UPDATE 1: When asked on a government form (OverDrive received local government funding for the project) what business they were in, they did not list what you might expect. Listed was not eBook distribution or digital content sales and distribution or anything close. OverDrive said they were in the digital security business. Interesting to read what business they believe they’re in when asking for a loan. Here’s the primary document.
Update 2: Meredith Schwartz at LJ has more about the government loan, tax breaks, etc. that OverDrive is receiving to build their new hq.
Update 3: Two Commentaries About the OverDrive Story from David Rothman at LibraryCity.org
- OverDrive gets loan of up to $1M from Ohio county with budget-challenged libraries: Taxpayers unwittingly encouraging online privatization of U.S. library system?
- While U.S. library leaders dilly-dally, OverDrive breaks ground for its own world digital library in Garfield Heights, Ohio
Congrats to OverDrive but at a time when libraries (their customers) are having budgetary issues (to say the least) is it a good idea for them to point out (see below) that the new HQ will have two indoor basketball courts, a walking path, and pond, etc.?
Perhaps a more low key approach would have been a better idea or simply developing a new HQ that shows some unity with their customers? It’s interesting to see OverDrive trying to be transparent on their new HQ while transparency with issues (ones involving customers) can be a challenge to get answered in a timely manner.
If symbolism means anything this says a lot.
Leading eBook distributor OverDrive announced today it has begun construction of its world headquarters and “Blue Sky Campus” in Garfield Heights, Ohio, in the Greater Cleveland Area. As a result of domestic and international growth in the eBook industry, OverDrive is developing a 95,000-square-foot facility on a 12-acre tech campus to accommodate more than 300 employees.
The world headquarters announcement comes at a time when the 25-year-old digital distribution enterprise is experiencing many milestones. OverDrive has facilitated over 80 million digital library book checkouts and offers more than 700,000 titles in its in-copyright digital catalog, which includes titles in over 50 languages.
OverDrive’s new “green” Blue Sky Campus will include over five acres of open space dedicated to outdoor use, including extended outdoor meeting space, a small pond and a 0.3-mile walking path. The LEED-certified headquarters will include two indoor basketball courts, a fitness and wellness area, and digital test labs and training centers for the school and library training sessions the company hosts year-round. OverDrive is developing its new campus with the support of local, county and state agencies. Premier Development Partners serves as lead construction manager, Davis Smith Certo Architects, Inc. is providing exterior architectural design services and Vocon, Inc. is providing interior design services.