By Karen Estrovich, director of collection development, OverDrive
In a year unlike any other, librarians led our communities to new options
to serve their mission. As a
longstanding partner to libraries and schools, OverDrive reached out to dozens
of librarians and educators to learn how to respond during this time of
building closures and remote learning.
You shared with us your pressing need for digital books to keep your
For libraries, schools and millions of readers, the pandemic made digital
books the only book option. Due to budget
constraints, this required large quantities of in-demand digital books with a
priority on low- or no-cost options. We
sought the support of our publishing partners, and many responded with high
quality ebooks and audiobooks under cost-effective simultaneous access and
cost-per-circ plans, and class sets for schools.
When the need arose, OverDrive donated Community Read titles with
simultaneous rights, including Me and White Supremacy, The Hate U
Give, and Spanish-language children’s ebooks and audiobooks.
Your libraries welcomed a surge of first-time online users, including
seniors who had no prior interest in a digital format until your doors were
closed. To accommodate this demand, we supported
your teams with outreach, training and help desk backup.
As your libraries promoted your juvenile and YA collections to your
communities, you also came to the aid of students in the classroom. Schools connected their students and staff
using Sora, the student reading app, with public library collections to
supplement school catalogs. Digital
demand for these genres rose as much as 80 percent during the pandemic.
School librarians and educators challenged OverDrive to provide required
reading collections for grade-leveled assigned reading, as well as large
catalogs of recommended titles. Requirements
for how school libraries and classrooms assign titles are leading to new
digital curriculum models and access plans.
we enter 2021 and embark on a “new normal,” we thank you for sharing your
wisdom with us. We value your partnership
and treasure your commitment to our communities. For each new challenge that awaits, we look
forward to working with you.