Cleveland Public Library offers EPUB

Cleveland Public Library ( today became the
first public library to offer eBook downloads in the industry standard
EPUB format. Readers at both Cleveland Public Library and CLEVNET member
libraries can check out and download EPUB eBooks from the library’s
download website. The EPUB files are optimized for the Sony(R) Reader and
can also be read on a PC or Mac(R) with free Adobe(R) Digital Editions
software. More than 8,500 libraries powered by OverDrive
( will soon be able to offer eBooks in the EPUB format,
along with more than 150,000 titles in audiobook, eBook, music, and video
formats, many of which are compatible with both Mac and iPod(R).

Patron-defined lending periods will also be available for the first time
today at The new feature allows libraries to
offer a variety of borrowing options, such as 7, 14, or 21 day lending
periods. Fast readers can now select a shorter checkout time, allowing
them to borrow more titles from their library. Patron-defined lending
periods, EPUB eBooks, and other upcoming enhancements will be
demonstrated at the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting 2009
( on
Jan. 23-26 (Booth #2042).

EPUB is a reflowable, XML-based format for eBooks and other digital
publications developed by the International Digital Publishing Forum
( and adopted by leading publishers and technology firms as
the industry standard for eBooks. OverDrive, an IDPF member company, is
the only library download service that supports EPUB and integrates the
format into a single platform for delivering digital audiobooks, eBooks,
music, and video to library customers. More information on the EPUB
format is available at

“EPUB eBooks are enhanced for mobile reading with reflowable text to fit
any screen and are compatible with the Sony Reader,” said David Burleigh,
director of marketing for OverDrive. “Major publishers such as Hachette
Book Group USA, Random House, and HarperCollins offer eBooks to libraries
in this emerging standard format, so library customers will be able to
enjoy award-winning and best-selling EPUB eBooks with just their library
card and an Internet-connected computer.”

“Introducing the EPUB format in the library market will enhance the eBook
experience for library patrons, as well as accelerate the wide-spread
adoption of this standard for digital reflowable text,” said Michael
Smith, executive director of the IDPF. “More publishers are utilizing
EPUB as they digitize front and backlist titles to provide a greater
selection for digital library patrons.”

OverDrive distributes thousands of EPUB eBooks from top publishers. EPUB
eBooks by James Patterson, Stephenie Meyer, David Sedaris, Janet
Evanovich, Elmore Leonard, Lisa Kleypas, and Brad Meltzer will soon be
available to libraries powered by OverDrive. Popular and best-selling
EPUB titles will also be available, including “Dewey: The Small Town
Library Cat,” “Things I’ve Learned from Women Who’ve Dumped Me,”
“Twilight: The Complete Illustrated Movie Companion,” and “Gossip Girl.”

All EPUB eBook downloads from the OverDrive-powered library download
website are borrowed just like a print book. A library customer can browse
a library’s digital catalog for titles, check out a title with a library
card, and download the eBook to his or her home computer. The titles can
be transferred from the library customer’s home computer to a Sony Reader
PRS-505 (with proper firmware installed) or PRS-700 using the Adobe
Digital Editions software. At the end of the lending period, the file
automatically expires and Adobe Digital Editions prompts the user to
delete the title from his or her computer.

OverDrive powers download media catalogs at thousands of libraries
worldwide, including institutions in New York, Singapore, Boston, and
Toronto. To see if your library is a member of the OverDrive network,
visit OverDrive also operates the Digital
Bookmobile (, a high-tech 18-wheeler that
travels coast-to-coast raising awareness about free library downloads.

About OverDrive

OverDrive is a leading full-service digital distributor of eBooks,
audiobooks, music, and video. We deliver secure management, DRM
protection, and download fulfillment services for hundreds of publishers
and thousands of libraries, schools, and retailers serving millions of
end users. Founded in 1986, OverDrive is based in Cleveland, OH.

David Burleigh
OverDrive, Inc.
216-573-6886 x218
Email Contact

4 thoughts on “Cleveland Public Library offers EPUB”

  1. re: J. Timothy Cole – one thing you are forgetting is that besides DRM there are also limitations sometimes on how many uses a title can have. This depends on the aggregator providing the eBook to the library. Now fiction & general non-fiction are treated different then Academic Reference material.

    This is the big divide and nobody talks about it, the focus is always on the consumer market for eBooks and they forget about libraries. All libraries are dealing with this and trying to figure out how it will work, how to perform collection development and such.

    Take a look at the K-12 libraries, they are fighting for their jobs, trying to stay fresh and keep up on what is changing. The problem is they are being served in a different way, some good and some not so good. The trick is getting the correct info out there, answering questions and giving libraries honest answers and information.

    The revolution that everyone speaks of for eBooks is here, has been for a while, it’s just now hitting everyone at different speeds and times in the libraries.


  2. This is all fine, but I’m missing the big picture for public libraries and ebooks: i.e., the bread and butter of public library circulation has always been the new titles — best-selling fiction, non-fiction. If Ken Auletta’s article is correct and we’re going to see 25-50% of readers using ebooks in the near future, won’t publishers be hesitant to make these new titles available in a digital format which can be borrowed for “free” from libraries? For the reader, I just don’t see that much difference in borrowing a digital book vs. buying one, though I suppose there will be readers who will want to build permanent digital libraries of their own. I mean, why buy it if you can borrow it for “free” any time you like from your public library? Publishers are fighting to remain profitable, public libraries are fighting to remain relevant, and I see a fight brewing between the two. The commitment of libraries to “free” access for their patrons is going to collide with publishers (as well as Apple, Amazon and Google), who will all want to profit from the coming ebooks revolution. Auletta doesn’t even mention libraries. We’ve got to get our cause out there and noticed by the media and the media experts like Auletta, and we better do it fast or events will overtake us.

  3. Gordon, EPUB still contains DRM. Overdrive titles generally work on a “check-out” system – you can have the book for 1 week, 10 days, etc. Once the due date is passed, the EPUB file will not launch/open. You’ll have to double check with the library for specifics on the policies.

  4. So if I have an e-pub reader, I can, in essence, keep the loaned book there forever? What happens when I hook my device up to my computer–will adobe automatically “inactivate” the book on the reader?


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