Is your library among a larger group or consortium of libraries that shares one digital collection? Do your patrons complain about excessive hold times on popular titles or the lack of unique content in the consortium’s catalog? Or does your library have a separate budget set aside to build an exclusive collection for your patrons? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it may be time to consider the OverDrive Advantage program for your library.
OverDrive Advantage is a collection development program offered to libraries that are part of a shared download media service or consortium. Advantage allows member libraries to build a unique, exclusive collection that is only available to the patrons of a specific library or branch. With Advantage, libraries are able to select and purchase eBooks, audiobooks, music and video to best suit the needs and requests of their patrons, without having to worry about the consortium as a whole.
Libraries that participate in Advantage are given an exclusive login to Marketplace – OverDrive’s online shopping portal chock full of hand-selected bestseller lists, real-time reporting tools, and comprehensive support resources. Any titles purchased using the unique Advantage login ID for Marketplace are available only to the patrons of that specific library. OverDrive even now offers the ability to create multiple Advantage login IDs for those libraries that rely on multiple selectors to purchase new content.
When patrons visit the OverDrive-powered download page for the shared collection, they are able to see all the titles in the consortium’s catalog. However, once they log in using a library card number, they will then see any titles their library has purchased exclusively for them. These titles are clearly labeled with the Advantage logo, indicating they have unique access to them as a patron of an Advantage library.
Building an exclusive Advantage collection provides many benefits. Many libraries use Advantage to purchase additional copies of popular titles so that their patrons do not have to wait behind a long list of users on hold for a title in the consortium’s collection. If a patron is on hold for a title in the shared collection and the same title becomes available in the Advantage collection, they get to “jump the line” and check out the title right away.
Advantage libraries can also use their exclusive collection to purchase titles that may fall outside the focus of the shared collection, or titles that are not available to consortia due to publisher restrictions. Libraries can purchase unique, niche content that better satisfies the demographic of their library knowing that these titles cannot be seen or accessed by the patrons of the shared collection. Additionally, Advantage members can purchase titles from publishers like Hachette and Macmillan who restrict some of their content to stand-alone libraries and Advantage members (U.S. and Canada only).
Finally, libraries sometimes have separate budgets that can be used only for their specific branch. With Advantage, libraries have more control over how their money is spent in regards to content, and can ensure that their investment is directly enhancing the usage of their patrons.
The cost to enroll in Advantage is only a one-time content credit commitment that is used to purchase new titles for the exclusive collection. Beyond that, there are no additional hosting fees or maintenance fees required to sustain the collection. For additional information, please check out our Advantage training resources available through the OverDrive Learning Center.
Interested in signing up for Advantage? Contact your Collection Development Specialist or email email@example.com.
Rob Mooney is a Collection Development Specialist at OverDrive.