The OverDrive APIs have been designed to help libraries increase discovery and circulation of their OverDrive Digital Catalog through as many outlets as possible. OverDrive APIs are currently being used by several partners, and libraries now have numerous opportunities to share their OverDrive Digital Catalog alongside all of their other materials and services. The OverDrive APIs allow approved partners to search and check availability of items and to authenticate patrons to borrow, hold, and download items from the OverDrive Digital Catalog.

BiblioCommons, a provider of solutions for “social discovery” of online library catalogs, has integrated the OverDrive APIs to provide eBook discovery and circulation to their customers. Some of the many OverDrive libraries that have taken advantage of this new opportunity include Seattle Public Library, New York Public Library, King County Library System, Brooklyn Public Library, Vancouver Public Library, and Boston Public Library.

To illustrate the potential of integrating with the OverDrive APIs, we examined the activity of checkouts through OverDrive APIs before and after implementing the OverDrive-BiblioCommons integration. Our subjects were libraries that did not previously offer OverDrive checkouts via BiblioCommons but have started with the OverDrive APIs in either March or April: Tulsa City-County Library, Vancouver Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library, and Hamilton Public Library of Ontario. After integrating with the OverDrive APIs, all four libraries are now seeing 1,000 to 3,000 “BiblioCommons” checkouts per month. That’s 30 to 100 new checkouts per day in just one month. In April, after just one month, an average of 5 percent of all of these libraries’ OverDrive checkouts were being circulated via the OverDrive APIs. And the number of new patrons in April who discovered each library’s OverDrive catalog through the BiblioCommons application was more than the number of each library’s new OverDrive users in the previous five months combined.

Libraries wanting to take advantage of the OverDrive integration with BiblioCommons should apply for the OverDrive APIs and indicate their intended integration with BiblioCommons. Once approved, BiblioCommons will use the details of the library’s OverDrive Developer/API account, along with the details of their OverDrive Digital Collection and Patron authentication settings, to begin the integration of their library with BiblioCommons and their OverDrive API services.

Start giving your patrons more opportunities to find, share, borrow, and enjoy your digital collection with OverDrive. Apply for the OverDrive APIs today at


Clay White is a Product Owner at OverDrive.




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