You may have noticed some exciting news reported recently by the likes of Slate, Engadget, The Verge, Library Journal and several other news publications regarding OverDrive and Google. For the first time, readers in the U.S. searching for a book on Google are discovering that their local library may offer the eBook to borrow. OverDrive is delighted to work with Google to help facilitate this new channel for library discovery. Through our broad catalog, best-in-class APIs and extensive library network that touches each state in the U.S., OverDrive is committed to helping people connect to local libraries and expanding access to e-books nationwide.
After typing in the book title into Google Search, the first thing the reader sees below the retail options is the library’s name in the Knowledge Panel on the search results page.
When they click on the link, they’ll see the title and the library’s name and logo on the library’s digital collection page! This exciting new feature is helping to introduce new users to their public library – especially the 50% of the country without a library card, as well as those with library cards who may not know their library is open 24/7 offering eBooks.
When a search is performed for a book, Google presents links to libraries located near the user. It’s a great introduction to the library and raises awareness of local public libraries (both individual and consortia) that carry eBooks available to borrow.
Once users click through, they’re taken directly to the title details page for that book, where they can borrow it or place it on hold. Even users who don’t currently have a library card can instantly sample the eBook, showing them how the service works. Once on the digital library website, they can browse and sample all the library has to offer through OverDrive.
The benefits of this service include raising overall awareness of your library and the availability of eBooks, as well as creating new readers for your digital collection. It turns random book searches into a surprising free option by highlighting what for many is an often-overlooked source of reading materials and other valuable services.