Noted library advocates provide evidence on why sustainable public library funding is essential


LONDON – 16 October 2019 – In support of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Libraries’ report, Public Libraries: The Case for Support, Rakuten OverDrive presented evidence in the House of Lords in Parliament on 15 October. This report calls for sustainable UK library funding by providing data and research on libraries’ positive impact on users, communities and the local economy.

Hosted by Lord John Bird, founder of The Big Issue magazine and strong library advocate, and CILIP Chief Executive Nick Poole, the report’s launch event featured OverDrive founder and CEO Steve Potash who shared how libraries deliver a high return on investment for government funding. The evidence presented was based on OverDrive’s experience with American public libraries and those around the world, addressing how libraries benefit their communities and countries at large. OverDrive advocates for libraries and librarians worldwide, helping to enrich millions of lives with books and reading and actively supporting the critical role of librarians in schools and community libraries.

“I am very grateful to our colleagues at OverDrive for their sponsorship and support for this launch, and I’m fully behind Steve’s comment that libraries are as important as healthcare and policing to the quality of life in our communities,” said Lord Bird.

“The Public Libraries: The Case for Support report is a rallying point for sustainable long-term funding packages for libraries in the UK, and it is also a report of great value to government agencies worldwide,” stated Potash. “OverDrive is proud to share with members of Parliament the success of the American Library Association’s Libraries Transform campaign that showcases the valuable community-building services of public libraries.”

Since 2004, OverDrive has provided digital book services for the UK and now partners with a growing list of 200 library authorities and schools. OverDrive offers the largest collection of bestselling and award-winning ebooks and audiobooks to more than 43,000 libraries and schools in 76 countries, including over 90% of North American public libraries. Users of public libraries in the OverDrive network can borrow ebooks and audiobooks with Libby, the one-tap reading app named one of PCMag’s Best Free Software of 2019 and one of TIME’s Best Apps of 2018.

To learn more about Public Libraries: The Case for Support, visit



About Rakuten OverDrive

OverDrive is the leading digital reading platform for libraries and schools worldwide. Named one of PCMag’s Best Free Software of 2019 and one of TIME’s Best Apps of 2018, the award-winning Libby is the “one-tap reading app” for libraries. We are dedicated to “a world enlightened by reading” by delivering the industry’s largest catalogue of ebooks, audiobooks, magazines and other digital media to a growing network of 43,000 libraries and schools in 76 countries. Founded in 1986, OverDrive is based in Cleveland, Ohio USA and owned by Tokyo-based Rakuten.

Paul Davighi
Country Manager, UK & Ireland


David Burleigh
Director of Brand & Communications