By: Jill Grunenwald, Marketing and Communications Specialist

Three years before I started working at OverDrive, I was a brand-new ebook reader discovering a problem many of our users face:

The struggle is real.

I’m a fast reader, but not fast enough to get through all of my books, including the one I was in the middle of when all of my holds came in. Then some books come in when I have zero time to spare to read or am just not in the mood for, like a horror novel in the middle of summer. Shortly after I started working here, I learned OverDrive has a feature that allows me to suspend a hold and keep my place in line until I’m ready, but honestly, sometimes I forget to suspend a hold (or all of my holds) and am inundated with all of these books. Sure, I could just wistfully return them without reading them, but what if it’s a book I spent months waiting for and don’t want to have to go back to the bottom of the wait list?

Understanding these challenges, we’re excited to introduce a new feature to delight more readers while also helping your wait lists move more efficiently. This new feature, called hold redelivery, will soon replace auto-checkout.


Hold redelivery will allow users to suspend a hold even after it’s made available to them while maintaining their place on the wait list. By enabling users to pass books they don’t have time to read on to the next person in line, hold redelivery will help your library connect more readers to the right book, at the right time.


Libby notifications (coming soon) will alert users when their holds become available. We’ll also add a “Notifications” section to your OverDrive website and the OverDrive app. After receiving notification that a hold is available, users can:

1) Borrow the title within three days. If your library has a different hold pick-up setting, OverDrive will automatically update it to three days.
2) Suspend the hold (redeliver it) and pass the book to the next person in line. After the suspension period (set by the user), the user will be able to borrow the book when the next copy is available.
3) Cancel the hold.

If the user takes no action, their hold will automatically be suspended one time for seven days. If no action is taken a second time, the hold will be canceled automatically.

With the removal of auto-checkout, you may see a slight decrease in circulations. We expect this to level off over time as users adjust to the new functionality.


As with any change, we know there will be an adjustment period for users, so we reached out to our OverDrive Partner Advisors for input on how we can best help your library prepare. Here are resources to help with the transition:

  • Libby updates: In addition to push notifications (coming soon), in-app help resources will guide users through the change.
  • Email notifications: Hold notification emails will be updated to reflect the new options.
  • Site messaging: We’ll add a message to your OverDrive website in early December informing users of the upcoming change.
  • Marketing and communication kit: We’ve added a video overview (see above), FAQs and more to our Resource Center — check it out today!
  • Marketplace tools: Suspended holds data is available in reporting and shopping features throughout OverDrive Marketplace. Suspended holds are excluded from holds ratio calculations, and you can choose whether they’re included in Holds Manager plans.
  • API Integrations: We’ll message vendors who utilize OverDrive APIs about the plan to remove auto-checkout.

Hold Redelivery will be coming in early 2020 and we’ll follow up in the new year once we have confirmation of timing. In the meantime, you’re encouraged to reach out to your Account Manager with any questions.