Open Library lending digital books

This just in. The Open Library, you know that awesome website with the terrific design and great dataviz options, is lending digital books to anyone whose library has a working relationship with OverDrive. Gary Price explains more with links for further reading. I am very curious to see if a library without all the print-book baggage [disclaimer: I love to read print books also] can really make this ebook thing make real sense to people without the majority of the battling-licenses overhead that I think makes OverDrive seem so wonky in our brick and mortar libraries. Go to the lending library and see how it works. [thanks peter]

4 thoughts on “Open Library lending digital books

  1. Well…. I tried a few titles that my library doesn’t have through Overdrive and I couldn’t borrow them (Overdrive said that no libraries in my area had a copy). So let’s just say I’m puzzled.

  2. GeekChic,

    Not being able to find an OverDrive title in your local library is (unfortunately) out of Open Library’s hands. We’ve been talking with the OverDrive peeps about trying to improve the way you zero in on a nearby copy of a book.

    On a personal note, it’s a bit odd to me that eBook lending can be constrained by locality, but it’s understandable I suppose, given that a library’s vitality is so often measured by how well it serves its local community. (That’s one thing I’m particularly excited for in the small lending launch that’s specific to Open Library and the Internet Archive. The idea that a library in Boston can lend an eBook to a reader anywhere in the world! Super cool!)

    P.S. I work at Open Library.

  3. I’m puzzled as well. As far as I can tell, the news is that Open Library has RECORDS for ebooks that appear in OverDrive collections, with links to OverDrive’s search to locate the collection that has the ebook. Open Library itself doesn’t seem to be lending any OverDrive ebooks. (Am I missing something?)

    What baffles me is that my library has an OverDrive collection, with ebooks, and I haven’t been able to find any of them in Open Library’s OverDrive set.

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