From emerging readers to Professional Development for teachers, eBooks and audiobooks supporting inclusion, social justice and empathy

CLEVELAND – April 10, 2017 – School librarians report that eBooks and audiobooks help them reach “sneaky readers,” Hi-Lo readers and those seeking the privacy that digital reading provides. As a result for the past two years, OverDrive Education has seen a 48 percent growth in eBook and audiobook checkouts in school libraries, due at least in part to the independence and choice digital books offer students. The American Association of School LIbrarians feels strongly about self-direction and independence, too. April is School Library Month, and the 2017 theme is Because School Libraries Empower Students.

Andy Weir, author of the New York Times best-seller “The Martian,” and the national spokesperson for the 2017 celebration of School Library Month, shared how his school library empowered him.

“In high school, I was the stereotypical nerdy, unpopular kid,” said Weir. “I got bullied a lot, in no small part because I was a smart aleck. The school library became my sanctuary. It was the one place I could go without encountering the bullies who would harass and belittle me. Libraries provide more than just knowledge. They provide a venue for learning and contemplation. I wouldn’t be who I am without that little school library and the shelter it provided me.”

The NEA reports that the more students read for fun on their own time, the higher their reading scores. Middle school students read the most, with some 70 percent of middle school students reading more than 10 books a year. OverDrive Education, the leading digital reading platform for schools, supports this life-long love of reading at every age, and the middle grades are the ideal age to engage students with topics important to their lives and keep them reading into high school and beyond.

OverDrive’s staff of librarians has selected the best titles for empowering students during school library month, including picture books, biographies, novels and professional development.
Creating an Inclusive Classroom includes over 80 Professional Development titles to support diversity and inclusion in the classroom. OverDrive’s top pickSticks and Stones by Emily Bazelon. In this book, Bazelon establishes herself as a leading voice on the social and legal aspects of teenage drama. This indispensable book takes a journey from school cafeterias to courtrooms to the offices of Facebook, the website where so much teenage life, good and bad, now unfolds. Sticks and Stones dispels myths and will help parents, educators, and teens themselves better understand what kids are going through today and what can be done to help them through it.

Elevate awareness and inspire activism in K-12 students with these 70 Social Justice 101 titles. Children and teens deserve the chance to make a positive impact on the world they will inherit. OverDrive’s top pickThe Day the Crayons Quit, by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers. Sometimes being unique causes unique problems. What happens when each crayon feels more important than the others, that theirs is the only right color for the sun or the night? What do you do when blue is tired of doing the heavy lifting on so many ocean scenes? How do you get the crayons back to doing what they do best: working together to make a beautiful and varied picture?

Pay it Forward Day is April 28th. OverDrive Education has selected 80 titles featuring empathy and kindness, perfect conversation starters for younger and middle-grade students. OverDrive’s top pickCounting by 7s, by Holly Goldberg Sloan. This bestseller is an intensely moving middle-grade novel about being an outsider and coping with loss. Heroine Willow Chance finds comfort and order in small kindnesses, resulting in an incredibly satisfying story of seeking and belonging.

For more information about the OverDrive Education service for K-12 schools, visit

About OverDrive Education – a division of OverDrive
OverDrive Education is the leading global digital reading platform for K-12, offering the industry’s largest catalog of eBooks, audiobooks and streaming video. As a 100% digital company serving 36,000 libraries and schools worldwide, OverDrive combines technology with content to support learning and reading in the classroom, library and home. With an easy-to-use central platform, students get the right titles at the right time, online or offline, on all major devices, including iOS®, Android™, Chromebook™ and Kindle® (U.S. only). Founded in 1986, OverDrive and OverDrive Education are based in Cleveland, Ohio USA.

David Burleigh,
Director of Marketing & Communications
216-573-6886 ext. 218