For several months, libraries around the United States have been piloting OverDrive’s instant access “Instant Digital Card” feature through our award-winning reading app Libby. By adding this powerful engagement tool to your OverDrive services, you’re providing potential users instant access to a library card and the eBooks and audiobooks in your digital collection. Offering your community instant library cards is as easy as contacting your OverDrive Account Specialist.

Libraries are already seeing great success bringing new readers to the library who wouldn’t have borrowed any content otherwise. San Antonio Public Library (SAPL) alone has brought in thousands of new patrons using this new instant access feature. David Cooksey of SAPL had this to say:

“We knew people were finding our OverDrive items on the internet with no way to instantly access them. We just weren’t sure how many. In just four months, we have had over 2,400 people gain access to our digital library using the Instant Digital Card feature; patrons that would have previously hit a barrier to access. That is 2,400 more people accessing what they want from our digital collection.”

When your library enables the instant access feature, users are presented with the option to get access to your digital collection using their mobile phone number. They see a prompt on the login screen of both your library’s OverDrive-powered website and the Libby app. Your library provides OverDrive with a list of zip codes to define your service area. Users put in their phone number and, if it matches the zip codes in your service area, they’re provided access to your OverDrive digital library. The entire process takes 30 seconds.

Libraries are provided a list of all new users’ mobile numbers, names and addresses that are used to verify each user, and can use this information to reach out and invite them to sign up for a full library card.

Libraries in the U.S. can contact their Account Specialist to add instant access library cards to your service today.


*The Instant Digital Card feature is currently only available in the United States.*