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

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. TallMomof215 June, 2011

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

  2. P A Wilson15 June, 2011

    Great news – It feels like a giant step forward.

  3. James W. Lewis16 June, 2011

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

  4. […] Overdrive has enhanced its platform for libraries. […]

  5. Staceyt24 June, 2011

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

  6. […] July 6th, 2011 by Nate Hoffelder · 3 Comments · digital library, overdrive // Now that OverDrive  have a couple direct competitors for library ebooks, they’re stepping up the game. […]

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