Library Technology Guides

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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:

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 enables Discoverability of books and ebooks on the web. May 2022. Library Technology Newsletter. OverDrive has been a longstanding partner with Google to facilitate the discoverability of ebooks and audiobooks available from libraries. As the leading provider of digital collection materials to public libraries, its efforts have a large impact on the visibility of libraries on the web. Persons can borrow Ebooks and audiobooks from their library's OverDrive collection via Google search results. When searching for a book on Google, results will usually offer a knowledge panel presenting additional information about the title, along with action buttons for buying a copy or borrowing from a library. When available as an ebook or audiobook from a nearby library that offers the title, the Borrow action connects the user directly its page in the library's OverDrive collection.

Breeding, Marshall. OverDrive launches Patron Engagement Tools. March 2022. Library Technology Newsletter. OverDrive, a major provider of digital media services for libraries, has launched OverDrive Hub, a set of tools designed to provide new channels of communication with library patrons, along with additional analytics to measure use and engagement.

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

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News Announcements

August 29, 2022. Digital on-demand class sets for required curriculum books now available in Sora student reading app. To help educators provide students with the books they need as efficiently as possible, OverDrive Education announced the new On-Demand Class Set digital access model for curriculum titles. This model makes available ebooks and audiobooks on-demand in the Sora reading app to as many students as needed, with or without codes. Digital On-Demand Class Sets give schools the flexibility to allocate budget for assigned classroom reading even in situations where classes and rosters are not finalized. Educators can use this model – as well as many other cost-effective models in the OverDrive Marketplace – with required reading for English language arts, history, social science and other classes, as well as for all-school required reads and literature circles.

August 3, 2022. New Shelf Talkers in Libby App allow library to customize patron experience. To help libraries better connect with their community of readers, OverDrive created the shelf talkers feature in the Libby library reading app. This feature provides a new space for each library to showcase their curatorial expertise and knowledge through personal notes to patrons within the Libby app. Shelf talkers in Libby allow librarians to connect with readers by recommending titles, providing interesting facts about a title or author, showing curators' personalities and adding more library-specific flavor to their Libby collection.

July 13, 2022. Public libraries offer riveting USA Today Bestseller for worldwide digital book club. Booklovers around the globe can dive into a suspenseful USA Today bestselling novel during Big Library Read, the world's largest digital book club. From July 13-27, more than a hundred thousand readers around the globe will enjoy Audrey Blake's historical fiction The Girl in His Shadow from their public library. Library card holders from participating libraries can borrow the ebook and audiobook for free without waiting on the Libby app.

June 23, 2022. OverDrive to present library innovations prioritizing Access for All. At the in-person conference of our nation's libraries, digital library leader OverDrive will announce tools and services to help librarians provide “Access for All.” In response to requests from industry leaders to leverage their digital collections to reach more readers, OverDrive will present Public Access Connect and other initiatives at the 2022 ALA Annual Conference & Exhibition Booth #933 in Washington, D.C. from June 23-28.

June 14, 2022. Vox Media Networks Seeker and NowThis streaming now on Kanopy. Kanopy announced a strategic distribution agreement with Vox Media. Students and patrons of participating universities and public libraries can now stream educational series from Vox Media brands Seeker by The Verge and NowThis. With this new offering, Kanopy viewers can empower themselves and understand the science shaping our planet as well as dive into what's happening and influential in the world right now.

May 24, 2022. Announcing new Libby Extras: Stingray Classica. The world's premium destination for classical music can now be added to your digital library! With Stingray Classica, your users can watch prestigious productions filmed at the grandest venues throughout the world — all from the comfort of their home

April 12, 2022. New access model OverDrive Max lowers library costs for ebook and audiobook collections. As part of its ongoing library advocacy, OverDrive released a growing list of publishers that now offer “OverDrive Max,” a digital book access model for schools and libraries developed to meet growing reader demand. Under the OverDrive Max model (also known as metered concurrent use), libraries can stock bundles of up to 100 loans for popular digital books with no expiration date. With each Max title the cost to serve each reader is typically the lowest available cost for libraries and schools for lending the ebook or audiobook.

March 16, 2022. OverDrive announces new communication services to empower libraries. OverDrive announced new custom outreach tools, data reporting dashboards and catalog management services to empower librarians to reach and engage patrons more efficiently. The “OverDrive Hub” will extend the market-leading suite of tools already serving the world's libraries from OverDrive Marketplace and the Libby app with the introduction of Newsroom and The Loop. These tools will be released in phases, with the first to come later this year.

March 8, 2022. Sora app's new curated bundles of digital comics save schools time and money. In response to educators' need for more digital content to engage students, OverDrive Education now offers popular digital comic books to schools around the world via the Sora student reading app. Schools can purchase age-appropriate and cost-effective curated bundles totaling more than 1,500 digital comic books. These titles include simultaneous use rights so all students can access titles for their age group instantly. Sora is the leading student reading app available in more than 53,000 schools worldwide.

February 7, 2022. Public libraries and colleges offer award-winning novel during US-wide Digital Book Club. Over 16,000 public libraries and colleges across the United States are participating in the latest award-winning Together We Read: US digital book club. From February 7 to 21, U.S. public library patrons and students of participating colleges can enjoy author Kirstin Valdez Quade's 2021 First Novel Prize-winning book, The Five Wounds, as an ebook and audiobook. Readers can access the digital book for free with no waitlists or holds by downloading the Libby reading app, and then participate in an online discussion.

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Corporate Chronology

Jun 09, 2021 OverDrive to acquire video streaming service Kanopy
OverDrive, the leading digital reading platform for libraries and schools worldwide, announced today that it is acquiring Kanopy, a leading video streaming service for public and academic libraries.

Jun 23, 2020 OverDrive to acquire RBdigital library buisiness from RBmedia
OverDrive, the leading digital reading platform for libraries and schools, announced today that it is acquiring the assets of RBmedia's library business, including the RBdigital platform in North America, the United Kingdom and Australia.

May 09, 2020 KKR acquires of OverDrive
OverDrive, the leading digital reading platform for libraries and schools, today announced the completion of its acquisition by KKR, a leading global investment firm. In December 2019, KKR announced that it had agreed to acquire OverDrive from Rakuten.

Mar 2015 OverDrive acquired by Rakuten
OverDrive, the leading eBook, audiobook and streaming video platform for libraries and schools, announced it entered into an agreement to be acquired by Rakuten Inc., one of the world’s largest Internet services companies. Insight Venture Partners has been the majority shareholder of OverDrive since 2010. OverDrive will operate as a subsidiary of Rakuten USA and will work closely with other Rakuten companies. Rakuten companies provide a variety of consumer and business-focused services including eReading (Kobo), e-commerce (, formerly, and Ebates), instant messaging (Viber), and others in the US, Canada and around the world.

Mar 05, 2013 OverDrive acquires Australian eBook company
OverDrive announced it has acquired Australian eBook company is the developer of a cloud-based platform for distributing, selling and reading popular eBooks from anywhere and on any device with a modern web browser. founders and principals Joseph Pearson, Virginia Murdoch and Peter Haasz will join OverDrive from their existing offices in Melbourne to expand the global distributor’s publishing, library and school initiatives.

Oct 18, 2010 Insight Venture Partners acquires majority ownership of OverDrive
OverDrive announced that Insight Venture Partners, a leading private equity firm focused on technology companies, has made a major investment in the company.

Nov 25, 2008 Kanopy founded by Olivia Humphrey

May 2003 OverDrive launches its service for library e-book lending
OverDrive launches its service for library e-book lending. Cleveland Public Library and King County Library System are early implementors.

2001 OverDrive launches Content Reserve digital marketplace

1986 OverDrive is founded by Steve Potash