Library shifts into digital mode with Overdrive


With hundreds of books available, Overdrive offers students and staff the opportunity to "check" out e-books and download to their phone or e-reader.

Jillian Sanders, Staff Reporter

Students and staff no longer need to pay for popular titles such as Divergent, Harry Potter, American classics, or nonfiction. The library has revamped the Overdrive e-books program, a function allowing students with an Apple device or e-reader to borrow and download a growing selection of titles for their enjoyment through their student network login.

    Although the ability to check out e-books has been around for a year, the task of getting students to know about and use the program is taking time.

    “[The e-books program] has been a process, and and it has been a slow progression getting people onto it because it’s such a new concept,” high school library aide Sandi Petty said. “I have had librarians from other high schools contact me and ask ‘how does it work?’ or ‘Do you like it?’ It’s new to everybody. I mean, we had it last year but we didn’t have a ton of books.”

    Adding new books to the e-book library may have been one strategy used to attract students, but a push to publicize the program is also beginning to happen.

    “The elementaries were better about getting their ebook library set up [and known about] but you know, in high school it’s slower because the readers slow down,” Petty said. “But this year, I took it upon myself to get this reintroduced again and refresh everybody because it is becoming more popular to get ebooks on your device.”

    Most students have not heard of Overdrive.

“I didn’t know about it,” freshman Ellie Hager said. “It sounds really cool. I’m glad we have something like that available to us because something like this would really help our learning.”

Teachers agree that getting the word out about the e-book function will greatly increase its use.

“I think its all about promoting [Overdrive],” English teacher Kathryn Harrison said. “I think students don’t realize that it’s there and so many students read now from their phones and e-books and iPad. If they know it’s available then they’ll go on there and download some stuff.”

E-books may be the future, but the old-fashioned way of a classic paper-bound book is still preferred among some students, which may be another factor limiting the spread of Overdrive’s popularity.

    “[E-books are] a reality,” Petty said. “But there’s going to be somebody who needs to have the physical book because they like the smell, I know that sounds funny but people do like the smell of books, and some people prefer to read on their tablet because they feel like it goes quicker so it comes down to a matter of preference.”

    While the traditional way of checking out a physical book may be some student’s preference, Overdrive has positives such as the inability to turn the book in late (the downloaded title is removed after fourteen days) and the ability to ‘check out’ an e-book at any time throughout the year.

“[The thing with e-books is] easier access. The information is at your fingertips,” Petty said. “Like reference books are a thing of the past because of Google and research, online resources that we have. [To have ebooks available] is a convenience so kids can be like ‘oh I have nothing to do, I can read this book on my phone or tablet.’”