Overdrive just upset the ebook library cart

I'm sure you know that the Kindle will be getting library ebooks later this year, and that the new service is going to cause some problems for libraries who already have a collection in Epub, PDF, or Mobi. OverDrive confirmed some time back that Kindle owners would be able to check out any ebook in a library's collection, no matter the format. Today they expanded that promise to all ebook formats, and it's difficult to express quite how big a deal that is. OverDrive just went format agnostic for the first time. I'm still thinking about what it's going to do to the market.

They also made a number of another announcements today, and most won't directly affect users. But some will, and they are also pretty damn important.

OverDrive will start pushing for DRM-free ebooks, which is itself earth -shattering. I know I've always wanted it, but it's a surprise to see a company to reverse direction like this. They're also going to let library patrons start requesting ebooks, which is something they should have had years ago.

After those 3 items, the new ebook and audiobook samples that OverDrive will soon offer are icing on the cake.

  • Eliminate the need for librarians and readers to deal with various eBook file formats
  • Add hundreds of thousands of in-copyright eBook and digital audiobook records with free “eBook Samples” for immediate access on reading devices and platforms
  • Enable patron driven acquisition, an opt-in program that will allow readers to immediately borrow a title, recommend to a library, or ‘Want It Now’ from online booksellers
  • Provide new ‘always available’ eBook collections for simultaneous access of romance, self-help, young adult, children, and other fiction materials
  • Launch ‘Open eBook’ titles, free of DRM

image by Dublin City Public Libraries

About Nate Hoffelder (11390 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

4 Comments on Overdrive just upset the ebook library cart

  1. I’m doing the Snoopy dance at my PC! That’s wonderful news.

  2. Great news – It feels like a giant step forward.

  3. Wow, this should be interesting. I’m looking forward to seeing where this goes.

  4. I do have one question, how expensive will it be for a small library?

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