Overdrive Read is an innovative program that sees a single eBook become available for libraries to loan out an infinite amount of times. This is a stark contrast to the normal practice to the one title, one loan mentality. Obviously there is some very compelling aspects of the Reader program, but librarians are beginning to feel ambushed to the short notice of titles becoming available.
Starting February 17th, until March 5th, Food Network and Cooking Channel star Aida Mollenkamp has provided her culinary guide Keys to the Kitchen to libraries that do business with Overdrive. Overdrive gave libraries one week notice via email on the logistics of digitally distributing it to their patrons.
Overdrive has always gave the libraries one single week notice before the start of the program. A fair number are becoming quite vocal about the short notice and their inability to develop internal marketing material to properly promote it. Many librarians all over the USA talked to Good e-Reader at various American Library Association events. Most of them liked the spirit of the program, but were not actively participating due to the one week notice. It simply was not enough time to make flyers or posters, or educate the public on what it is all about.
Kristin Schultz commented “Is there ANY way you can give us more notice than 2 weeks? This is the third time for the Big Library Read and every time it’s like I’m ambushed. Why cannot we have more advance notice for promotion?” Meanwhile, Julie Bauer weighed in “I’d like to echo what Kristin is saying – there is very little time for us to plan anything around Big Library Read (even with that extra week). A couple of months’ notice would be more like it.”
Overdrive should be giving libraries over a months notice before the advent of any Read program. One week, is way too short and going forward, my recommendation is distribute a content calendar of titles coming out later in the year and forwarding them to libraries.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.