Archive for overdrive
OverDrive, the world’s largest provider of digital content to academic and public libraries, announced a new partnership today that will increase its catalog of offered titles, specifically in key areas of business, science, and research. McGraw-Hill Professional, a widely respected provider of content and services for the medical, technical, and business communities, is making its list of books available for OverDrive’s 27,000 partner libraries. These libraries include both public and K-12 school libraries, as well as higher education libraries.
“McGraw-Hill Professional is committed to supporting libraries and making our world-renowned content easily available to patrons in multiple formats,” said Philip Ruppel, President of McGraw-Hill Professional, in a press release. “We are very pleased to work with OverDrive to help us reach students, professionals, and those seeking to advance their education or careers.”
“McGraw-Hill Professional titles represent the best of breed in every business and technical category of publishing,” continued Karen Estrovich, Manager of Collection Development at OverDrive. “Our library and school partners have been asking for their award-winning titles, and we are pleased to be able to make these valuable titles available now to students and patrons worldwide.”
According to a statement from OverDrive, this new partnership will make titles such as collections as 5 Steps to a 5 AP (test prep series), Practice Makes Perfect (foreign language study), Schaum’s Outline (study aid series), Mike Meyers’ CompTIA (technical certification series), and Disney U: How Disney University Develops the World’s Most Engaged, Loyal and Customer-Centric Employees. High-demand bestsellers include The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley; Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, et al, McGraw-Hill’s 5 TEAS Practice Tests by Kathy Zahler; and Programming the Raspberry Pi: Getting Started in Python by Simon Monk, available to patrons of member libraries.
Throughout the recent controversy over inappropriate and explicit content being listed in ebook retail websites alongside children’s and middle grade titles, the same questions kept coming to the surface: how did this happen, and how do we prevent it? Unfortunately for the authors and publishers of much of the questionable content, the immediate solution was to block nearly all titles with adult themes. Two retailers shut down their ebookstores altogether, while Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo all removed titles that they felt were in danger of being found by young consumers.
While the content has been slowly replaced in a one-at-a-time fashion, statements from at least one retailer have announced the position that they are under no obligation to sell any titles that do not meet their standards for appropriateness. Another retailer, Amazon, has taken the steps to evaluate the keywords that self-published authors associate with their titles and has begun the process of removing ebooks whose metadata and keywords seem intentionally misleading.
But in order to protect consumers, OverDrive announced today that it has created an online children’s reading room for its partner libraries. The purpose of this cyber sphere is to provide a safe and vetted location for young patrons to enjoy all of the same features and benefits that other patrons can have through the main OverDrive portal.
“eBooks are not just for adults, and we believe this site will help us highlight some of the great children’s content that we have to offer,” said Sharon Grant, Digital Branch Manager at Kitsap Regional Library where the digital reading room was piloted. “More importantly, we believe this site will save people time because it effectively highlights books by reading levels, age groups and interests.”
According to the press release on the launch of this child-safe library environment, “The eReading Room is a safe environment for children, independent of the larger digital collection, yet easily accessible and fully integrated – seamlessly working with your existing catalog. OverDrive offers clean, friendly, simple design options and the choice of including juvenile and/or young adult fiction and nonfiction titles. All titles in the eReading Room are also cataloged by reading level, ATOS scores, and other reading metrics to help parents and teachers select titles to aid in literacy campaigns. Adults and kids can sample titles in OverDrive Read prior to checking out a title.”
Hopefully, efforts such as this one will be sufficient to protect the interests of all parties involved. While young readers should not be subjected to material that is willfully mislabeled with the express purpose of attracting children, authors who have taken the appropriate steps to put their content only in front of mature audiences should not suffer under the sweeping changes that retailers have had to make.
Overdrive revealed exclusively to Good e-Reader at Book Expo America their new streaming video platform that allows libraries to offer video in addition to eBooks and audiobooks. Today the first phase of their pilot project is finally getting off the ground at the Los Angeles Public Library.
The video service ties into libraries existing ILS systems and titles are available to purchase instantly. The video titles are housed on the same platform as all of your eBook, audiobook and music titles, creating a simple, one-location user experience for the patrons. This means, that users can watch the videos in the same app as they use to read eBooks.
When libraries purchase videos a large number of titles are available under a one copy/one user access plan. They also offer Streaming Video collections under simultaneous access plans. OverDrive will also support new metered access models for streaming video such as Cost per Checkout (CPC) as required by select studios.
“OverDrive’s Streaming Video service allows us to expand the library’s e-media offerings while dramatically improving convenience and our users’ experience,” says Peggy Murphy, Principal Librarian and Collection Services Manager. “For the user, it couldn’t be easier. There are no apps to install, no software to download – like they’re used to doing with OverDrive Read, they can just click on a title and instantly enjoy!”
According to new data from digital content distributor OverDrive, schools are adopting digital books and textbooks at a faster than ever rate. This data, compiled in part from its 6,500 public school library partners, shows that more students than ever before are using smartphones, tablets, and ereaders in the academic environment, with a 252% increase in October in school library visits to the lending website from the same time a year ago. Visits per day increased by 244% for that same time frame.
“School digital library websites powered by OverDrive have shown substantial growth in interaction since the rollout of functionality and design enhancements began in August. A steady rise in page views, visits, new visitors, visitors per day and time spent on the websites highlights the effectiveness of the new features and layout.”
Part of the reason for the dramatic increase in OverDrive-powered usage is the wider reach of devices in schools, either through funding for technology or the increasingly popular Bring Your Own Device initiative. The greater understanding among educators and administrators in the best practices for using digital books in the classroom has also contributed to the further utilizing of the platform.
OverDrive recently announced a more streamlined experience for educators which lets them view vital data on the books themselves, such as Accelerated Reader information and leveled reader scores. At the same time, the company incorporated better search features that let students recommend specific titles from the OverDrive catalog for their school libraries to make available.
Launched in fifty libraries at the beginning of this year as part of a pilot program, OverDrive’s Media Station allows library patrons to employ the in-library ebook, audiobook, music and video sampling and checkout terminal. Today, the world’s largest distributor of digital content to academic and public libraries announced the Media Stations are widely available to their member libraries.
“The OverDrive Media Station has been really well received by our patrons. It’s rarely unoccupied,” said Jennifer Simon Halai, Librarian, Virtual Library Services at KCLS, in a press release. “During the day, adults are the dominant users, but after school and in the evenings, it’s the kids and teens who are engaging with it, usually with a smartphone or tablet in hand.”
According to OverDrive, the Media Station “enables libraries to showcase to the millions of in-library patrons their entire OverDrive digital catalog, including eBooks, audiobooks, music and video. Experienced or new users can browse, search and sample any of the media they find with the swipe of a finger. Patrons can instantly (without cables or pre-installed apps) send a link to any title from OverDrive Media Station to their favorite device for checkout using a QR code, email or text message (SMS).”
The Media Stations serve as a sampling portal that lets users try out content, as well as enhances the digital checkout process. This type of interactive interface is especially important for libraries whose patrons are still adjusting to the option to checkout ebooks and MP3 audiobooks, a concept that is still new to so many library users. OverDrive showcased the Media Station at several publishing events this year and has opened the platform to all libraries.
OverDrive, one of the world’s largest digital content and media suppliers to academic and public libraries, has rolled out a new update to its web interface that will make searching for content even more streamlined. The first enhancement helps ensure that users who access the interface via computer, tablet, or smartphone will see a very similar storefront, helping make searching easier by keeping information in as uniform a space as possible across the different platforms.
But it is the second feature, Recommend to Library, that may offer the most assistance to both patrons and library directors. By allowing students to search the OverDrive catalog for content and then clicking to recommend that title, libraries can keep up with what content their patrons are requesting. In addition, once a title has been added to the catalog by the library, the requesting patron will receive an email stating that it is now available through the library.
Of course, with so much recent attention focused on the accidental exposure of children to inappropriate subject matter in different ebook stores due to metadata miscalculation, OverDrive has taken measures to ensure that only age-appropriate content can be requested by patrons at public school libraries. Using the Recommend to School feature, students can only request that their libraries purchase titles “with Juvenile or Young Adult subject categories, titles that have school metadata, such as Lexile/ATOS scores, ortitles that have been added to other school library collections.”
Finally, teachers have been provided with even greater tools for seeking out student reading material. “Users are now able to search for titles based on standardized reading level information such as Lexile, ATOS and Accelerated Reader scores. This new metadata will assist teachers in identifying the most appropriate content for their students.”
Within the new interface, users can select from three different visual themes, can adjust their lending periods, and can alter their account settings to pre-select different categories of books.
Macmillan and Overdrive reached an agreement earlier in the year to experiment with eBooks into the library system. The deal was select titles from their Minotaur imprint and it looks like all sides were happy with the deal. This has prompted Macmillan to contribute close to 9,000 digital titles for entry into the Overdrive system.
Most of the eBooks available are considered backlist titles, which means they are older and have been around awhile. Still, library patrons will still be able to read stuff by Emily Giffin, Robert Jordan and Janet Evanovich.
These new additions will carry the same terms as current Macmillan titles: 52 checkouts or two years, whichever comes first. Libraries that want to purchase these titles can now do so via the Overdrive Marketplace.
Overdrive is primarily responsible for the digital infrastructure for libraries to loan eBooks, audiobooks and videos to their patrons. The company has announced that 2013 has been a year of exponential growth and that they have signed up over 500+ new libraries to join the eBook revolution.
Joining the international OverDrive network in 2013 are booksellers in Malaysia, Turkey, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Canada, Germany, Norway and Taiwan. The most recent addition was Big W, one of the largest brick-and-mortar department store chains in Australia. This is Big W’s first time offering eBooks to customers.
“OverDrive’s network has grown to 27,000 libraries and schools in 36 countries, providing tremendous discovery opportunities for readers around the world,” said Claudia Weissman, VP of International Sales at OverDrive. “Awareness and engagement with local libraries and schools has skyrocketed as eBook and audiobook circulation continues to reach new milestones each month.”
Overdrive is poised to grow even further in the coming year, with a new agreement signed with China. The China National Publications Import & Export Corporation and OverDrive signed an E-Publications Import License Agreement in an official signing ceremony a month ago.
Penguin eBooks are now available to borrow from libraries in the US via Overdrive and Axis 360. This marks the first time in many years that titles from this publisher are available and has been a long time coming.
Overdrive initially had a solid agreement with Penguin, but the publisher suspended digital eBooks a year and a half ago. They decided to go with 3M, who has a much smaller footprint and is exclusive to the USA. The reason the Overdrive/Penguin relationship with suspended was due to security concerns with downloading books directly from Amazon. You can now borrow books once again on Kindle e-Readers but you have to transfer them via USB.
Overdrive says Penguin will charge libraries $18.99 for “popular new releases” and $5.99 to $9.99 for older titles. An eBook can only be checked out by one user at a time and the library will have to buy a new copy after a year.
In Fall 2012, two Axis 360 libraries participated in a test program circulating select Penguin Group eBooks to patrons. As a result of the successful partnering with the Los Angeles Public Library and Cuyahoga County Public Library, Penguin is now making its full eBook catalog, including DK titles, available to all public libraries using Axis 360. The two sides have now expanded on the relationship and Penguin titles are now available to any library doing business with Baker and Taylor.
This weekend’s National Book Festival, taking place once again in Washington, DC and hosted by the Library of Congress, will once again feature OverDrive‘s Digital Bookmobile in the company’s ongoing effort to put ebooks front and center in readers’ lives. While the book event will showcase so much that US publishing has to offer to a global community of readers, OverDrive, one of the world’s leading digital content providers to schools and libraries, will demonstrate the power of ebook lending to the thousands of festival attendees.
According to a press release on the event, “The Digital Bookmobile launched in August 2008 and since then has traveled 110,000 miles across North America, hosting 655 events at libraries and schools and welcoming 135,000 visitors. It will be open to the public throughout the National Book Festival, rain or shine, from 10 am to 5:30 pm on Saturday, September 21, and 12 noon to 5:30 pm on Sunday, September 22.”
Some of the celebrated authors who will be in attendance at this year’s event, its thirteenth annual staging since it was first coordinated by then-First Lady Laura Bush in 2000, include Khaled Hosseini, Margaret Atwood, Katherine Applegate, Rick Atkinson, Veronica Roth, Holly Black, Jamaica Kincaid, Joyce Carol Oates, and more.
For more information on the National Book Festival, go to loc.gov/bookfest; to see more images and learn more about future stops for the OverDrive Digital Bookmobile, checkout digitalbookmobile.com.
Earlier this year, digital content distributor OverDrive partnered with publisher Sourcebooks in an experiment aimed at establishing concrete data on how readers respond in terms of book borrows and book sales to digital titles they check out from their libraries. Sourcebooks made one of its titles available to OverDrive’s member libraries for a predetermined period of time with unlimited simultaneous access in order to track the book’s sales, the author’s social media connections, and more. This experiment provided what many supporters of ebook lending have known: readers like to borrow ebooks and they often purchase a borrowed title or its sequel after checking out the ebook from their local libraries.
Now, OverDrive is partnering with HarperCollins on a second installment of the project, this time using a children’s book and including school libraries in the experiment. In addition, the audiobook of this title will be available as well at no-cost and with multiple checkouts, just like the digital title.
Participating libraries will feature the title, Jane O’Connor’s Nancy Clancy: Super Sleuth, on their homepages and invite patrons to borrow the digital edition. Patrons must have a valid library card in order to borrow the title.
According to a press release on this second installment in the Big Library Read, “Based on the success of the first Big Library Read in May, schools were invited for the first time to join public libraries to enjoy the benefits of no-cost, simultaneous access to a popular children’s eBook. Also for the first time, the downloadable audiobook version will be available for simultaneous access. The 2nd Big Library Read is off to a fast start: The first two days saw thousands of checkouts of the title worldwide, circulating more than OverDrive’s top three most downloaded combined. The program will conclude on September 30.”
OverDrive unveiled the prototype of their video streaming service exclusively to Good e-Reader at Book Expo America. Since then, the company has been quietly securing content partnerships. In order to help facilitate the growth of the platform and add credibility to the entire project, OverDrive has hired Lee C. Milstein to the new position of Chief Strategy Officer.
Milstein, who previously held leadership roles at Google’s YouTube, AOL, and DivX, will lead OverDrive’s emerging digital media businesses including the expansion into streaming video and education content and services, and help direct the company’s overall strategy and strategic partnerships. He will be based out of New York, which is the first time OverDrive is expanding into key markets.
“With Lee’s successes in building both revenue and user base in his previous positions, we are confident that his efforts will accelerate the significant growth that we’re experiencing,” said OverDrive CEO Steve Potash. “In addition to working with our Executive team to direct forward-looking strategies and partnerships, Lee will lead our growing streaming video service for our global network of publishers, consumers and institutional partners.”
“OverDrive is in a unique position, having quietly established itself as the market leader in the distribution of eBooks and audiobooks to libraries, schools and retailers, and making it possible for readers to borrow their favorite titles digitally,” said Milstein. “I am eager to build on the tremendous innovation taking place here by expanding the channels for distribution and launching a premium streaming video service for our partners. The company has made significant investments in both infrastructure and global reach, and I am proud to help move the company to the next phase of its growth.”
OverDrive is best known for their digital infrastructure that allows libraries to loan out eBooks to their patrons. The company has a massive footprint in Canada, Australia, US, Ireland, and the UK. Recently, OverDrive attended the IFLA annual conference, as well as the Beijing International Book Fair. The big news that broke out of these two events was a new contract that will bring OverDrive to China.
The China National Publications Import & Export Corporation (CNPIEC) and OverDrive signed an E-Publications Import License Agreement in an official signing ceremony. With this agreement in place, OverDrive can now take steps towards making OverDrive’s catalog of digital content available in China to libraries and retailers.
CNPIEC is the largest importer of publications in China with domestic customers of over 10,000 libraries and institutions. OverDrive’s entry into China will provide an additional market for OverDrive’s publisher partners, who can rely on the trusted relationship with OverDrive as their digital distribution partner.
The foray into China is something OverDrive has been focused on for the better part of a year. This is a huge deal, but there is no timeline in which the digital ecosystem will be widely available. Sources within the company have speculated that English Schools will be the first ones to make the eBooks available, as this makes up the bulk of OverDrive’s digital portfolio. It is currently unknown how many digital editions are currently in Chinese libraries, as publishers have resisted embracing them.