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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Overdrive and Other EReaders

Overdrive and Other EReaders

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I am considering subscribing to Overdrive next year if approved by my district. From what I can tell, students can download ebooks and audiobooks on a loan basis rather than purchasing them. They have recently contracted with Amazon so Kindle books are available as well. The cost is $4000 which includes $2000 to purchase books for your collection. This is for 2000 students or less. I have used the Overdrive subscription thru my public library and really enjoy the access to audiobooks that can be downloaded to an mp3 player. I am also going to try and purchase 5 ereaders to go along with initiative. I am wondering if anyone has used Overdrive and if so, what they think about it and which ereader would you recommend? Are there any other programs comparable to Overdrive that are cheaper? And finally, what do you think about the Kindle Fire? Is it good enough to replace the iPad in the classroom?

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Comments (3)Sign in or register to postSubscribe to comments via RSS

Marielle - 67331's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Even though I have not tried Overdrive, I think that loaning the ebooks instead of buying them is a great idea! It will save time and money to the institution in the long run....That is exactly what Academic libraries are starting to do with their collections, instead of buying all these books people use for a few years and then forget about them, just loaning them for a period of time. They are also implementing PDA (patron driven acquisitions), but I don't know if this strategy will be useful to school libraries.

KateO's picture

I also considered Overdrive but ended up going with the clunkier but more straightforward offerings from FolletShelf in the short term. $4000 a year for a small school (our enrollment is 297) is a significant percentage of my budget- particularly in light of the fact that you loose the $2,000 worth of content you can "purchase" if you do not renew annually. If three years down the road (and $12,000!) I decide not to renew I've just walked away from $6,000 worth of content. Look into the situation with the State of Kansas and Overdrive. There are competitors entering the market (Baker & Taylor just launched a new product) and I'm holding out for digital that gives me rights closer to those I enjoy with the tangible. I want contracts without annual fees and where the content is accessible for the forseeable future.

Keith Heggart's picture
Keith Heggart
High School Teacher from Sydney, Australia

Hi Kathleen,
Sorry I can't help you with Overdrive, but I was wondering if you could answer a question about e-readers and things like that: How are students going to download/ access these books? I noticed that you mentioned getting five e-readers - what kind are you thinking of? And would 5 be enough? I only ask because my school is tossing up iPads vs Laptops vs Kindles...

Thanks,
Keith.

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