OverDrive Reports on 2022 Priorities to Broaden Access for all Citizens
Investments in Content, Advocacy and Innovation to deliver new levels of service to libraries and schools
CLEVELAND – January 21, 2022 – OverDrive reported today a series of ongoing investments in 2022 to further strengthen the results libraries and schools achieve from their digital collections. The company’s mission-based agenda centers on several high impact initiatives in content access, library and school advocacy, and technology and service innovations. Key components include expanding availability and access to popular content for all readers, with continued focus on addressing the needs of those most challenged to access books and educational materials. OverDrive will meet with library and school partners at its online exhibit during LibLearnX, the virtual ALA conference January 21-24. OverDrive is a gold sponsor.
Select OverDrive 2022 Priorities include:
- Access to education for prison inmates: With more than 10 million citizens incarcerated in the U.S. each year, OverDrive will continue to partner with federal, state and local agencies that serve adult and juveniles in thousands of prisons nationwide. OverDrive currently offers access to ebooks and audiobooks to millions of inmates and students incarcerated in federal, state, local and juvenile detention centers in 25 states and the District of Columbia.
- Connecting all students to their local public library: Currently, millions of students in 30,000 U.S. school buildings have access to discover and borrow digital books from their local public library through the Sora student reading app. For 2022, OverDrive Marketplace and Sora will enhance controls for educators, librarians, and parents to manage student access to age-appropriate ebooks, audiobooks, and magazines.
- Advancing Accessibility for All Readers: As part of an ongoing effort to improve access and benefit people with disabilities, OverDrive partnered with Fable – an accessibility platform – to improve the Libby library reading app’s user experience so readers with a range of visual, motor and cognitive needs are met. In addition, to benefit every student in the country, OverDrive has for over 15 years developed and serves as the primary operator and supporter for NIMAC (National Instructional Materials Access Center), the federally funded, searchable online catalog of K-12 print textbook content in the XML-based NIMAS (National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard) format.
- Donations to enable millions of readers to access the most-needed books: Building on a very successful year in which public libraries served record numbers of readers, OverDrive will increase its donations of premium books as part of its “Everyone Reads” digital collections. These donated collections of simultaneous use titles offer no-cost availability to readers of all ages with a variety of topics. Current collections – free to libraries – include Social and Emotional Learning, Adult Fiction and Nonfiction, Kids & Teens, and Spanish Titles for Young Readers.
“In 2021, the Ohio Digital Library expanded access and served a record number of readers without dramatically increasing our overall spending,” said Anne Kennedy, Library Consultant at the State Library of Ohio. “One way we increased our circulation was by taking advantage of the tools offered by OverDrive. We upped our usage of the cost-per-circ lending model, changed how we looked at holds ratios, frequently refreshed our curated collections, highlighted popular titles using Lucky Day curation and continued maximizing our simultaneous use collections.”
Advocacy for Libraries
- Supporting ALA initiatives: As an ALA Library Champion, OverDrive supports programs such as Spectrum Scholarships, and since 2015 has proudly served as the primary underwriter for the Libraries Transform campaign. In 2022, OverDrive supports the Office of Intellectual Freedom and continues to ongoing advocacy for libraries to receive more federal and state funding. Last year the company enabled innovative tools to permit libraries’ use American Rescue Plan Act funds for digital books. OverDrive Marketplace provides insights and reports to document how response and relief funds used by libraries for content warrants ongoing and permanent funding.
- Expanding access models: OverDrive has long advocated for authors and publishers to enable flexible and reasonable terms to allow libraries to more efficiently meet demand within their budget. The Simultaneous Use (SU), Lucky Day (also known as Skip-The-Line) and Cost Per Circ (CPC) access models enable libraries to circulate high-interest titles more quickly, fulfilling more patrons’ demand faster than ever.
Innovations planned for 2022
Fresh off meeting with representatives of companies that deliver world-leading technologies and smart communities at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), OverDrive will unveil several innovations at the Public Library Association (PLA) Conference in March. The goal of these innovations is to enable libraries and schools to effectively reach and engage their communities better than ever.
Download the Libby app (iOS, Android) to find a library near you, or visit www.overdrive.com.
OverDrive strives to create “a world enlightened by reading.” Serving a growing network of 76,000 libraries and schools in 94 countries, OverDrive delivers the industry’s largest digital catalog of ebooks, audiobooks, magazines and other content through award-winning apps. The Libby reading app for libraries is one of Popular Mechanics’ 20 Best Apps of the Decade, the Sora student reading app is one of TIME’s Best Inventions of 2019, and Kanopy is the leading video streaming app for libraries and colleges. Acquired in 2021, TeachingBooks.net offers one of the largest catalogs of supplemental materials that enhance literacy outcomes. Founded in 1986, OverDrive is based in Cleveland, Ohio USA and was named a Certified B Corp in 2017. www.overdrive.com
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