The Hawaii State Department of Education, a statewide district serving 256 public and 34 charter schools across eight islands, was looking for an eBook and audiobook solution that pooled funds to maximize purchasing power and provide expanded reading opportunities. An OverDrive shared collection enables two or more schools to access digital content via a single website. Each member school contributes a set dollar amount based on school size – and all purchased titles become available to all participating institutions. Schools can even add eBooks and audiobooks specifically for their students and teachers, separate from the shared collection.

Top 5 reasons Hawaii chose a shared collection model for their statewide digital library, as reported by Joanna Dunn, Education Specialist:

1) “In most digital reading platforms we looked at, each school needed to purchase a copy of each title to share it across the state. This model wasn’t feasible and did not meet the goal of sharing resources across the state.”

2) “We wanted to provide a user-friendly solution that best meets the needs of our students and staff for eBook and audiobook resources.”

3) “Pooling our resources together helped provide a larger collection of eBooks and audiobooks that can be shared and utilized. Implementing a shared collection with OverDrive reduced the cost for a robust eBook solution for our schools.”

For example, if a school were to initiate a digital collection on their own, they may only be able to afford 50-100 titles. If 100 schools join an OverDrive shared collection and each spends $250, then the combined group would total at least $25,000 to spend on eBooks and audiobooks for reading inside and outside the classroom, professional development resources for teachers, digital class sets and more. The collection grows—and accumulates over time—as more schools join.

Shared collections help schools gain instant, easy access to eBooks that students need. Based on positive feedback and increases in reading and student engagement from schools across North America, OverDrive is implementing more shared collections across districts, regions, states and provinces.

4) OverDrive is extremely easy to use. Hawaii’s shared collection now serves elementary, middle and high schools with more than 11,500 eBooks and audiobooks, including Read-Alongs, that can be enjoyed on all major devices. More than 134,000 titles have been borrowed through the website in just three years.

5) “Having our eBooks all on one platform has enabled consistent practice and more efficient training across schools in accessing and using eBooks for teachers, administrators, students and parents. Since the authentication to OverDrive is managed through our centralized library system, the account creation and management barrier has been removed. Librarians can focus on teaching and learning.”

Looking forward, the Hawaii schools are confident in the continued success of their shared collection. “Our OverDrive shared collection has met all of the goals that we set to accomplish,” Dunn said. “It has expanded the library resources beyond the walls of the library to provide 24/7 access to books even when the physical library is closed.”