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OverDrive Added a Record 8,000 New Partner Libraries in the Past Year

overdrive logoOverDrive is getting ready to exhibit at Frankfurt Book Fair later this week, and today they put out a press release tooting their own horn. While I would normally be inclined to ignore their press release, after I researched the figures I realized that there were indeed a few newsworthy details.

OD now boasts 27,000 partner library and schools in 36 countries around the world, and it was around this time last year that OD claimed 19,000 partners. In other words OverDrive has added 8,000 new partners in the past year.

Just to put that into perspective, OverDrive’s 3 main competitors (3M Cloud Library, Axis360, and MyiLibrary) have, between the 3 of them, fewer than 8,000 partner libraries. This means that in the past year OD has added more new partners than all 3 of its competitors combined.

Do you know how I gripe about the major publishers not wanting to sell ebooks to libraries on reasonable terms? Something tells me that doesn’t really matter as much as I might think.

And in related news, OverDrive also reported that they have signed 100 new publisher partners from 18 nations, including Hardie Grant Publishing (Australia), Xinjiang Juvenile Publishing House (China), Scottish Book Source Limited (U.K.), and TED Books (U.S.). They now have a catalog of over 1.8 million ebook and audiobook titles in 64 languages.

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Thomas October 8, 2013 um 3:02 am

That doesn’t necessarily mean that Overdrive is distributing E-books to all those libraries. My local library system has used Overdrive for years for audiobooks but has started using Kindle for E-books. Last time I checked, they had a lot more audiobooks than E-books.

Nate Hoffelder October 8, 2013 um 10:40 am

Good point.

Joseph October 8, 2013 um 4:29 pm

As a Librarian myself, I can say that we and our fellow librarians in the region do not enjoy the fleecing we receive from the publishers in regards to the their pricing of ebooks. However our patron have been steadily increasing their demands form ebooks. Unfortunately their aren’t a lot of games in town, and they all have the same problems particularly in regards to best sellers. Of course, best sellers are what our patrons demand the most. To keep the doors open we have to keep patrons coming in, and to keep patrons coming in we have to give them what they want, and to give them what they want we have to pay thru the nose and deal with high friction software with arbitrary limitations.

The reason we chose Overdrive is because our state formed a consortia through Overdrive in which we all share the same overdrive account. We have 41 small to mid town libraries. By spreading the purchasing between us it becomes more bearable. The biggest down side is that the waiting list for the most popular books can get insanely long.

I wonder however how Overdrive is counting us. Do they count us as 1 or 41? Because functionally they treat us as if we were one library with 41 branches. I also wonder if 3M, Axis360, or MyiLibrary offer a similar consortia service. I can’t say, because my state chose Overdrive. We could have chosen a different service instead of joining the consortia. However then we could only afford a couple hundred books to offer our patrons instead of the 18,000 we have as part to of the consortia. And the collection is growing much faster that we could afford on our own.

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