ARPA – OverDrive Resource Center

Public Libraries

Using American Rescue Plan Act Funds to Support Your Digital Collection

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) provides funding for U.S. libraries that can be used for digital books and materials.

The purpose of the ARPA funding is for U.S. libraries to provide pandemic response and relief to their communities. Response can take many forms to enable wellness, return-to-work, continued learning, and address other pandemic-related needs, including a variety of content and media.

ARPA legislation requires that funds for materials and services are used during the period June 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022 (16 months). A key component of the legislation is that all libraries must report on the use of funds following the term.

$178 million is allocated for state library administrative agencies on a population-based formula, with a $2 million state minimum. IMLS released the allocations and will work with state library agencies in the coming weeks to specify allowable uses for the funding.

Check your State Library’s website for updates on ARPA updates for your state and library.

Read our recent blog post or learn more below.

ARPA Hexagons

ARPA Resources


This information represents our current understanding of ARPA and the resources and tools OverDrive will offer to support your library. We will continue to share updated information as it becomes available.

As of the time of writing (May 2021), based on our understanding, ARPA legislation requires that funds for materials and services be used between June 1, 2021 through September 30, 2022 (16 months). Metered Access (MA) digital books may be categorized as a “service” rather than “materials” under ARPA. Service purchases may not comply with ARPA requirements if the term extends beyond September 30, 2022.

We expect that reporting on the use of funds following the term will be a key component of the ARPA legislation.

  • One Copy/One User
  • Cost-Per-Circ (for checkouts through September 30, 2022)
  • Simultaneous Use (as long as it expires on or before September 30, 2022)
  • Metered Access by time (as long as it expires on or before September 30, 2022)*

*We are working with publisher partners to prorate the price and end date for Metered Access by time titles to align with requirements for ARPA funding.

Please note that, based on our understanding, Metered Access by checkout (one user or concurrent users) does not comply with ARPA because checkouts may not be exhausted on or before September 30, 2022.

Throughout OverDrive Marketplace, we offer tooling and guidance to help libraries create purchase orders and report on titles purchased with ARPA funding.

For One Copy/One User and Metered Access content, we offer the option to create carts specifically labeled for use with ARPA funds. Additionally, as publisher terms permit, we will automatically prorate the price and end date for Metered Access by time titles included in ARPA carts to align with requirements for ARPA funding.

Selectors can designate CPC titles for use with ARPA funding. When adding a CPC title to the collection for the first time, selectors can designate the title as ARPA-funded and set an end date for the title. Selectors can also select “Revoke” on any CPC title that’s already active in the collection and then designate the title as ARPA funded and add an end date.

When creating a new cart in OverDrive Marketplace, selectors have the option to identify the cart as ARPA funded.

As publisher terms permit, Marketplace will prorate the pricing and end dates for Metered Access by time titles in carts identified as ARPA funded. Before you purchase from the cart details view, a notification will inform you of any titles that will have adjusted pricing.

Selectors can designate CPC titles for use with ARPA funding. When adding a CPC title to the collection for the first time, selectors can designate the title as ARPA-funded and set an end date for the title. Selectors can also select “Revoke” on any CPC title that’s already active in the collection and then designate the title as ARPA funded and add an end date.

For easier tracking, we highly recommend libraries create additional billing accounts reserved for ARPA funds as needed, with “ARPA” included in the name of the billing account. If you’d like CPC titles designated for use with ARPA funds to be billed to the new ARPA-specific billing account, please contact our Accounting team through the Support tab in OverDrive Marketplace.

ON-DEMAND WEBINAR

Using ARPA Funding to Support Your Digital Collection

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HOW-TO VIDEO

Using ARPA Funding to Support Your Digital Collection

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We are working to compile resources to help our partners apply for ARPA funding. We will continue to add to this list over time.

Partner resources

ALA ARPA Overview

View Overview

Partner resources

ALA American Rescue Plan – State Guide

View Guide

Partner resources

IMLS State Allotment Table

View Table

Partner resources

State Library Websites Database

View Google Doc

Partner resources

IMLS Grants to States – State Contacts

View State Contacts

Partner resources

K-12 Education Stabilization Fund (ESF) Toolkit

View Toolkit

customized materials

Need help?

If you’re ready to use ARPA funds for digital content with OverDrive and aren’t sure where to start, please contact us. We’re here to help!

Contact OverDrive