OverDrive are leaders in the field on downloadable audio, music, video and ebooks. With over 800,000 titles in their catalogue and titles from all the major audiobook publishers, this is truly the leading product on the market.

The system works just like any other library branch – users come in, select from the stock and check out the items (by downloading to their PC and MP3 player). In exactly the same way as a borrowed book, they have use of the item for a library defined period. At the end of the period, the file “self destructs” and becomes available to the next user.

The virtual (digital) branch has many advantages over traditional audio books: The media cannot be damaged, there is no cost of staff checking or shelving materials. There is no need to move items from branch to branch, it is always available everywhere. Requests are supported so users can queue for in demand items.

Recent enhancements have concentrated on new lending models for certain titles and a smartphone app which allows the user download directly to their phone, bypassing the need to transfer via a PC.

This is a fully hosted service so there are no technology implications for the library service.

Currently, the Irish users of the system are:

Cork City Libraries
Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Library
Fingal County Library
Kildare County Library
Laois County Library (in implementation)
Leitrim County Library
Longford County Library
Louth County Library
Meath County Library
National Council for the Blind in Ireland
Offaly County Library
South Dublin County Libraries
Tipperary County Libraries (in implementation)
Waterford City Library
Waterford County Library
Westmeath County Library

Click on the library name to see their catalogue

As well as a public library service, OverDrive have developed a system for Academic libraries concentrating on ebooks. This is now available in Ireland.

A service to schools is available and is being tested by 5 school libraries at the moment.

For more information, please contact Charles Quain.

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