Library Technology Guides

Company Directory

OverDrive

This dashboard brings together data, trends, news, and other resources from Library Technology Guides describing the organization, its executive leadership, personnel employed, business history, as well as related features and news articles.

Connect to the OverDrive website

One OverDrive Way
Cleveland, Ohio 44125
United States
Phone: 216-573-6886
Web site: https://company.overdrive.com/
Email:

Executive Leadership

photo of Richard Sarnoff
Richard Sarnoff
Board Chairman and Partner KKR
photo of Steve  Potash
Steve Potash
President and Chief Executive Officer
photo of Lori Franklin
Lori Franklin
Chief Operating Officer
photo of Greg Farmer
Greg Farmer
Chief Financial Officer
photo of Jeff Sterling
Jeff Sterling
Chief Technology Officer
photo of Erica Lazzaro
Erica Lazzaro
Executive Vice President, Publisher Services and General Counsel
photo of Ryan Fish
Ryan Fish
Executive Vice President, Product Management

Company Ownership

Overdrive has been owned by KKR since June 2020

Mergers and Acquisitions

Mergers and Acquisitions for OverDrive

Documents or articles featuring OverDrive

Breeding, Marshall. Overdrive Sale Has Closed. July 2020. Smart Libraries Newsletter. The February 2020 issue of Smart Library Newsletter featured the proposed transfer of ownership of OverDrive from Rakuten to investment firm KKR. This transaction, initiated in December 2019, closed in early June 2020.

Breeding, Marshall. OverDrive to Change Ownership. February 2020. Smart Libraries Newsletter. OverDrive, the largest commercial provider of e-books and other digital content to libraries, issued a Christmas Eve announcement of its pending change in ownership. The company's current owner Rakuten has entered into a definitive agreement to sell OverDrive to KKR, a major US-based investment firm. As digital lending continues its steady rise, this news sparks interest and raises questions for the library community.

Breeding, Marshall. OverDrives New Owners: What It Means. December 2020. American Libraries. OverDrive, the largest commercial provider of ebooks and other digital content to libraries, issued a surprise announcement on December 24 about a pending change in its ownership. The company’s current owner Rakuten—a Japanese online retailing company—has entered a definitive agreement to sell OverDrive to KKR, a major US-based investment firm. This news on the digital lending front has sparked considerable interest and raised numerous questions from the library community.

Breeding, Marshall. Developments in E-book Lending Technologies. June 2013. Smart Libraries Newsletter. The support of e-book lending stands as one of the crucial technology issues for public libraries. The initial phase of library e-book lending was mostly based on acquiring titles from one or more e-book providers and then delivering users to platforms provided by those vendors for selection, check-out, and downloading titles to e-reading devices. Libraries naturally want to provide a similar service for e-books as they offer for their print collections. General expectations would include the ability to develop a collection shaped according to the interests and research needs of its community and for library patrons to borrow e-books without cost, for reasonable loan periods, and with protected privacy. Yet, fulfilling ideal expectations for library e-book lending services continues to face a number of obstacles. From a technology perspective, challenges lie in simplifying the way that patrons can select, check-out, and download items. On the business and legal front, only portions of the collective e-book universe are available to libraries to purchase for their lending programs, and in many cases higher costs per title apply and possibly limitations on lending terms. The developments seen in recent months reflect ongoing progress in each of these areas.

Breeding, Marshall. OverDrive Prepares to Release API for E-Book Lending Integration. May 2012. Smart Libraries Newsletter. Until now, OverDrive has delivered its service through its own hosted platform, taking advantage of the limited capabilities of established protocols such as SIP2, Remote Patron Authentication, to integrate its services into third-party applications. In response to the increasing demand for interoperability and integration, OverDrive has announced its plans to deliver a set of application programming interfaces (APIs) to allow the developers of other related products, typically integrated library systems, online catalogs, mobile app developers, or discovery interfaces, to incorporate OverDrive's e-book discovery, lending, and management functionality. These APIs will be available to libraries that partner with OverDrive and to approved third-party vendors.

Breeding, Marshall. OverDrive acquires Booki.sh. May 2012. Smart Libraries Newsletter. OverDrive announced in March 2012 that it had acquired the Australia-based company Booki.sh, a portfolio project of Inventive Labs, a small consulting and software development firm founded by Joseph Pearson and Virginia Murdoch. Following the acquisition of Booki.sh, the remaining consulting business will combine with Icelab, another Web consulting firm.

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News Announcements

February 10, 2021. Readers Across the US Fall in Love with Nationwide Digital Book Club. Nearly 16,000 public libraries and tens of thousands of readers across the United States join together to enjoy the latest Together We Read: US digital book club selection. From February 10 to 24, readers with a valid library card can borrow and discuss author Kate Clayborn's award-winning witty romance ebook and audiobook, Love Lettering, for free with no waitlists or holds. Readers can access the digital book by downloading the award-winning Libby app and then participate in an online discussion.


January 22, 2021. New choice report studies academic collection development, reveals shift to ebooks. As digital books become more essential in colleges and universities due to the COVID-19 pandemic, academic librarians are adopting the ebook format at a vastly accelerated rate. To better understand ebook collection development in academic libraries, Choice, a publishing unit of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), conducted a research study to shine a much-needed light on the ways academic libraries are responding to the increased demand for digital content. Highlights include data showing that ebooks are an established part of academic library collections, many academic librarians' overarching acquisition model favors ebooks over print and both libraries and patrons have fully integrated ebooks into their workflows and practices.


January 12, 2021. Over 100 Public Libraries Exceed 1 Million Digital Book Checkouts in 2020. A record 102 public library systems from around the world empowered readers to borrow over 1 million ebooks and audiobooks from their digital collections in 2020. This represents the most systems ever to reach this milestone through OverDrive, the leading digital reading platform. Contributing factors include increased digital book usage due to the pandemic, elevated interest in social justice titles and BIPOC authors and strong circulation growth for children's and young adult titles because of remote learning.


January 7, 2021. 33% growth for digital books from public libraries and schools in 2020 sets records. Librarians and educators achieved record levels of digital book circulation in 2020. Readers worldwide borrowed 430 million ebooks, audiobooks and digital magazines in the past 12 months, a 33% increase over 2019. This significant growth was influenced by the pandemic, social justice and remote learning. Data was reported by OverDrive, the leading digital reading platform for 65,000 libraries and schools worldwide.


December 15, 2020. OverDrive Education Announces Top Ebooks, Audiobooks Downloaded by Students from K-12 Schools In 2020. With K-12 students accessing digital books more than ever due to remote learning, OverDrive Education announced the most-read ebooks and audiobooks worldwide in 2020. Data is based on usage of ebooks and audiobooks from 38,000 schools in 71 countries. OverDrive Education, the leading digital reading platform for schools, reported tens of millions of digital books were borrowed and read on the Sora student reading app, nearly triple the total in 2019.


December 2, 2020. OverDrive significantly expands magazine catalog for libraries worldwide, supplied by ZINIO. OverDrive, the leading digital reading platform for libraries and schools worldwide, is now offering more popular digital magazines than ever before. As a result of the company's acquisition of RBdigital earlier this year, over 3,000 in-demand magazines supplied by ZINIO are now available through the OverDrive platform in the Libby app. All magazines are available in unlimited simultaneous use for public, academic and corporate libraries.


November 10, 2020. Free collection of simultaneous use Spanish-Language ebooks and audiobooks now available for schools. OverDrive Education, the leading digital reading platform for K-12 schools worldwide, introduced a new way to help schools meet increased demand for digital content. To supplement remote and hybrid learning for Spanish-language readers, OverDrive Education donated 100 Spanish-language titles for young readers to over 38,000 schools around the world. This bundle includes high-interest Spanish-language ebook, audiobook and Read-Along titles with unlimited access for students of participating schools through September 30, 2021.


September 24, 2020. With Print Supplies Disrupted, More Schools Adopt Digital Books for Remote Learning. With a record number of students going back to school online, educators are urgently turning to digital books in place of print for their established curriculum. In response to this need, OverDrive Education, the leading digital reading platform for K-12 schools worldwide, today announced support for several major curriculum systems. This means that schools can provide instant access to assigned titles as ebooks and audiobooks for in-class and distance learning for all students. More than 35,000 schools have shifted to OverDrive Education for digital books as the company has significantly expanded its catalog to include grade-leveled class sets aligned to teaching units. To supply both required and recommended ebooks and audiobooks for the classroom, the company is collaborating with a variety of the most popular curriculum developers including EL Education, StudyForge and Schoolwide.


September 14, 2020. Public libraries connecting readers through national digital reading event. Readers nationwide are actively borrowing and discussing the next Libraries Transform Book Pick, the annual digital reading event that makes a featured ebook immediately available for free from public libraries. From September 14th to 28th, booklovers across the U.S. can borrow – without waitlists or holds – an ebook copy of the ambitious and masterfully wrought saga Book of the Little Axe by Lauren Francis-Sharma. With the award-winning Libby app and a valid library card, readers can download and read the ebook, then discuss via social media.


July 15, 2020. OverDrive adds publishing and library industry leaders to Board of Directors. OverDrive, the leading digital reading platform for libraries and schools, announced that Milena Alberti-Perez and Sari Feldman have joined its Board of Directors. The addition of the two distinguished executives follows the completion of the acquisition of OverDrive by KKR from Rakuten.


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Corporate Chronology