub Direct, and more to your library’s local book clubs or school’s reading circles. Perhaps your library has a local LGBTQ book club who would enjoy titles from Riptide, or a group of non-English speakers who would enjoy books from Zhejiang and Québec Amérique. Or your school may have a circle of struggling or reluctant readers who would benefit from access to hi-lo content offered by Saddleback and Orca. The possibilities are practically endless.

For more information, or if you have any questions, please contact your Collection Development Specialist. You can find his or her contact information under the Support Tab in Marketplace..