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OverDrive app puts e-books on student’s devices

BYU-Idaho offers a variety of e-books and audiobooks for students to check out for free through a new app called OverDrive.

OverDrive is available on tablets and computers through the Apple App store or the Google Play store. Students can access it by using their student ID and password.

“OverDrive is very popular because it works with so many devices,” said Brooks Haderlie, the library technical service chair. “Not every book will work on every mobile device, but more books will work on more devices than other similar kinds of services.”

Students can borrow e-books anytime and anywhere, according to the OverDrive website.

Haderlie said there are hundreds of e-books and audiobooks students can choose from, and from a variety of genres and topics.

“They are not exclusively juvenile literature and young adult literature,  but most of what we purchase is juvenile and young adult literature,” Haderlie said. “It’s largely used by public libraries, but we purchased a subscription for the children literature classes.”

He said OverDrive will work with Apple products, Android products, laptops and tablets.

“I’ll see what’s popular in our print collection, and then I’ll get the e-book and audiobook versions of that, too,” said Holly Green, a faculty member who works with OverDrive and the children’s literature programs.

She said Church-sponsored schools use OverDrive as a means to access e-books and audiobooks for  their students.

Green said many students take advantage of OverDrive for pleasure reading and to take a break from their academics.

Green said that from January 2015 to December 2015, over 3,800 people had performed almost 20,000 checkouts.

Green said students can request books to be added to the collection. She then uses those recommendations to purchase the  books so students can access them for free through OverDrive.

Green said she will sometimes take email requests from students.

“She looks at the reading list from the children’s lit program and looks at what’s new and popular and tries to get books that have movies based on them because those are typically pretty popular,” Haderlie said.

He said some of the books available through OverDrive are The Hunger Games, Harry Potter and the Divergent series.

Green said the most popular book checked out this year was The Hobbit.

“It is the only place in the world where you can legally access the Harry Potter series in the digital format,” Haderlie said.

He said OverDrive was able to make a contract with Deseret Book, and now some of their books are available on OverDrive.

Haderlie said one series that is available from Deseret Book is the FableHaven series.

“The four Church schools pool some funds and buy some titles, and so the titles that we buy that are accessible by all of the Church schools are all the Deseret Book titles,” Haderlie said.

Green said some months are busier than others when it comes to purchasing books.

“About once or twice a month we’ll buy new books,” Green said.

Green said they order books throughout the year, but the times when they order the books vary.

She said the process to order new books is easy.

“There is a website that the librarians have access to and can go in and see what books they have available,” Green said.

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