OverDrive has already been granting readers access to a limited number of public library titles on Nook, Sony Reader and other e-reader devices, said OverDrive chief executive Steve Potash.
The program has been “growing quite dramatically,” he said in an interview before Wednesday’s announcement. “E-books have been a big part of the library community, especially with the quick adoption of e-books reading on smartphones, readers and tablets.”
Library card holders in D.C., and in many places in Virginia and Maryland, can access the e-books through their library’s search page, then download Kindle books to their device through their home computer, or to the Kindle apps on iPad or Android tablets.
You can also download Adobe’s ePUB e-books to any iPad or Android tablet through OverDrive’s own app — OverDrive Media Console — which requires a free account from Adobe.
The company is touring the country with a digital bookmobile to promote its e-reading programs and has been in the Washington area this week. It will be at the Library of Congress on Friday and at the National Book Festival on Saturday and Sunday.
“We thought it would be a great opportunity to provide a point of interaction,” Potash said. “It’s a great way to discover that their local public library is part of our program.”
Potash said that the company has had excellent response to the library lending program, particularly among older users. According to OverDrive’s analytics, Potash said, e-books are most popular with women and readers in the 40- to-50-year-old age range. Another fast -growing audience is smartphones users, he said. Potash said they’ve also seen growth in children’s books, as well as graphic novels, comics and manga.