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OverDrive

Last Updated: Nov 24, 2020 15:28

OverDrive is an optional Alexandria integration. Contact our Sales Team if you're interested in adding it to your library!



Alexandria proudly integrates with OverDrive, the worldwide leader and digital distributor of eBooks, audiobooks, music, and video. With OverDrive services for Alexandria, you gain a powerful and continually expanding set of features that allow you to consolidate your physical and digital collections.

Our integration with OverDrive provides easy access to digital items and simplifies librarian management duties in several ways:

  • Title information and cover art is automatically added to Alexandria, allowing patrons to instantly locate OverDrive resources in Alexandria Researcher.
  • Patrons can quickly view OverDrive title availability from Alexandria's Researcher.
  • Using a simplified subset of SIP2, Alexandria will authenticate and authorize patrons attempting to borrow OverDrive resources.


 Preferences > Services

(warning) SITE Preference

Configure OverDrive for Alexandria

For Alexandria and OverDrive to communicate, some key information must be provided to OverDrive and entered in Alexandria's OverDrive preferences (Preferences > Extras > OverDrive): 

  1. Provide your Alexandria Data Station server IP Address (or domain name), SIP2 Port ID, and Serial Number to OverDrive so they may associate it with your account. Your Data Station must be publicly accessible outside of your site or district firewall.

  2. Create an OverDrive Code, which is also sometimes called an ILS Vendor Authentication or Terminal Password. Your code should contain no less than seven alphanumerics (“A-Z”, “0-9”), without spaces, punctuation, or special characters (e.g., COMP246 or 7103582). Once created, enter it into the OverDrive Code field of Alexandria's OverDrive preferences. Then provide this code to your OverDrive account representative. OverDrive must assign this code to your account in order to authenticate Alexandria patrons who want access to OverDrive materials.

  3. In order to automatically obtain title information, cover art, and availability, Alexandria must know your OverDrive Account ID and, if applicable, your Advantage Account Name. Those with an OverDrive Advantage account can purchase additional copies of popular titles or unique titles that your union does not own. After obtaining these from your OverDrive account representative, enter them into the Account ID and/or Advantage Account Name fields of Alexandria’s OverDrive preferences. Please contact OverDrive at (216)-573-6886 if you don't know your Account ID and/or Advantage Account Name.

  4. When filling out the ILS Vendor form for OverDrive, you’ll need to know a few key points: 
    1. ILS Vendor Protocol. The protocol is SIP2 and select sockets.

    2. ILS Vendor Server. This is the IP address of your Data Station and it must be a static, public IP address. The SIP2 Port ID is usually 6001, but you can double-check by going to your Web settings.

    3. ILS Vendor Authentication. This is the OverDrive Code you created and furnished in your OverDrive preferences.
  • Alexandria supports the following SIP2 command messages for OverDrive: 93, 23, 63.
  • In the SIP2 Login Message, OverDrive uses the Serial Number 93 CP.
  • In the SIP2 Login Message, OverDrive uses the code 93 CO.

Additional Preferences

Alexandria has a few more preferences you'll need to go over in addition to the ones filled in during configuration.

Preferences and Tools tab
  • Enable OverDrive Features. When enabled, Alexandria and OverDrive can communicate with each other.
  • Vendor URL. This field contains OverDrive's current web address and is used mainly for reference.
  • Enable Checksum Error Handling. The SIP2 protocol allows extra error detection to be enabled, over and above any error detection provided by the communication medium's protocol. When error detection is enabled, a checksum field is appended to every OverDrive message. This setting is not required, but highly recommended; this should only be disabled under the direction of COMPanion's Customer Support Department.
  • Default OverDrive Policy on Import. Select the default policy to use when importing OverDrive records into your system.
  • Get New Titles from OverDrive. When checked, new title records from OverDrive will be automatically created in Alexandria. No copy records will be created.
  • Get Availability from OverDrive. When checked, patrons can see if an OverDrive title is available from Researcher.
Contact tab
  • Here you can enter the contact information for your OverDrive representative.


Set up Extras Preferences: OverDrive (3:09) (info)

Alexandria integrates with OverDrive Digital Distribution. Learn how to set up your Extras Preferences.

Download  (36 MB) | Script (PDF)

Technically speaking...

Here's some additional information on how OverDrive integrates with Alexandria:

  • Once Alexandria has added your eBooks, they are searchable from the Search and Scout interface, just like other resources. OverDrive title records do not require copies and COMPanion disallows any being added during import to help minimize potential database inaccuracies.
  • OverDrive eBooks are identifiable by an OverDrive URL embedded in the 856 tag. This way, Alexandria recognizes it is an OverDrive eBook and not any other resource.

If you are part of a consortium and OverDrive is adding titles you don't want to show in your particular catalog, check the Don't Show in Researcher option found in each title record. Be aware that if you are part of a centralized catalog, checking this option will hide the title in Researcher for ALL sites.