K-12 Education FAQs

OverDrive Education

Hello. What can we help you with?

Overview

Your OverDrive school platform is a custom digital collection of ebooks and audiobooks that’s available to your students 24/7. Each district or school builds their individual content plan from our catalog of millions of titles from thousands of publishers. Once your collection is live, educators can assign content and students can also browse and borrow titles on their own, if desired. Students can access titles through the Sora app or soraapp.com. They can also send most ebooks to Kindle (U.S. only).

Yes, OverDrive offers a robust collection of free, real-time reports that allow school personnel to track their digital content.

OverDrive provides a variety of free training and support resources, including:

  • Custom one-on-one training sessions, live webcasts, and on-demand training
  • Digital and printable marketing, promotional, and getting-started materials for your digital content
  • Support for school staff (via Marketplace) for troubleshooting and questions
  • Direct support for students through Sora (if a student is under 13, they’ll need a parent or guardian’s email address to contact support)
  • A Sora Help website, plus in-app help, with how-to articles and troubleshooting steps for students and educators

About school collections

OverDrive offers a growing catalog of millions of digital titles from thousands of publishers for children and young adults. This K-12 catalog covers virtually all units of study for both curriculum and literacy engagement. We’re constantly working with new and existing publishers to add titles to the catalog.

You can subscribe to OverDrive’s weekly email newsletter, ContentWire, to learn about new publishers and titles that are added to our catalog. Staff can also browse and search for new titles (filtered by date added to Marketplace, release date, and more) using the extensive search options in OverDrive Marketplace.

No. Each school or district customizes digital content for their students. Your team will be able to browse OverDrive’s extensive catalog and select titles based on your school’s curriculum and content needs.

OverDrive offers several different options for adding digital titles to your platform. Some titles can be purchased or rented with the option to allow simultaneous access to an unlimited number of students. Some titles are purchased as individual copies; so, for example, if your content plan only has one copy of a title, then only one student can access that specific title at a time. These individual copies can be used from year to year and never expire. Other options include title rentals ranging from 2 months up to 2 years.

Yes. With publisher permission, OverDrive can assist you in transferring content from another vendor to our platform. Please contact your Account Manager for more information.

No. You must subscribe to one of OverDrive’s services to access our catalog of titles.

We provide a variety of MARC record options for cataloging your digital content. OverDrive MARC Express offers ready-to-load minimal MARC records to your school at no cost.

OverDrive also works with BDS, eBiblioFile, and OCLC to make full, ready-to-load MARC records available for a small fee.

Additionally, OverDrive provides a suite of APIs that can offer a deeper integration between your OverDrive content and your existing content catalog. We partner with vendors like Polaris, SirsiDynix, and Bibliocommons (among many others), who can help pair together your physical and digital collections.

Accessing digital titles

Your school determines the number of titles your students can access at a time.

Titles automatically expire at the end of their access period and are returned to your collection. If students finish borrowed titles early, they can return them manually to free up space in their account. Assigned titles can’t be returned early.

Yes. Students can renew digital titles if there are no holds on the title.

Your school can choose a 7, 14, or 21 day access period for each type of content in your plan. For example, you can choose a 21-day access period for ebooks, and a 14-day access period for audiobooks.

Classroom sets have longer access periods, ranging from a few weeks to the length of the school year. Your school can request a specific access period to align content with the length of a class or unit.

Some publishers reserve the right to set an access period, which will override your school’s preferred settings.

Yes. If all available copies of a title are in use, students can place that title on hold.

Your school determines the number of holds your students can place at a time.

When a title isn’t available, students will see a Place a hold button instead of a Borrow button. By default, the title will be automatically checked out to the student when it’s available.

If the student has automatic hold checkout turned off, or if they’re at their borrowing limit, they’ll need to manually borrow the title from the Holds section of their Shelf in Sora. If the student doesn’t borrow the title within a certain number of days (set by your school), the title will go to the next student in line or be returned to your collection.

About software, devices, and features

Students with compatible devices can access your digital content using the free Sora app (for Android and iOS). Otherwise, they can go to soraapp.com in a browser. Most titles can be downloaded for offline use in the app and in certain browsers.

If students want to send ebooks to Kindle (U.S. only), they’ll need a Kindle device or the free Kindle reading app.

OverDrive has a lot of options for students and schools with differing technology needs. Here are examples of devices that work with OverDrive:

  • Tablets (Android, iOS, Windows tablets, Fire tablets)
  • Smartphones (Android, iOS)
  • Chromebooks
  • Windows and Mac computers
  • Kindle devices

Visit our device profiles to learn more about how OverDrive works with common devices.

Yes. Students can add bookmarks and make notes and highlights in any borrowed book. Students can view and export their notes and highlights at any time, even if the book isn’t assigned or checked out to them. Export options include Google Drive, PDF, CSV, text file, and copy to clipboard.

Authentication

OverDrive can send authentication requests to active directory or federated authentication servers to validate students. We can also use your existing integrated library system database via SIP2, EZproxy, or similar protocol. For Follett Destiny customers, OverDrive supports a single sign-on (SSO) integration between Follett Destiny and the OverDrive platform for the users’ Destiny accounts. If none of these options are suitable, we can also authenticate your students with an OverDrive-developed tool called User Login Manager.

User Login Manager is an OverDrive-hosted portal that allows your school to upload and manage student IDs or other user logins for your OverDrive service. User Login Manager is free with your digital collection.