Montana schools launch eBook/audiobook drive

Program makes digital books accessible

Schools across Montana launched a shared digital collection, a collaborative eBook platform that enables two or more schools or districts to borrow eBooks and audiobooks via a single, easy-to-use website. All digital books in the collection are available to the 56 participating public and private schools through the leading global digital reading platform, OverDrive. 

Students can choose from eBooks and audiobooks that include popular titles such as “Double Down: Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series by Jeff Kinney, “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Seuss, “The Hidden Oracle: Trials of Apollo,” by Rick Riordan and “The Last Star: The Fifth Wave” series by Rick Yancey.

Taking full advantage of the power of digital books to connect schools dispersed around a state, region or group of districts, a shared collection is the most cost-effective way for teachers and students to use digital books. Sharing resources means that schools can offer greater access to digital content.

“School librarians frequently discussed a growing digital divide in access to quality reading materials,” said Dana Carmichael, Whitefish Middle School Library Media Specialist and one of the collections organizers. “Wild variations in funding continued to be an unequal barrier for students.”

Joining a shared collection gives schools or districts increased access to more digital titles than they could purchase on their own, maximizing the benefits of these powerful reading and learning tools for students and educators.

“OverDrive and Montana Schools wanted to pilot a way for rural students to have access to quality eBooks,” said Herb Miller, Director of Education, OverDrive Education. “Sharing resources among different schools or districts means that these schools can offer greater access to digital content. It’s a cost-effective way to grow a K-12 digital content collection, at about $1 or less per student.”

“School libraries have been purchasing e-readers and contracting for electronic materials with a patchwork quilt of eBook services for the last 10 years. School librarians continued seeking solutions for better access to digital materials through workshops and conversations in professional conferences, listservs and informal gatherings,” said Carmichael, who says she hopes the Montana School Library Shared Digital Collection will double school participation in 2017.

Montana schools participating in the shared collection will work with OverDrive Education throughout February to get started. For information on how to join the Montana School Library Shared Digital Collection, contact Herb Miller, Director of OverDrive Education Sales at hmiller@overdrive.com.

For more information about OverDrive Education or shared collections, visit OverDrive.com/schools.

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