In a Nutshell: Understanding how to manage your money is a key step in transforming your financial well-being, and many books exist on these topics. Instead of paying for literature on the subject, why not make use of an American library system that you’re already supporting with your tax dollars? OverDrive is a digital distributor of eBooks, audiobooks, and video titles made available through US public and school libraries. All you need is a library card, and OverDrive allows you to digitally access millions of titles from over 5,000 publishers, including works that can enhance your financial literacy.
Though not everyone makes use of them, local libraries are treasure troves of books and other educational resources that can inform and entertain you. Instead of spending money on purchasing physical copies of books or audiobooks, you can usually find whatever you’re interested in at the library.
Most libraries now digitize a good portion of their content in the form of eBooks and audiobooks that are digitally available for certain windows of time, meaning you no longer have to risk late fees or even leave the house to access these books.
This has been especially popular in recent years with the proliferation of mobile reading devices like Kindle, Nook, and iPad. One company has found a way to harness all of these assets to provide a unique service that steers people to what’s digitally available from their local libraries.
Started by CEO Steve Potash in 1986, OverDrive — a digital distributor of eBooks, audiobooks, and video titles — gives users easily searchable access to millions of digital titles. Among this free content are resources that can educate readers on most topics of interest with books on improving financial literacy and managing money included. Any title that your library has made available through OverDrive is also available to you for online checkout using your library card.
“We have over 90% market share in libraries in the United States and most of Canada as well,” said Hadie Bartholomew, Communications Manager for OverDrive. “We’re in 63 countries currently, we feature content in 101 languages, and we have 36,000 partners with the libraries and schools. So we’re a worldwide company, and our focus is to work with our library and school partners to provide digital content in eBooks, audiobooks, and streaming video for their patrons at public and school libraries.”
Search the Site to Download or Digitally Reserve Literature from Your Local Library
By using OverDrive’s simple navigation feature, users who are interested specifically in improving their financial literacy can search for topics relating to finance to see what’s available digitally from their local libraries. On the platform, you’ll find popular books like Tim Ferriss’s “The 4-Hour Workweek,” Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich,” and Suze Orman’s “The Money Class.”
Books in the finance section of the site are geared toward helping you manage your money better, show you how to work smarter and more efficiently, and offer tips on how to succeed in business. The free and convenient aspect of the OverDrive platform provides additional appeal because when you’re working on improving your finances, being able to forgo spending money to learn about managing it is an added luxury.
In addition to providing financial literature on the site, OverDrive sometimes works with libraries to run special features on the site that relate to finance. For instance, once per year during Money Smart Week, libraries will curate collections dedicated to finance on the OverDrive platform.
“Libraries focus on Money Smart Week and they curate their own financial collections digitally through eBooks and feature it on their websites,” Hadie said.
Borrow Books with Easy Checkout and No Late Fees
OverDrive’s catalog holds millions of titles with collections curated by individual libraries you can access on the site with a library card. Public libraries throughout the nation work with OverDrive to supply content to members.
“Each library will purchase their own books for their online library,” Hadie said “We have a huge database with millions and millions of titles. We work with all of the publishers to access these titles and add them to our catalog.”
One of the biggest advantages of checking out library books using the OverDrive platform is that you’ll never incur a late fee with these digital formats. OverDrive automatically returns your media to the library once your checkout expires, so there’s no need to worry about dropping off a book or remembering to return an online title.
“Each library, if they’re a partner of OverDrive, will have their own library that’s part of the digital catalog, so you would just access their site, and it’s really easy to use,” Hadie said. “We also have an OverDrive app, and all you have to do is put in your library card number in to borrow. The books automatically expire at the end of the lending period, so you don’t need to return them. So no late fees.”
Libraries and Schools Access and Purchase Content from Over 5,000 Publishers
OverDrive works with thousands of publishers to provide variety in content for schools and libraries. By maintaining relationships with so many publishers, OverDrive gives these schools and libraries the ability to locate what they need to expand their offerings.
“Overdrive Marketplace is where our partners — libraries and schools — can go to purchase content,” Hadie said. “We work with over 5,000 publishers to get their books in digital form and into our catalog. We also work with a lot of school libraries in order for them to have a digital catalog within their school.”
Libraries can curate nearly any type of collection that they want, and schools have the ability to develop a diverse curriculum since they have access to so many books. OverDrive works specifically with schools to make for a more user-friendly experience that tailors to education. For example, OverDrive’s app helps students with note-taking and highlighting important passages. OverDrive offers Digital Class Sets as an option for schools and educators to find books that allow each student in a class to access a title at the same time
“We work with English language arts classes to offer eBook versions of the titles that serve as the cornerstone of K-12 ELA curriculum — they will identify popular books that they are using for class,” Hadie said. “We will work with our publishing partners for the school and class to access those eBooks on a simultaneous use access basis, which means all the students in the class can access the book at the same time.”
OverDrive Makes Learning Easy, Free, and Accessible
Enhancing your financial literacy shouldn’t require a large investment. Having free, digital access to comprehensive libraries full of content on topics like money management can provide the information that you can use to better your lot in life.
Wherever you live in the world, there’s a good chance your local library has free digital assets available on OverDrive thanks to the platform’s availability in 63 countries and 101 languages. And OverDrive is making it even easier to access library content through its newest application, Libby.
“It’s a very user-friendly type of app. It’s very modern and fresh,” Hadie said. “It’s one where you only need one tap to get to each of the windows, so one tap to borrow a book, one tap to just explore and use anything within the app. So it’s very intuitive.”
Through partnerships and constant innovation, OverDrive is bringing educational and entertaining works to its users and enhancing the popularity of the American library system.