Recently, we shared information about how libraries can use American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to purchase digital books.* ARPA funds enable U.S. libraries to provide pandemic response and relief to their communities with materials and services from June 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022 (16 months).

*Please check with your state library officials for information about ARPA fund availability and requirements for use, as plans vary by state.

Based on our understanding, titles in certain lending models (e.g., Metered Access) may be categorized as a “service” rather than “materials” under ARPA. Service purchases may not comply with ARPA if the “term” extends beyond September 30, 2022. This is relevant when considering Metered Access (MA) digital books with a 24-month (or longer) term that extend beyond this date. As a result, we have been asking publishers with content in the MA model to prorate these catalogs with a 16 month or shorter option to permit their titles to be purchased with ARPA funds.

To help your library utilize ARPA funding for digital content, we have also created new tools and workflows in OverDrive Marketplace that enable you to order, track, and report on digital content purchased with these funds.

Overview by lending model:

One Copy/One User (OC/OU) and Metered Access (MA)
When creating a cart in Marketplace from the One Copy/One User and Metered Access section of the Shop tab, there is a new option to “Use American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds”. This ARPA cart type differentiates ARPA purchase orders from other standard content orders for tracking and reporting.

For Metered Access titles included in an ARPA-labeled cart, Marketplace will calculate a prorated price and end date of September 30, 2022, as publisher term permit.*

*At the time of writing, ebooks from Penguin Random House, DK, Hachette US, Macmillan Publishers and Pottermore in the Metered Access 24-month lending model are available for proration.  We are in ongoing dialogue with publishing partners with Metered Access models and will report updates as others enable this option.

To easily track ARPA purchases, we added an “ARPA” identifier to content invoices and the Purchase orders report.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Marketplace does not prohibit library selectors from adding any content materials to an ARPA cart. It is up to the library selectors to review and confirm that titles added to an APRA purchase order conform with the guidelines of the Act.

Cost Per Circ (CPC)
For titles available in the CPC model, we now offer the option to set an end date and designate the cost for use with ARPA funds. This will support CPC collections designated for ARPA funds to automatically end on or before September 30, 2022.

CPC titles identified for ARPA funding will be issued a separate monthly invoice from other CPC content.

Simultaneous Use (SU) and Databases & Streaming Media services
Based on our understanding, Simultaneous Use titles and Databases & Streaming Media services comply with ARPA requirements, as long as patron access begins June 1, 2021 or later and expires or is revoked by September 30, 2022.

Recommended next steps:

1. Create a new billing account in OverDrive Marketplace to use for all ARPA-labeled purchases. While not a requirement, having a dedicated billing account will help track ARPA-related invoices. For CPC titles with ARPA funds to be billed to a new ARPA billing account, please contact our Accounting team through the Support tab in OverDrive Marketplace.
2. Visit the Resource Center for more information, including FAQs, training resources, and recommended title lists.
3. Reach out to your Account Manager for any assistance selecting titles or using Marketplace tooling—they are happy to help.

We will continue to keep you informed of additional updates so be sure to subscribe to the OverDrive blogs to stay informed.