A local technology company is expanding, and at the heart of their success, books. OverDrive, a pioneer in e-books, is taking Northeast Ohio along for the ride.

OverDrive works to connect readers to digital and audio books through libraries, schools, retailers and corporate clients.

“We have helped develop how publishers and authors deliver the world’s greatest stories to any one any time on a smart phone, tablet or on your PC,” said Founder and CEO of OverDrive, Steve Potash.

Founded in Cleveland in 1986, they’ve since grown to the largest supplier of digital books to schools and libraries worldwide.

OverDrive recently released their one tap reading app, called Libby. Allowing readers to get e-books and audio books in seconds, for free.

“Libby will help you find your library, get a library card and deliver as much education and entertainment that books provide today,” said Potash.

In OverDrive’s lobby you can witness book checkouts on an electric map, in real time. In February they reached over a billion digital checkouts over a network of 40 thousand libraries.

Audio books continue to be a growing trend. With retail giant Amazon and Google jumping into an estimated 2.1 billion dollar industry. Potash says OverDrive is creating more demand for the retail market. “We are actually sending customers and creating more demand for retail book sellers.”

And area libraries use OverDrive to reconnect with readers. The Cuyahoga County Public Library saw 2.5 million digital check outs in 2017.

“We found that people who use digital content also use the physical materials. Also attend our programs and have become reconnected and excited about the potential of being at the library,” said Sari Feldman, Executive Director of the Cuyahoga County Public Library.

“Northeast Ohio is recognized all over the world by the top authors, publishers and technologists as a leader in innovations for digital books,” said Potash.