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Idaho Digital E-Book Alliance (IDEA) is a state-wide partnership
between the Idaho Commission for Libraries (ICfL), public libraries, and school libraries
with the goal of expanding access while reducing barriers to digital e-books and e-audio content via OverDrive.

View the IDEA Collection
Public Library Participation
School Library Participation
Idahoans without a public library

Idaho Digital E-Book Alliance

In 2020, in the midst of the COVID19 pandemic and in response to the growing need for electronic materials, the ICfL embarked on a quest to find a way to supplement e-book and e-audio materials already available in public and school libraries. While a true statewide access collection was our wish, the cost for this service and the presence of existing OverDrive use throughout the state made it impossible. With the feedback of an Advisory Group and after investigating several service models, the ICfL chose to contract with OverDrive to create a collection that will be made available to libraries with existing OverDrive service through agreements with public libraries and school districts/libraries. These materials will also be available to 280,000 Idahoans living outside of a public library service area.  Public libraries without OverDrive collections are encouraged to reach out to Dylan Baker at or Tammy Hawley-House at to explore ways of gaining access.

The collection began with $179,278 in LSTA funds and Cares Act funds, with requests made to several other funding sources. The ICfL is committed to supporting student learning and therefore is initially dedicating 75% of the IDEA collection to children, juvenile and teen titles.

The ICfL Electronic Resources policies related to this collection include:

Public Libraries:

  • Kuna Library District
  • LIBRI Consortium
    • Burley Public Library
    • DeMary Memorial Library (Rupert)
    • Jerome Public Library

School Districts:

  • Aberdeen School District
  • Bishop Kelly High School
  • Buhl School District
  • Cassia County School District
  • Coeur D’ Alene School District
  • Emmett School District
  • Gem Prep Schools
  • Idaho Digital Learning Academy
  • Madison School District
  • Moscow School District
  • North Star Public Charter School
  • O’Leary Middle School, Twin Falls
  • Oneida County School District
  • Peace Valley Charter
  • Potlatch School District
  • Vallivue School District
  • Wallace School District
  • West Ada School District


  • OverDrive Reciprocal Lending (RLA)
    • This form is required for reciprocal borrowing between the ICfL IDEA collection and other Idaho public library OverDrive libraries/consortia.
  • Partner School Consent Form (PLC)
    • This form is necessary for Idaho school districts to gain access to the ICfL IDEA collection.
  • Public Library Connect (PLC)
    • This form is required for public library OverDrive titles to be shared with ALL school district students, including those without a public library card. Authentication happens through the School Information System, after the school district has set up a free or paid Sora account.

How to:

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Purchase Suggestions

Suggestions for purchase are encouraged to assure the collection is meeting the needs of all Idahoans. Idaho library staff can request that specific items be purchased by filling out a Recommendation for Purchase form. Other Idahoans are encouraged to submit their requests to their local library, as the ICfL collection supplements individual library collections. Idahoans without a local library are welcome to complete a form.

The ICfL Electronic Resources policies related to this collection include:

To obtain a form, please contact Dylan Baker at or Tammy Hawley-House at

  • December 16, 2020-Over $10,000 in kid and teen titles were added to the collection.
  • November summary: 4 school districts added to the Alliance and 62 items checked out.
  • November 30, 2020-Over $13,000 in kid and teen titles have been added to the collection.
  • November 23, 2020- Over $21,000 in kid and teen titles have been added to the collection.
  • November 17, 2020-Over $2,000 in NASA sponsored space science titles have been purchased for the collection.
  • November 6, 2020-Over $33,000 in kid and teen titles have been added to the collection.
  • October 23, 2020-the IDEA Overdrive website went live. View the collection here.
  • October, 2020- Over $22,000 in kid and teen titles have been added to the collection.
  • October 15, 2020- The ICfL Board of Commissioners approved the Electronic Resources Collection Development and Borrowing Policies.
  • October 8 & 9, 2020- The IDEA service premieres at the Idaho Library Association Conference. Slides from the presentation. 


Learn about the IDEA

January 21, 10:00 am - 11:00 am MST

Learn about the IDEA

February 24, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm MST

Learn about the IDEA

March 16, 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm MDT

Public Library Participation

Idaho Public Libraries with existing OverDrive access can gain access to and borrow items from the IDEA collection through a Reciprocal Lending Agreement (RLA). There is no additional cost to all parties. This reciprocity allows patrons of each library/consortium access to all Overdrive collections in the alliance. Each library/consortium can choose which lending models they wish to include in the reciprocity. The only required lending model is one copy/one user. Any of the four metered access (MA) options can be included or excluded. Simultaneous use and titles purchased under an Advantage plan can not be shared. Libraries/Consortia may prioritize holds for their patrons ensuring they receive items before other alliance patrons.

To participate in RLA and join the alliance, please complete an RLA Enrollment Form for your OverDrive library/consortium and email it to OverDrive Account Manager Rob Rando ( When sending in your form, please be sure in the body of your email to indicate if you wish to prioritize holds on your library’s titles for your library’s patrons, as this option is not on the current RLA agreement.

Once the agreement is in place, OverDrive will make the IDEA collection available to customers of the public library via their normal access points- the OverDrive website, OverDrive app, and Libby app.

Idaho Public Libraries without OverDrive service are encouraged to start an OverDrive collection or join an existing OverDrive Consortium to leverage buying power. We are currently aware of two Overdrive Consortia that are accepting new members: The Idaho Digital Consortium and the LIBRI Consortium.

Public Libraries are also encouraged to offer their OverDrive collection at no additional cost to students in their services areas by signing a Public Library Connect agreement (PLC) with the school district. This agreement can be signed at no additional cost to all parties and allows public library titles to be used by students without a public library card via the Sora app. Authentication happens through school’s Student Information System so student privacy is maintained.

To get started, contact Dylan Baker or Tammy Hawley-House.
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School Library Participation at the District Level

Students may obtain access to and borrow items from the IDEA collection at the school district level via the Sora app. There are no initial or ongoing costs to school districts. Authentication happens through a district’s Student Information System (SIS). OverDrive does not collect data or have students create accounts. Through the authentication process, student data is protected and students will not need a special library card to check out materials.

Please choose one of two ways to get this collection into the hands of students:

  1. If your school district already has OverDrive access via the Sora app, complete the Participating School Consent Form to connect to the ICfL IDEA collection. This form should be emailed to or returned by fax to 216-573-6889.
  2. School districts in Idaho without OverDrive access should begin by signing up for the free Sora Starter platform via Overdrive’s Activation Form. When completing this online form, make note of a check box to OPT-OUT of Public Library Connect. As long as you do not OPT-OUT, connection to the IDEA collection will be included as part of the setup and authentication process.

Once your form is submitted to OverDrive, you will receive an email indicating that your school has been connected to the SORA app. At this point your students will have access to the free SORA starter collection of about 400 titles, or titles purchased directly by your school, if any. (This step is taking 2-3 weeks for new SORA users). Later, you will receive a second email indicating that your school is connected to the IDEA collection. Once you have received this second notification, each student will need to add the “IDEA by ICfL” collection to their Sora app. They will then be able to check out titles.

Local public library collections might also be available to students via the Sora app if the public library has signed agreements in place with OverDrive,  or if a student has a public library card.

Contact  Dylan Baker  or Tammy Hawley-House with questions.
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Idahoans Without a Public Library

If you are one of 280,000 Idahoans who lives outside of a public library service area, you may access the IDEA collection by contacting Dylan Baker  or Tammy Hawley-House.


This program is brought to you by the Idaho Commission for Libraries and was made possible, in part, by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

For more information on the IDEA project in Idaho, please contact Dylan Baker at or Tammy Hawley-House at at the Idaho Commission for Libraries, 208.334.2150

Tammy Hawley-House

Tammy Hawley-House

Deputy State Librarian
Email / 208.639.4144
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Dylan Baker

Dylan Baker

E-Services Program Supervisor
Email / 208.639.4167
Read my Blogs