Overdrive is the main platform used for lending ebooks via most libraries based in the United States and Canada. It mainly facilitates the ebook lending process between the library and the end users with electronic book readers. The company announced today that a new update entitled “Win” will seek to address many concerns made by various libraries on new enhancement features to streamline the lending process more effectively.
There are many new features being developed as part of the new “Win” update on which Overdrive is currently working. These new enhancements will officially be unveiled at the American Library Association conference in late June 2011. Although full details are scarce, we do have some official company comments on some new features that will make the cut for the new updates.
One of the main concerns is to phase librarians out of the process with the various ebook formats. There are many different e-readers out there and some read different formats and librarians are unable to keep up with all of the new innovations such as HTML5. It seems as though users will only select eBook or Audiobook when you choose to download a book. Overdrive will also be handling more of the HELPDESK burden since smaller libraries do not have the resources to offer one on one assistance to its customers.
Some of the big changes going into the system is to handle the new Kindle Library Lending program, which goes live later on this year. Since the Kindle line of e-readers uses a proprietary ebook reading format and Overdrive mainly handles EPUB and PDF ebooks, there is a fair number of system revisions to be made to accommodate the new Amazon program. This extends not only support directly to the Kindle e-reader but also to its various apps for mobile phones and tablet computers.
Lastly, they are making new changes for readers to recommend books for libraries to add to their system. Also to provide new “always available” eBook collections for simultaneous access of romance, self-help, young adult, children, and other fiction materials. Overdrive is also adding hundreds of thousands of in-copyright eBook and digital audiobook records with free “eBook Samples” for immediate access on reading devices and platforms. Finally they are adding a massive catelog of DRM-Free books with no copyright protection, these are rumored to be classic books.
OverDrive will provide additional information on ‘OverDrive WIN’ platform enhancements on the OverDrive Digital Library Blog as they are launched. Information will also be posted on Facebook and Twitter. Also for a full overview of Overdrive and eBook lending, CLICK HERE.
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.