OverDrive Digital Library Blog

The importance of reading banned books

September 20, 2017 - 1:34pm

By: Adam Sockel, Marketing Communications Specialist

Banned Books Week, the annual celebration of the freedom to read, will be held the week of September 24th in 2017. This year, Banned Books Week will emphasize the importance of the First Amendment, which guarantees our inherent right to read. Last year saw a 17% increase in the amount of censorship complaints from the previous year, which has also lead to an uptick in the amount of books that have been banned. Reading books that are “controversial” offers a unique opportunity to see the world through a viewpoint other than your own. It provides the chance to better understand differing thought processes, even if you don’t agree with them. Banned and challenged books may include uncomfortable or foreign experiences than what you’re used to but it allows you to learn about those situations through the words of authors who may not look or think exactly like you.

The list of the most frequently challenged books each year tends to include young adult titles that feature sexual situations, violence or “adult themes”. These books help young readers learn about issues they may face or help them cope with emotions they’re having for the first time. At OverDrive, we’re proud to read and support banned and challenged books. Additionally, we firmly believe in the importance of libraries as a pillar of the community that supports the inherent right to read these books by keeping them on their shelves, both physical and digital.

We’ve created an extensive collection in Marketplace highlighting banned and challenged books from not just this year, but the frequently challenged books of our past as well. Now is the perfect time to curate a collection of banned and challenged books for your readers of all ages. These books are essential to promote not just during Banned Books Week, but all year long.


The Professional Book Nerds discuss Banned Books Week

Our Professional Book Nerds podcast’s most recent episode goes through this year’s most challenged books while providing some additional reading suggestions perfect for Banned Books Week. They also discuss last week’s announcements of the National Book Award long list. You can listen to the full episode below or by subscribing in iTunes.

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12 tips for getting the most out of Libby

September 19, 2017 - 12:55pm

By: Adam Sockel, Marketing Communications Specialist

Readers around the world have fallen in love with our new app Libby. The new interface, simple one-tap experience and all-in-one shelf have made finding your next great read easier and faster than ever. Libby is designed to enable our developers to continuously improve existing features and add new ones, which means there is always something new to discover in the app. Here are our favorite things you can do in Libby that you might not have known about:


Adjust the playback speed 

Switching between common playback speeds is as easy as tapping small clock icon at the top of the screen when you’re listening to an audiobook. These include standard breakdowns between 1-2 times normal playback speed. You can also adjust the playback speed by tapping and holding the clock icon and then dragging it down the screen with your finger until you find your preferred speed. Speed listeners will be excited to know that you can go all the way to 3 times normal listening speed.


Displaying book progress

Did you know you can see exactly how long you have left in the chapter you’re reading, how many pages you have left in the book and even what percentage complete with the book you’re currently at? In the reader, you’ll see your total book progress by default. Tap the page number label (above the timeline) once to show the pages left in the current chapter. Tap the label again to show your total book progress as a percentage. The same can be done with audiobooks. Tap the [Time] Left label (above the timeline) cycle through different time displays: total time elapsed in the audiobook, time left in current chapter, and total progress as a percentage.


Peek at the Page Count

You can also quickly see what page your on (and out of how many total) by swiping up and holding the screen while in reading mode. The chapter you’re on and page counts will appear. Simply remove your finger from the screen to have it disappear.


Tapping underlined texts

There are lots of great options available in Libby that you can find by tapping any text underlined with dots in the app. For example, tapping the underlined links on your Loans page will let you filter your loans (to books, audiobooks, or all loans) and sort the page (by due date, date added, or alphabetically by title or author).


Tagging titles

Tags help you organize titles you’ve read, want to read, loved, or hated. They’re for your personal use (and not shared with your library or OverDrive). You can add as many tags to each title as you like.

Tap Tag on a title’s details page and select one from the list. Create your own tags (including emoji tags) by tapping .

Find all your tags on the Tags screen of your Shelf. From there, you can tap a tag to view it, rename it, delete it, or untag titles.


Reversible Jackets

Once you borrow or place a hold on a title, it’ll be easy to spot in search results. The cover image will flip to the right side.


Also Available As

If your library has a title as both a book and an audiobook, you’ll find a handy link on its details page that will take you to the other format. This is a great tool for readers who enjoy both eBooks and audiobooks or those who don’t mind which format they use and just want the first available.


Sample any book in the collection in one tap

Perhaps my favorite thing in Libby is the ability to sample any title with just one tap. Simply tap the jacket cover of a book you’re curious about and hit “Read Sample”. This will allow you to read up to 10% of any book in the library collection whether there are available copies or not. This provides a similar experience to browsing the physical library and reading a few pages before deciding to borrow a book or not. You can sample titles even if you don’t have a library card which makes this a perfect marketing tool to show potential new users about your digital library.


Wait List information

Readers can get a full understanding of how long the wait may be for a certain title before and after they place a hold on an unavailable title. By clicking on the small dots on the hold, you can view the approximate wait time, your place in line, how many copies are being used, if any copies have been added and how many people are waiting per copy of the title. This helps you determine whether or not to place something else on hold, or to borrow another title while you wait.


Changing your reading settings

Want to change the size or style of your phone? Prefer reading in night mode or sepia tone? Want to enlarge your font or use our OpenDyslexic font? In the reader, go to  > Reading Settings and you’ll be able to adjust any and all text options you like.


Sorting and filtering your searches

To set sort and filter preferences for all searches and title lists:

  • Tap the plus sign to update preferences like availability, language, and audience. Then, tap Apply Preferences.

To sort and filter a specific search or title list, you can:

  • Tap the format and genre links above your results.
  • Tap Refine above the first result, then choose Sort by or any of the other refinements.
  • Tap the plus sign to search within results.

You can also do an advanced search by tapping the more button at the top of your library page. This will provide search options including series, pre-release titles, date added and even Read-alongs.


Change Libby’s Appearance 

You can change Libby’s appearance simply by tapping anywhere her icon shows up. Simply tap and select your preferred appearance!


Interested in learning more tips about Libby? Be to check the Tips & Secrets button in the right navigation menu frequently to see what’s new with Libby.

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Why OverDrive? Why now?

September 19, 2017 - 9:07am

By: Christina Samek, Marketing Specialist.

Well, the kids are back! It’s September again and the back-to-school season is in full swing. I am sure I don’t need to tell you that. You are probably attempting to familiarize yourself with new supplies, new initiatives, and eager new faces. With so much newness, you might be wondering if now is the time to launch an OverDrive platform at your school or district. Or perhaps, you are entertaining the idea of expanding your existing service to more schools and wondering if now is the right time. So, why OverDrive? Why now?

Affordable Content Solutions

OverDrive also a great content selection for any budget and kind of school. OverDrive Marketplace hosts millions of titles from major publishers to support sustained silent reading initiatives and your curriculum. To keep your costs low, OverDrive offers different content solutions so you can evaluate what works best for your budget. You might be interested in our Shared Collection option, which enables two or more schools or districts to access digital content via a joint OverDrive platform. All purchased titles are available to all participating schools or districts through this central access point. It gives you an opportunity to ensure your students are seeing new content year after year, as more schools and districts add to the collection.

Another option is our Class Set model which allows your whole class to read the same digital title at the same time, with one dedicated copy available for each user during a lending period that you specify. This per-user lending model is offered by select publishers and is less expensive than its traditional lending model counterpart. When you purchase a class set, you purchase the title for a set of specific users for a predetermined length of time. The title will be automatically checked out to each user on the start date that you choose. To purchase a class set, you’ll need to know your desired start date, lending period, and the user IDs of users who should receive the title.

You could also explore the Simultaneous Use model. It allows you to circulate your choice of titles from select publishers to an unlimited number of simultaneous users for a set period of time. OverDrive has options for every age level, with plans from Encyclopedia Britannica, Sleeping Bear Press, Dawn Publications to name a few.

Student Driven Innovation

OverDrive Education is constantly looking for ways to make the platform better than ever. We know the secret to success is in how the students adapt and respond to new technology. We introduced Sora, the new school app, at this year’s Digipalooza (OverDrive’s bi-annual user group conference). Participants (and team OverDrive) were very excited to get a sneak peek of all Sora has to offer. Some highlights: Sora includes tips and secrets for the best and most efficient user reading experience, looks the same across all devices, allows for students to search for their school by map or text code, AND students can access their public library right from the app. It’s awesome! Sora is currently in the development stage with a pilot period planned. A wider release is planned for 2018.

Start with Reading

We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again. Start with eBooks. Start with reading. Start now. OverDrive eBooks are an excellent, approachable gateway into a lifelong relationship with technology. The digital world is now the world we live in. OverDrive allows you to meet kids in their space with a low tech solution that won’t overwhelm your faculty. OverDrive eBooks come equipped with key features such as an exportable note-taking and highlighting tool, a built-in dictionary, and a dyslexic font (we are the only eBook solution that offers this ground-breaking feature in the US!). With the OverDrive platform, you can serve your high achievers and your struggling readers on the same, easy-to-use interface. OverDrive connects to your existing systems to ensure your students access the eBooks using the same credentials they use every day.

It’s affordable, innovative and easy-to-use. Why now? Why not. Ask us how you can get started today!

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Monthly K-12 Webcasts – Free, Fast, Focused

September 13, 2017 - 2:07pm

By: Sydney Kalnay, Training Specialist.
Welcome to the new school year, educator friends! Whether you’ve just started back or are feeling like you’ve been in the building forever and a day, we know the fall can be fraught with excitement, delight, and, occasionally, abject terror.

If technology is at the center of your schoolroom dread, we want to support you and reassure you that, while we can’t necessarily solve every issue you may run into, (are the lunch ladies still serving pizza that tastes like cardboard and sadness?), when it comes to e-content and serving your digital natives, we’ve got you covered.

Shopping for Titles in Marketplace

Schools librarians, media specialists, and admins: are you in charge of making sure your OverDrive collection is stocked with compelling, educational, and diverse reads? Join us to learn more about making the most of OverDrive’s recommended lists, must-haves, search filters, and smart shopping carts with our half-hour live webcast, Shopping for Titles in Marketplace, on Monday, September 18th at 3:30 PM (ET).

The Student User Experience

Educators: would you like some suggestions for how to best serve your student population in and out of the classroom? We’re hosting a webcast on The Student User Experience Monday, October 16th at 3:30 PM (ET). This 30 minute session will get you prepped to show your students how to log in, browse, and borrow a title quickly and easily. From there, we will cover some of the more advanced features of our browser-based formats, OverDrive Read and Listen, including instant vocabulary building, exportable notes and highlights, and accessibility aids.

How to Talk to you Community About OverDrive

Faculty or staff in charge of championing digital content to your school community: do you feel challenged by talking about OverDrive with your audience? We have a webcast for you, too. On Monday, November 13th at 3:30 PM (ET), our School Marketing and Training teams will pair up to talk about practical methods for promoting and discussing your OverDrive service to every member of your school community, from admins to educators, students to parents. How to Talk to Your School Community About OverDrive is a 30 minute demonstration of our customizable PowerPoint presentation and how you can use it to incorporate OverDrive into your budget requests, lesson plans, parent conference talking points, activity fair setups, and more.

Join us live or later

We hope you will join us live for one or all of these webcasts but if you can’t make the dates and times, you’ll still have access to the material. Simply register for the sessions you’re interested in and we will automatically send you a link to the recording, a PDF packet of the slides, and – in the case of the How to Talk to Your School Community About OverDrive session – the customizable PowerPoint template.

You can sign up for our webcasts by following the links above or by going to the OverDrive Resource Center, clicking the K-12 Schools tab at the top of the screen, and looking for the Live Webcasts tab. Each webcast is free, fast, and focused for you, our tireless educational leaders.

Plan ahead or catch something you missed

PS, if this time of year is simply too busy, never fear – we hold these sessions quarterly. Just download our 2017-2018 School Webcast Planner today and schedule ahead for next term. Did someone say easy planning for your staff or PD day?

We are excited to work with you and are looking forward to helping you serve your students, colleagues, and school community partners. Happy back to school, everyone!

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The Hogwarts Library Collection is the perfect way to celebrate 19 years later

September 12, 2017 - 8:28am

By: Adam Sockel, Marketing and Communications Specialist and proud Gryffindor

The first of September has long been considered a holiday in my life. I grew up in a house surrounded by books and none meant more to me than the Harry Potter series. This year is officially #19YearsLater which means that most my life has been intertwined with the adventures of The Boy Who Lived. It’s no secret that Harry, Ron, Hermione and everyone else in the wizarding world has touched the lives of millions and I feel honored to count myself among the first generation of readers who dreamed about the day an owl would deliver their admission letter.

Throughout the years, there have been more days that stood out as lasting memories to me because of their connection to Harry Potter than just about any other aspect of my life. I can remember fondly waiting until midnight for each book release and I’ll never forget my first walk down Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida. Speaking of admission letters, a co-worker created one of those for me as well. My home is covered with wands, wall art, Marauder’s Maps and house scarves that show my wife’s and my obsession with the Wizarding World. Recently I even got something a bit more permanent on my arm to reflect what these books have meant to me…

It’s for these reasons and so many more that I’m excited about the new Hogwarts Library Collection available in OverDrive Marketplace. These titles from the Hogwarts library will help your readers uncover new knowledge of the wizarding world: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Newt Scamander’s masterful work on magical creatures; Quidditch Through the Ages, a comprehensive history of the game and its rules; and The Tales of Beedle the Bard, with an introduction and illustrations by J.K. Rowling and extensive commentary by Albus Dumbledore. A treasure trove of magical facts and fairy tales, The Hogwarts Library Collection is an essential companion to the Harry Potter series.

This collection includes the updated edition of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, with a new foreword from J.K. Rowling (writing as Newt Scamander) and six new beasts. When you add The Hogwarts Library Collection, be sure to download our complimentary marketing kit including social tiles, banners and posters. It’s a great way to get the word out to your users.

The Hogwarts Express may have left the station but it’s not too late to add these new books to the Wizarding World collection in your digital library.

The post The Hogwarts Library Collection is the perfect way to celebrate 19 years later appeared first on OverDrive Blogs.

Vapid or valuable: social media in the classroom

September 7, 2017 - 2:52pm

By: Tiffany Wincek, Account Specialist.

It’s the beginning of another school year, which means it’s time to focus again on the best ways to connect with students. What do you do when students can’t seem to pry their eyes away from their social media accounts? Meet them at their level, of course. Here are a few suggestions for ways to use social media to engage your students in reading.


Get creative and make your own school- or district-wide reading hashtag. This is a great way to connect with anyone in your school community (administrators, staff members, parents, oh my!) who use Twitter. Using your school’s Twitter account and your custom hashtag, follow and retweet authors and publishers, post funny reading memes or gifs, and highlight titles that are new to your collection.


Instagram is quickly becoming the newest way to connect with students on social media. Create a public account so that you can share your handle with students. One clever way to use Insta is for literary scavenger hunts. If students are reading the same text, have them take pictures of places that remind them of the setting of the story. Math teachers can encourage students to take snapshots of the math they observe every day. Have students tag you!

  • Pro Tip: Use the same custom hashtag across all your school’s social media channels for continuity and maximum reach.

Did your school have summer reading assignments or participate in OverDrive’s Summer Read program? Whether your students were reading digital or print titles, use your school’s Facebook page to start a discussion about summer reading. Some schools hold a book discussion every week and students are expected to participate as part of their classwork. Encourage your teachers to model good participation habits, too!

  • Pro Tip: Use Facebook’s reactions to gauge how your readers felt about a certain title.

Did you know that you can create a group board on Pinterest? This is an excellent way for teachers and librarians in your school to collaborate by sharing their top picks and linking directly to titles in your digital collection. Students can follow your board with their own Pinterest accounts. Think of this as the digital version of the Staff Picks section in your physical library.

  • Pro Tip: You can make a board for student or community recommendations, too.


How are you planning to get creative with social media this school year? We’d love to hear your ideas! Let us know on our social channels and we’ll spread the word.

Not yet following OverDrive Education on social media? Two clicks, then tag us in your posts using any of the above ideas with #elearnsomething and we’ll share it!

Facebook: /OverDriveEducation

Twitter: @OverDriveEd

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Share your #eBookLove for Read an eBook Day and win content credit

September 7, 2017 - 7:13am

On Monday, September 18, OverDrive will be celebrating the 5th annual Read an eBook Day and we want our library and school partners to join in the fun! In honor of this being the fifth year of the holiday we’re giving away five $1,000 content credit prizes to libraries and schools who share their celebrations on social media.

To be eligible to win all you have to do is share photos, comments or videos on any social media channel (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) using the hashtag #eBookLove. You can access our marketing kit to help spread the word by downloading this zip file.

Whether your library is throwing a literary party to celebrate or you want to share pictures of the eBooks your patrons are reading, we want you to get as creative as possible! You’re free to share as many posts using the hashtag as you like. The more, the better. Team OverDrive will review all the entries the following day and notify and announce the winners.

Read an eBook Day – Tell your story

Readers can win too!

Your library users can also share their #eBookLove on social media for a chance to win a Kobo Aura ONE thanks to our friends at Kobo. Entries rules are the same for them. Simply share a post, picture and/or videos showing of their #eBookLove for a chance to win this incredible device. We’ll notify the winners and share their posts throughout the week of the 18th as well.

Read an eBook Day was created to promote the joy of digital reading and modern storytelling and we couldn’t be more excited to see how you celebrate. We welcome librarians and readers alike to visit our Read an eBook Day website to get book recommendations, hear interviews with authors by our Professional Book Nerds podcast, and post comments about their eBook experiences. We hope you’ll join the conversation by sharing what you’re reading, stories about why you love eBooks and by using the hashtag #eBookLove on social media for a chance to win content credit and devices!

The post Share your #eBookLove for Read an eBook Day and win content credit appeared first on OverDrive Blogs.

New and improved monthly webcast – The End User Experience

September 6, 2017 - 9:45am

By: Briana Johnson-Sims, OverDrive Training Specialist

At OverDrive, we understand you’re the first line of defense for questions about your digital library. “What are eBooks?” “How can I get audiobooks on my phone?” “How can I use my Kindle?” There are a variety of ways to get your users started with OverDrive, so we want to ensure you’re familiar with the most popular options for enjoying digital titles. That’s why we’ve revamped our monthly webcast, The End User Experience, to review common user scenarios and demonstrate how to browse and borrow titles using Libby, the digital library website, the OverDrive app, and Kindle Book delivery (U.S. libraries only).

These demonstrations will help you recommend the best experiences for your patrons based on their specific needs. Libby is a great option for new users, but what if they need to download titles to their Kindle? What if their primary language is Spanish? We answer these questions and more in The End User Experience webcast held the second Wednesday of every month. Register today on the Resource Center under Staff Training > Live Webcasts.

Our monthly webcast series reviews more than just how to help your users borrow and enjoy digital titles. Our Shopping for Titles in Marketplace webcast is great for selectors who need to know how to find and purchase the best digital content for their patrons. This month’s special topic, Marketplace Reports, will give your staff the tools they need to evaluate your digital collection and make informed purchasing decisions. We’ll demonstrate how to access reports on circulation activity, title status, user holds, and more.

The entire webcast series is free to access and runs September 12-14th, with each webcast starting at 11:00 AM Eastern Time.  After each webcast, we’ll send registered attendees a PDF copy of the presentation and the recorded session. Don’t forget, you can learn more about additional topics by exploring our recorded trainings and past webcasts on the Resource Center, or by requesting a custom training through your OverDrive Account or Content Specialist.

We hope you’ll join us to learn more about OverDrive!

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The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett is the next Big Library Read

September 5, 2017 - 2:38pm

On October 12, the Big Library Read will return to connect millions of library users around the globe as the world’s largest digital book club once again takes place. This time around, we’ll be reading The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti, a YA mystery surrounding a young girl who finds herself in the middle of a missing person’s investigation. Join us as we see the world through Hawthorne’s sarcastic view point as she both can’t understand why Lizzie Lovett’s disappearance is a such a big deal while also becoming obsessed with Lizzie herself. Told with a unique voice that is both hilarious and heart-wrenching, Hawthorn’s quest for proof may uncover the greatest truth is within herself.

We’re excited to announce that not only will the eBook of this title be available from October 12-26 without any wait lists or holds, but readers will also be able to borrow the audiobook as well. Visit our Big Library Read website for more information about the book discussion guides and promotional materials. During the event, you’ll also find our Professional Book Nerds podcast interview with Chelsea as well as our live discussion board so readers can interact with each other and the author herself! You’ll love the rich world and characters that Chelsea has built in The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett.

About the Big Library Read

The Big Library Read program is open to all OverDrive library and school partners worldwide. The title will automatically be added to your digital collection at the start of the program(*). To borrow the BLR title, your users will simply log in to your digital collection and the eBook will be prominently displayed on your OverDrive-powered website and discoverable through the digital library catalog.

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All the feels on Read a Book Day

September 4, 2017 - 10:59am

Reading a good book is sometimes the only means to grasp a very specific texture of humanity. Like this: “Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.” ― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars.

Here are some of our favorite quotes from YA books that left us hand over heart with longing, or prickly eyed with truth, or grasping for the hope we had a moment ago, but seem to have misplaced.

Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison Bridge to Terabithia, Katherine Paterson











The Fault in Our Stars, John Green
























Anne of Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery











Attachments, Rainbow Rowell



























The Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver












Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins

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Celebrating Library Card Sign-up Month

August 31, 2017 - 9:54am

Each September, we join the American Library Association (ALA) in celebrating Library Card Sign-up Month. This promotion is designed to raise awareness of all the goodness that 21st century libraries provide to communities around the country and around the world. Since 2002, OverDrive has worked with ALA member libraries to provide readers 24/7 access to eBooks and digital audiobooks. To help raise awareness of the importance of a library card we’ll be heavily promoting the above video on social media throughout September encouraging millions of people to rediscover the wonder and power of their library. We encourage you to share this video as well as a great advertising tool in your community. You can find the video on YouTube here.

This September is especially exciting as the Teen Titans, DC’s crimefighting Super Heroes, will team up with the ALA to promote the value of a library card. As honorary chairs, DC’s Teen Titans will remind parents, caregivers and students that signing up for a library card is the first step towards academic achievement and lifelong learning. In honor of these young crime fighters, OverDrive has created a Teen Titans and DC Comics reading list that you’re welcome to use for curated collections on your OverDrive websites.

You can also find great posters like the one on the right on the ALA’s website to promote this wonderful month at your library. Teen Titans posters and bookmarks are available for purchase through the ALA Store. Posters and bookmarks featuring other DC Super Heroes, including Supergirl, Batman, Super Sons, the Justice League, and Wonder Woman are available in the ALA Graphics summer catalog.

Library Card Sign-up Month is naturally the perfect time to push members of your community who may not be frequent library users to come back and also find new readers in places like local schools. In fact, we recently shared 6 perfect ways to connect with schools in your area to increase your user group and what better time to take advantage than during Library Card Sign-up Month? Join the ALA and OverDrive in

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Graphic novels aren’t comics. But so what if they were?

August 30, 2017 - 3:18pm

By: Patti Carlyle, Public Relations Specialist and Calvin and Hobbes junkie since the 90s.

Self-appointed reading purists often turn up their noses at non-traditional reading. As if a page > chapter > tome of text-heavy 9 point font is the only experience permitted a reader. Ever since the first modern comic book in the 1930s, kids have had to defend graphic novels and comics, much to the eye-roll of teachers and frustration of parents. Until now.

Youth-comics: a technicolor reading revolution

Since the influx of Manga in the 1990s, comics and graphic novels have only grown in significance, influence, and most importantly, diversity. But even now, there is an assumed hierarchy of sorts.

Graphic novels are seen as closest to “real books”, with comics somehow inferior. In reality, many books marketed as graphic novels are simply bound collections of comics. Feminist-forward Lumberjanes is a great example, as is Adventure Time, featuring absurd characters and sharp dialogue. Whether kids are reading single issue comics or bound collections or graphic novels with a broader narrative arc, they are *reading.*

Savvy parents and teachers should be able to leverage that engagement in narrative and character development toward comprehension and retention. Enjoyment comes first and should be non-negotiable in early reading experiences.

“Why wouldn’t young readers gravitate toward a medium that can so brilliantly mix visuals and text in a way that makes a story relatively easy to digest?”

This take on the sudden rise in graphics-based reading material hits on a few key points: representation, everyday stories outside the fantasy and superhero realm, and the growing number of female writers. This last point, driven in large part by the enormous market for female readers.

“One of the most remarkable things about the Youth-Comics Explosion is how much it reaches out to young girls — a population long alienated by mainstream superhero comics. That’s due in no small part to another remarkable thing: A massive portion of the people creating these comics are women, something unheard of in the majority-male space of superhero-comics publishing. If you’re gonna tell stories for young women and girls, I think having a creator who has experienced that matters a lot.”

Grown-up graphic memoir

Graphics-based reading isn’t just for the YA set. There are excellent mature leaning titles out there, often featuring hard topics softened and humanized with humor. Here are some of my favorites:

It’s All Absolutely Fine 

This is another introspective title from a blogger (right). Ruby Elliot offers an honest and unapologetic account of day-to-day life as a groaning, crying, laughing sentient potato being for whom things are often absolutely not fine.

Through the drawings, the reader is shown that it is okay to struggle, and that it is okay to talk about struggling, to not undermine oneself by yelling ‘it’s fine’ when it isn’t, and while all this is going on to know that it is absolutely possible to hold on to hope, and of course humor.


Ellen Forney’s darkly funny and intensely personal memoir provides a visceral glimpse into the effects of a mood disorder on an artist’s work, as she shares her own story through bold black-and-white images and evocative prose.

Hyperbole and a Half

Allie Brosh tells fantastically funny, wise stories about the mishaps of her everyday life, with titles like ‘Why Dogs Don’t Understand Basic Concepts Like Moving’ and ‘The God of Cake’. A 2011 post titled “Adventures in Depression” (later renamed Depression Part 2) that rocketed Brosh to serious virality, landing her a book deal.

That post was hailed by psychologists as one of the most insightful depictions of the disease to date. It also galvanized thousands of fans suffering from the illness; they’ve described Brosh’s pieces as the most relatable portrayal they’d ever seen of their own experiences.


What one 11-year-old girl is reading

My daughter reads required ELA materials, somewhat grudgingly, and tests well. But. She *prefers* graphic novels and comics for pleasure reading. She is a voracious reader in that medium, but is more of a reluctant reader with standard text. She was in no special hurry to consume Harry Potter and has yet to engage much with it. A visual and kinesthetic learner, she grasps more and engages longer with graphics than she might with a text-only book. Graphics-based books also support another of her passions: drawing. Not only have graphic novels developed in her knack for reading physical cues and body language, they have offered endless drawing techniques. The tight narratives yield a fair number of one-liners, which have developed her sense of humor.

Some of her favorites are driven less by content or title, and all about the author. To start: “Anything by Noelle Stevenson.”


Nemeses! Dragons! Science! Symbolism! Nimona is an impulsive young shape-shifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are.

Why my girl loves it: Nimona is by far her favorite. She tends to lean dark, and the magic and conflict here hints at larger forces in the world to which she is stunningly well-attuned, and struggles to figure out. “I like the parts with her as a little girl, and the ending leaves things open.”


Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Gravity Falls and features five butt-kicking, rad teenage girls wailing on monsters and solving a mystery with the whole world at stake.

In both of Stevenson’s works, androgeny gets a normalizing nod, queer issues are handled with the same affection and sweetness of hetero YA storylines, and a there is a deep commitment to diverse body representation.

Why my girl loves it: “There are mostly girl characters and they do cool things on their own. They are the main characters. She shows different kinds of girls, too, and the art is so cool.”

Singleton, polar opposite selections:

Anya’s Ghost

Falling down a well is bad enough, but Anya’s normal life might actually be worse. She’s embarrassed by her family, self-conscious about her body, and she’s pretty much given up on fitting in at school. A new friend—even a ghost—is just what she needs. Or so she thinks.

Why my girl loves it: “It’s sort of scary and unpredictable. It didn’t end how I expected.”

Sunny Side Up

Jennifer Holm packs her protagonist off to Florida to live with her grandfather for the summer. At first Sunny thought Florida might be fun — it is the home of Disney World, after all. But the place where Gramps lives is no amusement park. It’s full of . . . old people. Really old people. Luckily, she isn’t the only kid around. Sunny meets Buzz, a boy who is completely obsessed with comic books, and soon they’re having adventures of their own: facing off against golfball-eating alligators, runaway cats, and mysteriously disappearing neighbors. But the question remains — why is Sunny down in Florida in the first place?

Why my girl loves it: “She’s bored a lot of the time, but stuff still happens. I like the flashbacks.”

Another categorical pick: “All of the Raina.”

Sisters. Smile. Drama. Ghost and more.

Raina Telgemeier is the ruling queen of new classics in graphic form. She recently launched a reboot of The Babysitter’s Club, which was, of course, an instant hit.

Why my girl loves it: “She’s writing about regular life. The girls are awkward, and don’t always say the right thing. There are funny one liners. I guess it just feels real.”

Graphic novels for everyone

Need more suggestions? Check out our list of NPR’s top 100 graphic novels, which features both adult and YA titles. Edutopia has created a list of middle school graphic novels, specifically for middle readers.

Prefer to read with a different sense? Check out our defense of audiobooks as real books.

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Game of Thrones curated list ideas to overcome the withdrawal

August 29, 2017 - 10:53am

*Caution: Minor spoilers for the season finale of Game of Thrones are ahead. If you aren’t caught up, turn away now*


The season 7 finale of Game of Thrones has come and gone and now, much like The Wall itself, our heart has a massive hole in it. For the past several weeks, our Sunday evenings (and admittedly our Monday mornings) have been all about the Song of Fire and Ice phenomenon brought to us by HBO and the great George R.R. Martin. Winter may have arrived in Westeros but with rumors floating around that we’ll need to wait two full years to see how the game will end, we’re left with a dragon sized void that needs to be filled. We’re sure many of your readers feel the same way so we’ve created a Game of Thrones Read-Alikes list to help pass the time while we wait. We’re sure many people will use this time to dive back into the books that inspired Game of Thrones (our Professional Book Nerds included) but we’ve added plenty of other titles to the list for your readers as well.


Anyone else using this time to re-read the #GameofThrones series while we wait for next book / next season? pic.twitter.com/YwXiVMWDyQ

— PBN Podcast (@ProBookNerds) August 28, 2017


This collection features books from fantasy giants like Brandon Sanderson, Victoria Aveyard, Patrick Rothfuss, N. K. Jemisin and, of course Mr. Martin himself. You’ll find hundreds of titles perfect for your users but in the event that you’re looking for even more than one curated list ideas, we’ve created some other fun options for you to use. Let us know if have come up with others as well.

  • Winter is coming – books with a winter setting or theme
  • A library user always pays his debts – Books about financial planning OR books with money as a central theme like The Wolf Of Wall Street or Arms and the Dudes
  • What is dead may never die – Books about Zombies
  • Nymeria, Ghost, Shaggydog and Lady – Books about dogs and wolves we love
  • Dracarys! – books about dragons
  • We Love Bron and Pod – books that feature your favorite side characters
  • Why is a Three Eyed Raven like a writing desk? – A mix of nonsense like Lewis Carroll, books about writing/publishing and books with birds in the title
  • The Wolf and the Dragon – Books about…well, wolves and/or dragons
  • A Girl Can Save Herself – books with strong female leads
  • For the Night is Dark and Full of Terrors – Horror books
  • Break the Wheel – books about leadership and innovation
  • Bend the Knee – Books about royalty
  • R + L = J – Books about families with secrets

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Celebrating Cleveland Book Week with the Professional Book Nerds

August 24, 2017 - 12:58pm

The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards have been handed out for more than 80 years to books that have made important contributions to our understanding of racism and our appreciation of the rich diversity of human cultures. For eight decades these distinguished books have opened and challenged the minds of readers. Last year, The Cleveland Foundation decided to extend this wonderful ceremony into a week long literary celebration known as Cleveland Book Week. This year, the 2nd annual Cleveland Book Week will occur from September 5-9, with a series of events will be hosted celebrating the rich book community of Cleveland. We’re excited to announce that OverDrive’s very own Professional Book Nerds podcast will be a part of the festivities.

On Friday, September 8, at 1:00 pm, the Professional Book Nerds will host a live podcast interview with Karan Mahajan, a 2016 National Book Award finalist and 2017 Ansisfield-Wolf Award winner for Fiction. Mahajan’s brilliant writing about the effects of terrorism on both victims and perpetrators has proven him to be one of the most provocative and dynamic novelists of his generation. Tickets are still available for this event if you’re in the area during Cleveland Book Week.

Creating a literary celebration in your city is a great way to bring your community together around reading and can open up the eyes to countless potential library users about all the wonderful services you have to offer. Whether or not your local city foundation has an event like the Anisfield-Wolf Awards, you can still find creative ways to inject literacy into fun community events. Examples from Cleveland include a poetry reading, a special literary version of the popular monthly Cleveland Flea market and an Art Book + Zine Fair. The more awareness for literacy and the library you can raise the better. If you’d like to dip your toe into this type of marketing with a digital book club, simply reach out to your Collection Development Specialist at OverDrive. We hope to see you this September in Cleveland celebrating Cleveland Book Week, The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards, and reading in general!

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6 ways public libraries and schools can work together

August 23, 2017 - 7:24am

By: Adam Sockel, OverDrive Marketing Communications Specialist

Regardless of where you reside in the United States, the end of August represents the same thing to everyone; back to school. Students of all ages will return to classrooms ready to re-engage with curriculum, classmates and teachers. Many libraries around the world assist schools with summer reading programs but as the bell rings for day one of class, there are countless ways libraries and schools can continue to work together to further student reading and education.

To celebrate this yearly tradition, OverDrive is promoting our Back to School Sale where you can save up to 50% on thousands of titles through the end of September. In the sale, you’ll find the ability to not only shop by genre and subject but also by specific grade level and reading interest. We’ve also created customized lists for you that include titles you own that have holds on them as well as titles in the sale you don’t currently own. These collections are perfect for both public libraries and schools alike.

Once you’ve done some shopping and sufficiently beefed up your OverDrive digital collection through the Back to School sale, consider some of these opportunities to further connect with local schools in your community.

OverDrive Library+School Sharing

In June, we announced our Library+School Sharing tool that can help maximize the effectiveness of both library and school programs. Simply put, OverDrive can create an authentication process where students can instantly access public library materials through their student IDs and our team can curate collections perfect for your local schools. These can include supplemental reading materials, assigned reading and more. To learn more about this free service offered through OverDrive, contact your Collection Development Specialist.

Bring the library to the students

In the past, students had to be in the physical library to experience the benefits of borrowing books and interacting with content. Now, thanks to digital materials, you can explain how OverDrive works and sign up students for library cards all while they’re sitting in their own classrooms. Within minutes, dozens of new users can be borrowing eBooks and audiobooks for both enjoyment and class assignments.

Getting more out of author visits

If you’re bringing a young adult or children’s author to your library for an event, consider informing your local school so they can set up a school event for earlier in the day. You can also stop by the school to promote the event to the students and set up a meet and greet for before or after the event with the author.

Librarian led book clubs

Offer booktalks where librarians lead book clubs for students after school. This can work with leisure or assigned reading. Librarians can also work together with English teachers to help students learn critical reading so they’re getting the most out of their reading time.

Curate assigned reading collections

Speak regularly with Curriculum Directors to see what assigned reading they’re working one each semester. If school funds are tight, suggest students borrow the necessary books from the library and curate collections of supplemental reading on your digital library.  You can quickly create curated lists for each school or class and send them direct links for these lists. This ensures students have the books they need, easies the burden on the school budget and provides the library with engaged new users.

Set up tables at school events

Ask local schools to let you set up a table during Open Houses, PTA events and Parent-Teacher conferences to sign up parents for library cards. This simple act is a great way to explain how your digital library works and get some new library card holders. If parents are using your OverDrive services, it’s much more likely that their children will be using them as well.

If you’re looking for additional ideas on how to bring your community together through the public library and local schools, be sure to reach out to your OverDrive Collection Development Specialists. And don’t forget to shop our Back to School Sale. There’s never been a better time to boost engagement with your digital collection and save money than right now!

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New digital citizenship: culture, collaboration and content

August 20, 2017 - 11:00am

Digital literacy and digital citizenship are no longer soft skills. They are required for success in the classroom and a student’s broader relational sphere. Parents and teachers alike worry about privacy, and bullying and screen time, but there are positive nuances and opportunities to consider.

It no longer makes sense to make a distinction between life online and off. Kids are not merely technology literate; they use technology to interact with the broader world. What if instead of a myopic focus on making good digital citizens online, we turned our focus to using digital means to developing good citizens. Period.

Screen time: active vs. passive

“If used appropriately, digital media is wonderful. We don’t want to demonize media, because it’s going to be a part of everybody’s lives increasingly, and we have to teach children how to make good choices around it, how to limit it and how to make sure it’s not going to take place of all the other good stuff out there.” –Marjorie Hogan, Pediatrician and Spokeswoman for the American Academy of Pediatrics

Defining Digital Literacy & Digital Citizenship

Everyone needs to be able to read, so it’s not a new skill PLUS a new medium. And actually, the medium is hardly new anymore. Leveraging a low-tech skill like reading using digital makes tech extremely accessible. Digital Literacy is when students can engage society using technology. The next step is to ask them to engage responsibly…this is DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP.

Traditional definitions of digital citizenship look a lot like the graphic to the right, encompassing:

  • Permanence
  • Ethics
  • Bully & safety
  • Plagiarism
  • Privacy
  • Digital Footprint

How do we teach kids to be safe online, to be good online citizens? We know a lot of their growing up will happen behind screens, and that we have the task of imparting a harsh truth: online is forever. They are digital citizens and this is their new heritage; they must respect it, and the medium.

When we teach students about digital citizenship, we highlight the permanence of their actions. We encourage them to use ethical and safe behaviors in their online interactions, what belongs to them and what doesn’t.

Everything in that bulleted list is essential. But not enough.

Turning Digital Citizenship on its head

Educators choose their career path to help young people grow and learn. It’s a far bigger task than the 3Rs. Like parents: educators are not only concerned with raising children, but more about raising adults. One way educators demonstrate this is by helping their students to develop into global citizens. In addition to how to lessons on fake news, media literacy and how to conduct yourself on social channels, students need to read a lot to absorb the cultural knowledge base. They need to discuss that content with peers to keep the collaborative spirit alive.

Twenty-five students can read a text and get twenty-five different things out of it. Personalization means that educators can retain those unique perspectives and engage students without insisting on One Right Answer. And students are practice making room for views different than their own.


Think about active versus passive screen time. Sure, they could be frittering away brain cells on a game on that screen. They could also be reading a Gay YA novel that they could never read in open sight, analog. They are shielded by the privacy of a screen, and no book cover. Earbuds? Yep. Maybe they are listening to a 3-hour loop of Nightcore. Or maybe they are an ELL student listening to an audiobook to better grasp English language pronunciation, syntax and narrative.

Aren’t these things we want our citizens to do? To seek out resources to become more themselves? To explore culture and language to better understand and contribute to society? Isn’t digital delivery of content the perfect mix of skill and knowledge base? Give students the agency to recognize what they don’t know, and allow them to seek out the best skill or tool to solve the problem.

Bottom line? Using a high tech application of a low tech essential like reading balances the skill versus knowledge argument beautifully. Instant access to ancient texts like Beowulf or Plato’s The Republic seems a gorgeous kind of educational satisfaction.

Shouldn’t the online-focus of Digital Citizenship eventually move past the screen, and into real life? By highlighting content, culture, and collaboration, we use digital means to turn out good citizens.

Battling the Grand Wikification of the Classroom

Recent education language has leaned hard on students needing tools, 21st-century skills. Which, at this point, 17 years in, are just skills.

As adults and educators, we take for granted that reading is an essential in education, but not everyone values reading as we do. It calls up the battle between knowledge and skill based education. Students are expected to know how to navigate the path 25 different ways. What about enjoying the destination when they get there? Furthermore, how do we know that we are teaching the right skills for them to succeed? Today’s must-have edtech trend might be obsolete in 2 years. Skills alone are not enough.


There has been a noticeable swing back toward knowledge base, beyond skill and tool acquisition. Educators know that the shiniest toolbox is wasted if you don’t have things to hammer and inspect and take apart and weld together. Tech without quality content is useless. Focusing only on skills and decoding is risky. And for the students, boring.

We need both. The return to a knowledge based education means students can sink deeply into that high-quality content. They will have the space to absorb culture through important works, and use technology to access that content. It goes past the classroom, too. Our political and cultural climate demands that we re-embrace books as a guide to read and react to the world. News and online sources are less and less reliable. Increasing political polarization and fake news mean students need to stay well read, accurately informed and flexible enough to stay civil while working together.

Plus? Reading for pleasure simply enriches our lives. At the very least providing a temporary escape from the dark and heavy aspects of reality.

Digital study trends and student opinion

When they arrive at school, Gen Z is largely familiar with tech, we need to guide them, help them discern useful from not. When we do a good job, we can expect what a McGraw-Hill survey of 3,300 students found:

84% of students report that the use of technology improves their education

81% note digital learning helps save time and increases efficiency

81% claim that digital learning technology is helping them boost their grades

69% agree it helps them retain information

79% say it makes them aware of new concepts


This last point is the most important: 79% of students say digital make them aware of new concepts. That awareness might be within herself, discovering a new author, or sitting uncomfortably with a peer’s differing perspective. Opening a student’s mind opens her to the world.

Isn’t that the whole point?


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What you missed at Digipalooza 2017

August 17, 2017 - 1:05pm

By: Christina Samek, Marketing Specialist.

If you weren’t able to attend our first exclusive school program at DigiP, fear not! Here’s a breakdown of all the exciting things that went down at the conference and what’s to come for OverDrive Education.

We kicked things off Wednesday night at Punch Bowl Social in the heart of downtown Cleveland. Attendees enjoyed karaoke, bowling, arcade and table games, delicious food, drinks and spontaneous dancing. It was a great way to unwind before getting down to business Thursday morning with the first session, You Have OverDrive, Now What? This session was an extended version of the How to Talk to Your School Community About OverDrive session, available at the Resource Center for listening, right now! Presenters (one of whom was yours, truly) shared key talking points, meaningful data, marketing resources, a graphic organizer and a training template (also at the Resource Center!) to help attendees reach all members of their school community.

From there, attendees heard from OverDrive veterans and experts on the opportunities and challenges facing libraries in a moderated panel session, Key Perspectives on the State of the Digital Lending Industry. Next, came lunch and New Title Highlights from Leading Publishers. Well fed and ready to learn, attendees moved into Top 10 Ways to Make Marketplace Work for You where K-12 Content Specialists counted down the 10 best ways to make Marketplace more effective in your school.

K-12 Break out sessions

Next up, the school break out sessions: Lesson Planning with Digital Content and The Evolution of Learning: Schools in the Digital Age. Former teachers on the Education Team shared examples and best practices on integrating digital content into a curriculum in the lesson planning session. In the Evolution of Learning session, team OverDrive talked digital literacy, digital citizenship, prolonged screentime and how OverDrive fits into it all. Patti continues a large part of that conversation in this month’s newsletter.

After the break outs, it was time to party! Attendees were invited to a “Throwback Thursday” party at Cleveland’s House of Blues. The live band got the crowd moving all night long (okay, 11:00 PM) and the provided glow sticks, necklaces, and bracelets ensured everyone looked cool while getting their boogie on.

Product Roadmap sneak peeks

Friday, and the final day of the conference, kicked off with the most anticipated session in the school program: Sneak Peak: OverDrive’s Product Roadmap. OverDrive’s CTO, Jeff Sterling, previewed the future of OverDrive K-12 platform and introduced Sora, the new school app. Some highlights: Sora includes tips and secrets for the best and most efficient user reading experience, looks the same across all devices, allows for students to search for their school by map or text code, AND students can access their public library right from the app. It’s awesome! Also coming soon: Google authentication. There were audible “woo’s”. The future at OverDrive Education looks very bright!

Personalization, PD and reading rates

Next up was Create Reading Happiness for Every Student. OverDrive Account Specialists shared individualized reading solutions for different kinds of readers, even the most reluctant!

The school program closed with Secrets from the Frontline: How Successful Schools are Changing the Rules. We heard from OverDrive K-12 partners on how they’ve defined and found success in their communities. We heard from School City of Hammond who shared their outreach strategy which helped increase their circulation by a whopping 183%! School District of Elmbrook discussed how they were able to engage their entire community: starting with ELA and PD and making their way to parents. They also highlighted the unexpected benefits of digital in their school (audiobooks circulation, camouflaging lower level titles, easy ways to fill holds, assign titles, etc). Sullivan County BOCES closed with their creative and fun “Battle of the Books” campaign which captured interest across their elementary and secondary schools.

Professional Book Nerds interview with Kelly Corrigan

Attendees then joined up with library partners to listen to the Professional Book Nerds interview author, Kelly Corrigan. She discussed the release of her new book, Tell Me More. She had attendees laughing throughout their exchange and I, personally, can’t wait to read her book!

Finally, OverDrive closed Digipalooza with an address from Steve Potash, CEO. He spoke about all the wonderful things to come, including an additional preview of Sora.

It was an awesome 3 days! The main takeaways: involve your entire community, never underestimate the far reach of digital (struggling readers, teacher buy-in, etc.), promote, promote, promote, and team OverDrive is here to help you make it your best year yet!

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getAbstract is offering 12 simultaenous use titles free of charge for two weeks

August 17, 2017 - 6:35am

Earlier this year we announced an exciting partnership with getAbstract, a catalog of 8,000+ simultaneous access business and self-improvement titles. These titles are condensed to the titles most important concepts and strategies and are designed to be able to be read in under ten minutes. To raise awareness for these incredible titles, getAbstract is offering two free weeks of access to 12 of their highest quality titles. The titles focus on leadership, professional growth, and finance / economics and can be accessed from September 25 – October 9 for free! The titles will be featured in a collection on your OverDrive website homepage for the two-week campaign.

Similar to our Big Library Read program, The titles will be featured in a collection on your OverDrive website homepage for the two-week campaign. These titles are perfect for anyone from aspiring business owners to executives or even people simply looking to better manage their time. Honing professional skills quickly and efficiently has never been more important that it is today and these quick, high quality summaries are the perfect solution. This program is being offered to public and college library partners.

If you wish to participate, contact your Content Sales Specialist by August 23 to opt in and take advantage of getAbstract’s must-read business and self-improvement summaries. If you’re nto sure who your Specialist is, simply email collectionteam@overdrive.com.

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OverDrive is now a B Corporation for Creating Positive Social and Environmental Impact.

August 16, 2017 - 6:46am

Simply Taking Responsibility for Tomorrow and Empowering Communities with our Commitment to a “World Enlightened by Reading”.

Today we’re incredibly proud to announce that OverDrive has become a Certified B Corporation™. So what exactly does that mean? B Corporations are a new kind of company that uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. Similar to what Fair Trade Certified is to coffee, B Corporations are for-profit companies certified to meet rigorous social, workforce and environmental standards. There are currently over 2,000 Certified B Corporations in more than 50 countries from 130+ industries, such as manufacturing, consulting, solar energy, and law. OverDrive joins a robust community of forward-thinking organizations, including several well-known brands, including Ben & Jerry’s, Kickstarter, Patagonia, Etsy, and more to lead a global movement of people using business for good.

We believe that business has a higher social purpose beyond the financial performance of a company. The B Corp certification reflects the values upon which OverDrive was founded and the mission, vision and operating values we pursue today. We are taking responsibility for tomorrow; together with our 38,000 library, school and publishing partners worldwide to support communities while championing education, reading and literacy.

“Every member of OverDrive embraces the social and public mission of our library and school partners to improve communities with access to information and tools to promote literacy”, said Lori Franklin, OverDrive Chief Operating Officer. “This includes our commitment to our planet, our workforce and business partners, and the OverDrive worldwide network of public institutions dedicated to improving society via lifelong learning.”

As a B Corp, OverDrive will continue to innovate and challenge itself to the be the best following the highest standards. Not only is it the right thing to do, it aligns with the mission of our library and school partners and what we strive for each day: A World Enlightened by Reading. We seek to delight more readers every day.

Celebrating everything OverDrive stands for

  • Empowering communities with our digital reading services
  • Supporting Literacy and creating reading happiness worldwide
  • Supporting initiatives that offer work-life balance for our employees
  • Incorporating work practices and business policies that strengthen and preserve our environment for future generations.

“We are thrilled to welcome OverDrive into the Certified B Corporation community,” said Ben Anderson, Chief B Keeper at B Lab, the nonprofit that certifies B Corps. “By meeting the rigorous standards of B Corp Certification, OverDrive has shown the value they place in measuring and managing their impact and creating positive impact for all stakeholders.”

Becoming a Certified B Corporation will continue to challenge us to think about how we are affecting the environment, our partners and employees with every business decision we make. It will serve as a roadmap and guide to become a better organization over the years. We are inspired by this movement that is redefining success and building local, living economies. OverDrive believes sustainable businesses create value for everyone and is proud to be a certified B Corp.

We believe that aligning our business with a greater good is good business. As a leader in the digital reading industry, we believe we have a responsibility to be on the front line of new business practices, and we believe that we should adopt practices that can positively impact our community. The B Corporation model allows us to communicate to our community our commitment to these business practices. We happily undertook the B Corporation certification process to ensure our company’s practices were at the highest level. This badge of honor places OverDrive in the best position possible to effect change that benefits our librarians, publishers, educators, reading community and environment.


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Digipalooza 2017 Highlights

August 15, 2017 - 9:12am

By: Melissa Marin, OverDrive Marketing Specialist

Thank you to everyone who joined us for Digipalooza 2017! We were proud to welcome all of you to Cleveland (and to see so many familiar faces!) We had libraries, schools and industry partners joining us from across North America, as well as world travelers from the UK, Japan, Israel, New Zealand, South Africa, Singapore, and Colombia.


Key takeaways from the conference this year include:

  • Toronto Public Library’s efforts to bring millenial men readers to their digital collection, with the help of visits to Comic-Con, interactions on Reddit, and the gateway drug to a library card: candy!
  • National Library Board of Singapore’s campaign targeting commuters with breathtaking transformations of train cars into books come to life.
  • San Antonio shared how they focus on curating content and marketing to particular subsets of their community like kids, military, art lovers, and foodies to make sure everyone can find something they want to read.
  • Los Angeles Public Library has found a pattern of purchasing that works for their readers and set expectations for their power users: New content every Friday and Monday keeps people coming back for more.
  • Quick and easy tips to navigate Marketplace and get the most bang for your buck from Dayton Metro Library, Indianapolis Public Library, Livebrary, Midwest Collaborative for Library Services, Mid York Library System, and members of Team OverDrive including establishing parameters to manage RTL selection, hacking searches using BISAC subject headings, using smart lists to fill gaps in a collection and identify expiring metered access books, and watching out for zombie titles!
  • Key perspectives on the state of the digital lending industry from former ALA President Sari Feldman, Library Journal editor Matt Enis, Executive Director of the Audio Publishers Association Michele Cobb, Executive Vice President of Publishers Weekly Cevin Bryerman, and Jeff Julian, the Director of the Public Awareness Office for the American Library Association.
  • Breakout sessions that included tips for staff and end user training, troubleshooting, getting started in OverDrive Marketplace, consortium best practices, social media marketing, lesson planning with digital content, and discussions of screen time and digital citizenship for students.
  • Secrets from the Front Lines, including how Harris County Public Library launched Project Mill-E and reached a million digital checkouts in 2016; how Sno-Isle Libraries pioneered DDA (demand-driven acquisition) at OverDrive and shared what they learned from paying attention to what their users are really looking for; and Wisconsin Public Library Consortium gave on the ground details about how they train their staff to support their popular statewide digital consortium.
  • American Prison Data Systems shared inspiring stories of how access to digital books has impacted inmates and NC Kids Digital Library shared their journey to providing access to their digital library to every child in the state of North Carolina.
  • How Toledo-Lucas County Public Library and Auckland Libraries use data to make decisions for their digital collection and try to find new users.
  • Demos of the recent updates in the Libby app, the development of a school specific app geared towards students, and the pilot program to get library cards into the hands of more people instantly.
  • A funny and heartfelt live podcast interview with bestselling author Kelly Corrigan and our own Professional Book Nerds.
  • And as always, we learned that Digipalooza attendees know how to have a good time! Bowling, karaoke, arcade games, and plenty of laughs kicked off our opening night at Punch Bowl Social Wednesday and the dance floor was packed Thursday night at the House of Blues.

We are grateful for the generous support of our conference partners (Baker Publishing Group, Blackstone Audio, Books on Tape, HarperCollins, and Penguin Random House) and the dozens of other fantastic sponsors and exhibitors who helped make Digipalooza happen.

If you attended Digipalooza and didn’t receive the follow-up email providing access to presentations and your certificate of attendance, please contact your Account Specialist or email digipalooza2017@overdrive.com.

We hope to see you in 2019!

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