OverDrive Digital Library Blog

New monthly K-12 webcasts start June 19th!

May 26, 2017 - 3:49pm

Join OverDrive for a series of live monthly webcasts specifically designed for you, our administrators, classroom teachers, media specialists, and school librarians. We’ll discuss the basics of shopping in Marketplace, the student user experience, and strategies for talking to your school community about your OverDrive service. Plan ahead for professional development and all-staff days, or register for the sessions that best fit your individual schedule.

Can’t attend live? Register anyway – we will send you a link to the recording and a PDF of the slides to add to your professional toolkit. Get prepped for your best school year yet!

Shopping for Titles in Marketplace

Learn the basics of purchasing content in OverDrive Marketplace. This session includes a live demonstration on how to browse and search for content, build and manage shopping carts, submit a purchase order, and access additional help and training resources.

The Student User Experience

Take a tour of your school digital library website and learn the basics of OverDrive Read and Listen, including defining words instantly, highlighting text, and exporting notes.

How to Talk to Your School Community About OverDrive

Join us to learn more about key talking points, meaningful data, and innovative ways to engage your educators, parents, students, and even digital doubters with your OverDrive service.

K-12 Monthly Webcast Schedule

All sessions are held on Monday and at 3:30 PM (EDT) unless otherwise noted. Sessions will be recorded and archived on our Resource Center.

Shopping for Titles in Marketplace
Monday, June 19 @ 3:30 PM and 7:00 PM

The Student User Experience
Monday, July 17 @ 3:30 PM and 7:00 PM

How to Talk to Your School Community About OverDrive – Special live podcast at Digipalooza!
Friday, August 4.
This session will be recorded live at our user conference and posted to our Resource Center! No registration available.

Shopping for Titles in Marketplace
Monday, September 12 @ 3:30 PM

The Student User Experience
Monday, October 16 @ 3:30 PM

How to Talk to Your School Community About OverDrive
Monday, November 13 @ 3:30 PM

Shopping for Titles in Marketplace
Monday, December 11 @ 3:30 PM

The Student User Experience
Monday, January 22 @ 3:30 PM

How to Talk to Your School Community About OverDrive
Monday, February 19 @ 3:30 PM

Shopping for Titles in Marketplace
Monday, March 19 @ 3:30 PM

The Student User Experience
Monday, April 16 @ 3:30 PM

REGISTER TODAY!*

(*Registration for sessions goes live on a quarterly basis)

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A love letter to books

May 24, 2017 - 12:25pm

By: Adam Sockel, OverDrive Marketing & Communications Specialist

Stephen King describes books as, “Uniquely portable magic.” That may be true, but I like to think of them as kindling, metaphorically of course. Each book you read is cholk-full of bits of kindling for taking your brain anywhere. When you find a spark, a nugget of an idea, you can build yourself a fire and brighten even the darkest times. Books can be your light. They guide. They comfort. They move emotions. Books change minds and lives. They’re the foundation of society, intelligence and the evolution of thought.

Gateway to anywhere
People often talk about books as a means of escapism. They allow you to tuck into your favorite nook and hide away in far off galaxies, distant pasts or impossible futures. I love the hidden secrets I get to share with books but I also love the conversations and doors they open up. We live in a world that is both more connected than ever thanks to the internet but also fractured into untold numbers of ideologies and beliefs. Whenever I see an opinion or statement I don’t understand, I head towards books to comprehend the points being made. It’s comforting to know that the knowledge of countless belief systems and minds is awaiting me. Answers are out there. I only need pick up a book to find them. A spark of an idea just waiting for me to ignite it.

A Story
The first author I ever interviewed for the Professional Book Nerds podcast was an unknown, debut author from the Netherlands named Marieke Nijkamp. This was 18 months ago. Since then, Marieke has become a #1 New York Times bestselling author (for 50+ consecutive weeks) and is on a major panel at Book Expo America. After we spoke, Marieke signed a copy of her now mega-hit book, This Is Where It Ends for me. Above her signature she wrote three simple words. Always choose hope. That’s what books are to me. They are hope. Hope of a world that can exist. Hope that things can and will improve and that anything is achievable. Hope that, as long as books are by my side, I’m never truly alone.

When tragedies strike our world, it’d be easy to let negativity and sadness take the day. Giving up sounds easy a lot of the time but it doesn’t solve anything. Instead, I look at that signature and am comforted knowing that comprehension for why these things happen is available in books. I don’t give up. I choose hope.

And so…
Books can show us a world we hope to someday live in or they can show us one we hope never becomes reality. They also have the ability to tuck us away into worlds that couldn’t ever possibly exist outside of our minds. They inspire us to do better. They don’t create the warmth and the flames themselves. They are the spark. They provide us the tools to create our own fire. To quote the great Lin Manuel Miranda, you simply have to, “fan that spark into a flame.”

So this is my love letter to books. You instill in us the ability to share our thoughts, learn from others, and expand our understanding of the world we live in. You provide hope that things can and will get better, as well as the instruments to be the change we want to see in the world. Books have been one of the constants in my life. Guiding me from a wandering child, yearning to find my place to the person I am today, writing this very post. For that I say, thank you. From the depths of my soul and the bottom of my heart.

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Penguin Random House is giving away 3,000 digital copies of Radical Hope to libraries by Carolina De Robertis for free

May 23, 2017 - 9:28am

OverDrive is excited to announce that our friends at the Penguin Random House Library Marketing team are giving away 3,000 copies of ALA-award-winning author Carolina De Robertis’ new book for free. Radical Hope: Letters of Love and Dissent in Dangerous Times is a collection of letters designed to give libraries and their communities hope and inspiration. U.S public libraries can request copies by visiting this website and filling out a quick entry form.

This collection of essays are written to various audiences including ancestors, to children five generations from now, to strangers in grocery lines and to any and all who feel weary and discouraged. They are written by some of today’s most influential voices including Junot Diaz, Celeste NG, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Peter Orner and many others. Radical Hope offers readers a kaleidoscopic view of the love and courage needed to navigate this time of upheaval, uncertainty, and fear. It shows us that, no matter how tough times are, as long as there is hope, there is survival.

We’d like to thank Penguin Random House for providing this unique gift to 3,000 OverDrive libraries. Be sure to fill out this short entry form to request copies. These copies won’t last long.

Availability of this title may vary by geographic location

 

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Summer blockbuster movie tie-ins

May 22, 2017 - 1:08pm

By: Annie Suhy, OverDrive Collection Development Analyst

All the best stories begin in a book. It seems that film directors agree based on this summer’s ‘page to screen’ lineup. Many devoted readers will be making the trek to the theater to see if the fresh new films measure up. But a host of new and potential readers may just get hooked on a new author or series when the realize the truth: it was a book first. And everybody knows the book is always better.

Check out these new summer adaptations on your reading devices before they hit the big screen:

Adult

Wonder Woman by Nancy Holder
2017 is the year of the woman, so it’s no wonder that the ultimate female superhero has finally made it to the big screen. It’s been 75 years since Wonder Woman debuted on the pages of DC Comics and according to reviews, she was worth the wait.
Release date: June 2017.

The Beguiled by Thomas Cullinan
Sofia Coppola revives this gothic tale set during the Civil War era at a Southern girls’ boarding school. An all-star cast featuring Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, Elle Fanning, and Colin Farrell is sure to mesmerize viewers next month.
Release date: June 2017.

The Dark Tower by Stephen King
It by Stephen King
King reigns at the box office this summer with two of his bestsellers becoming major motion pictures. If you’re looking for fantasy/sci-fi with a twist of horror, both films release later this summer (but the eBooks are available now!).
Release date: Aug. 2017.
Release date: Sept. 2017.

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
This break-your-heart memoir spent more than 7 years on the New York Times bestseller list and has finally made its way to Hollywood. An in-depth look at a highly dysfunctional family, the film boasts stars Woody Harrelson, Brie Larson, and Naomi Watts.
Release date: Aug. 2017.

Kids & Teens

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
In the mood for a sappy buy sweet romance? The latest screen adaptation of the YA novel delivers an endearing teen love story about a girl who’s allergic to everything (literally) and a boy who moves next door.
Release date: May 2017.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Perfect for the middle-grade set and reluctant readers, the Wimpy Kid series features a relatable character in a funny comic format. In The Long Haul, a family road trip goes horribly wrong and will keep kids laughing all summer long.
Release date: May 2017.

Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey
This 3D computer-animated superhero hits theaters in early June and the elementary kids will flock to see the zany misadventures of two mischievous pranksters who hypnotize their mean school principal and turn him into their comic book creation.
Release date: June 2017.

Plus many more, including TV movies and series:

Berlin Syndrome (Streaming on Netflix, May 2017)
Wizard of Lies (HBO TV movie, May 2017)
Still Star-Crossed (ABC TV series for YA, May 2017)
My Cousin Rachel (June 2017)
The Mist (TV series, June 2017)
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (July 2017)
Tulip Fever (Aug. 2017)
American Assassin (Sept. 2017)
Victoria and Abdul (Sept. 2017)
The Mountain Between Us (Oct. 2017)
Same Kind of Different as Me (Oct. 2017)
The Snowman (Oct. 2017)

Find more Page to Screen recommendations in Marketplace.

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Aligning Digital Reading Resources to Curriculum Objectives

May 19, 2017 - 10:14am

Recently, Tech & Learning and OverDrive Education teamed up to create a white-paper about how districts are leveraging their investments in technology to use eBooks and other digital resources to improve students’ reading proficiency, frequency and achievement. Students benefit from an easy-to-use solution that offers 24/7 access so that learning can happen anytime and anywhere.

The more students read, the more likely they are to think critically, learn independently and develop a lifelong love of reading. Research shows that using a variety of texts helps students develop strategies to understand, analyze and synthesize information.

Schools want customized digital resources

Schools are increasing access to digital resources with 21st-century school libraries that provide novels, non-fiction on every topic and other materials on demand.

With the growing use of 1:1 solutions, districts leverage the value of their investment with 24/7 access to digital materials. Using the OverDrive digital reading platform which is customized for each school or district, students can find eBooks and audiobooks that are aligned with curriculum, develop a love of reading and improve performance in all content areas.

Digital content is customizable, convenient, and engaging. It enables teachers to personalize instruction, encourages students to read independently and holds student attention. In addition, digital resources can be updated quickly, may be adapted to address students’ learning differences and styles and can offer interactive functions that pique student interests. The result is that students improve reading proficiency, frequency and achievement.

Shared collections and digital curriculum integration

Download the full white-paper and learn more about how OverDrive supports 21st-century learning and teaching at the Tech & Learning website and see a suite of OverDrive Education success stories featuring shared collections, digital curriculum integration and more.

 

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OverDrive joins multi-industry business group to save federal library funding

May 18, 2017 - 1:38pm

Many of America’s leading information, software, publishing and other businesses as well as multiple national trade associations today unveiled the Corporate Committee for Library Investment to advocate for federal library funding.\

As Congress turns to funding the government beyond next September, CCLI launches against the backdrop of Administration proposals to eliminate most federal library funding and the agency that distributes those funds to every state. Members of CCLI are united by the common belief that America’s libraries are business-building, job-creating, workforce-preparing engines of the U.S. economy in every corner of the country. The group formed to tell that story to Congress and other federal policy makers who control library funding and to encourage every American business to do the same.

CCLI today delivered a letter, which remains open to signature by any business of any size, to all members of the United States Senate. (Eight companies made a similar delivery in their own names on May 11.) The letter expressly asks senators to sign two letters to their colleagues on the Appropriations Committee calling for $186.6 million in FY 2018 funding for programs under the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and $27 million for the Innovative Approaches to Literacy program (IAL). LSTA funding goes primarily to a population-based matching grant program that puts states in charge of how federal funds are spent. IAL allows school libraries and non-profit groups to buy books and educational materials for the nation’s neediest children.

You can sign up and show your support at https://www.fundlibraries.com/ and read the full press release here.

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Curated Collections Create Circulation Commotion

May 16, 2017 - 11:25am

(Ed. Note: This blog was written by Jessica Russell, Collection Development Manager at Harris County Public Library.)

We love OverDrive’s Curated Collection feature here at Harris County Public Library! It’s all of the creative excitement of putting together a book display with none of the hassle of trying to put your hands on enough books related to the theme. The HCPL team has some favorite approaches to coming with collection themes. We love:

  • Tie-ins to library programs, like Celebrate National Library Week with Books About…Books and HCPL’s Tournament of Books.
  • Texas Library Association’s reading lists, like the Texas Bluebonnet Awards and the Lone Stars. These are required reading in many area schools.
  • Local area events, like Comicpalooza, Houston Money Week, and Houston Rodeo (Let’s Get Saucy: BBQ Cookin’ and TX Food)
  • Genre spins and read-alikes, like Modern Kids’ Classics, Book Boyfriends, and MORE LIKE: Thirteen Reasons Why
  • Media/Pop Culture tie-ins, like May The Fourth Be With You!, S-Town Reads, and Tale As Old As Time
  • Seasonal themes, like Snow What? YA Books for Winter and Snow and Swoons—Holiday Romance

My favorite collections are the ones with snappy titles. Oh The Horror! (YA horror) and Batty for Books (kids’ Halloween books) were fun, and I loved A Murder of Read-alikes for SIX OF CROWS. Pinterest is helpful if you’re stuck for a good title. I do love bad puns and have to be talked down from posting anything too cheesy.

Customer response to our collections has been amazing. I have had to take smaller collections down after a few days because everything was checked out, and I hate to have nothing available. Our Comicpalooza 2017 collection has checked out completely a few times since it’s been up. Our romance collections always do well. We had a customer tweet about our Book Boyfriends collection! The last time I changed out all the collections we saw the kind of circulation bump we usually only get when we purchase new materials.

Our Marketing department is fabulous about promoting our collections. I contact them when I put up new collections, and they include a link in their social media posts. I also love to hand-sell the collections and make a point of showing our HCPL OverDrive page when chatting about the library with anyone/everyone.

A few curation tips:

  • Keep some draft collections going all the time so you always have something new to post.
  • Change out your collections regularly! Customers love seeing something new go up.
  • Set your collections to show available titles first.
  • Ask around for fresh collection ideas and themes.
  • Use curation to do a directed deep-dive into your collection. Doing curation will show you gaps in your collection and direct you to needed purchases.

Happy Curating!

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From foisted to favorite: required reading we love

May 12, 2017 - 3:57pm

By: Tiffany Wincek, Account Specialist.

Summer required reading lists have begun arriving in Friday folders and email inboxes. Students will certainly sigh in exasperation, but parents might recognize old favorites on that list. Adults tend to recognize that many books on required reading lists are seminal to Western culture; there is a good reason they are required. It’s no surprise then, that sometimes a required book ends up being particularly influential, or a favorite.

We asked members of Team OverDrive if they’d ever had a required reading experience turn OMG amazing. Yes, yes we have.

Fantasy becomes a fast favorite

“I think it was 3rd or 4th grade when the teacher told us we’d all be reading David and the Phoenix by Edward Ormondroyd. As soon as I knew we were required to read it, I tuned out. Call it that old “don’t you tell ME what to read!” attitude. But when I grudgingly sat down and started reading the book, I was drawn right into the world of a boy protecting a mythical bird from a prying scientist, all the while adventuring with other fabled creatures. I was pleasantly surprised that a book I had to read to maintain my grade average could be so enjoyable because most of the required books were so dry and boring to my young mind. David and the Phoenix awoke in me an interest in mythological creatures and led me to consume many books about Greek, Norse, and African mythology.”

-Justin, Integration Support Specialist

Ringer or Potter Head?

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. I know, I know how could I have been upset about that? I think it was because in my mind I separated Potter Heads and Ringers. One could NOT possibly be both. I pledged my love and affection to all things Harry Potter, to an embarrassing degree, and The Hobbit put me too close to Ringer territory, by extension. But, I of course, fell in love with the world Tolkien created and devoured The Hobbit in a single day. The Lord of the Rings shortly after. We were required to read it to understand the quest motif in literature. I read it because as it turns out, I just love adventure. I’m a Ringer and a Potter Head and that’s okay.”

-Christina, Marketing Specialist

Despite the odd substitute

“This happened to me with Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns. I had to read this in my sophomore year of high school, when my English teacher was out on a long medical leave and we had the strangest substitute in the interim. When we started reading Cold Sassy Tree, the substitute would overemphasize the character’s names, as if we were all hard of hearing or didn’t understand how to pronounce words. He always referred to the main character to as “Willllllll Tweeeeeeeeeedy,” baring his teeth with all those E’s, which really turned me off to the book.

Once I started reading it, my mom told me that it was one of my gramma’s favorite books, and since she passed away when I was 6 I liked the idea of getting to know something she liked. The story ended up really grabbing me, and when I finished I was in tears. Regardless of the teaching methods applied for this book, I was definitely pleasantly surprised by how much it touched me. To this day I consider it as one of my favorite books, even though I can also hear that silly substitute’s voice when saying Will’s name.”

-Shannon, Account Specialist

Gatsby in wider context

“I was required to read The Great Gatsby in high school and I was pleasantly surprised how much I loved it! I was not expecting the love story and all of Gatsby’s efforts for Daisy and as a hopeless romantic, I really rooted for him. Of course, as we further analyzed the book, I loved it even more because of the historical context of the Roaring Twenties, themes about the American dream, etc. I most likely would not have realized all of the symbolisms and other details if we didn’t discuss it in class. It still is my favorite book to this day!”

-Katie, Marketing and Events Specialist

Third time’s a charm

“In college, I took a Charles Dickens course. It was brutal – by far the most intense and sufferable course I took for my English major. We began with Little Dorrit (which, at 876 pages, there was nothing LITTLE about) and Our Mutual Friend (hardly…) so I didn’t have many expectations at all for the third novel we read, much less great ones. It didn’t completely win Dickens over for me, but compared to the first two that trailed on and on with endless exposition that didn’t seem to ever make sense, I found Great Expectations to be much more streamlined and narrative, and therefore a welcome refresher.”

-Adam, Advertising Specialist

Nutshell? Jane Eyre is bonkers.

“While I grudgingly admired Elizabeth Bennett’s snarky wit and Jo March’s misfit charm, I still gave my Honors English teacher some wicked side-eye when she assigned us Jane Eyre. I couldn’t help but think, “Awesome – another dead white lady is going to talk to me about manners and family.”

I am beyond thrilled to admit that I was wrong and that Jane Eyre remains one of my favorite books of all time. Mainly because it’s absolutely bonkers.

Locking up a small, impressionable child with the spectre of a long-dead relative? Check! A BFF dying consumptively while the heroine is wrapped around her damp, tragic little body? That happens! (170 year old spoiler alert) A fire-starting, certifiably insane wife locked in a secret attic room? Oh, yes. A brooding, condescending man-baby love interest who tries to commit bigamy, cross-dresses to deceive the heroine, AND mansplains eeeeeeeeverything? Sign. Me. Up.

Seriously – if you passed this up or blew this off in high school, be sure to give it (another) chance if you love crazy, epic, gothic romances with just a touch of the supernatural, and feisty, independent heroines who take absolutely no prisoners.”

-Sydney, Training Specialist

 

“For me this book was Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. I remember everybody liking The Great Gatsby in high school, but my favorite read ended up being this 500-page book about a governess in a creepy house. I guess that’s the time I started enjoying romance and mystery because that’s what kept me turning pages.”

-Briana, Training Specialist

Modern? Yes, unfortunately.

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. I had to read this book in 11th grade. I really didn’t want to because I suspected the writing would be dense and hard to follow. I was absolutely correct about that! But I was pleasantly surprised to find I enjoyed the book. Hawthorne’s portrayal of the emotional transactions between men and women is actually very modern. And Hester is a great early example of a free-thinking woman dealing with her sexuality in a male-dominated society.”

-Melinda, Content Analyst

Pfft. No dragons?

“Around sixth grade I was assigned The Count of Monte Cristo. At the time, I thought, “How boring! It doesn’t seem like there will be any fantasy or adventure in this. Definitely no dragons.” After dragging my feet to get started, I dove into this book and did not come up for air until it was finished. It was amazing! I was quite misguided in my assumption that there would be no adventure (though I was correct about the dragons). I learned just how extraordinary the human spirit could be with a little ingenuity and a lot of perseverance. My reading horizons were forever expanded thanks to The Count of Monte Cristo.”

-Krista, User Experience Analyst

That time you fall for a book that (ahem) no one else likes

“10th grade Honors English (ahem) Jim had no time to read books about slaughterhouses, nor did he have time to read books by guys named Kurt. Who names their kid Kurt, anyway? Clearly, Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut, would be a disaster, because anytime 10th grade Honors English (ahem) Jim mentioned it to his upper-class friends, he was met with wide eyes, or long sighs, or simple phrases like, “Oh yeah, that book. Hated every minute”, or, “Cliff Notes it, man.” Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, enjoyed this book. To add insult, it was a summer reading requirement, which is the worst kind of reading requirement for a kid who wanted to spend their entire summer on the baseball diamond.

But boy, did Jim love it. So much so that he read it twice (!) that summer, dissected every word, aced the beginning of year essay, and started a love of all things Vonnegut. It also changed 10th grade Honors English (ahem) Jim’s thoughts about reading. If it weren’t for Slaughterhouse-Five, Jim may not be as voracious of a reader as he is today.”

-Jim, Account Specialist

The French can be funny. Who knew?

“Senior year of High School, our World Lit teacher made us read Cyrano de Bergerac. I remember thinking that I didn’t want to read some stuffy French story. Within a few pages, though, I was laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes. I read the entire play in one night! Since then, I’ve had a lot of fun finding movies who borrow on Cyrano for inspiration.”

-Bailey, Content Specialist

 

“The example that leaps to mind is Cyrano de Bergerac, which was a play by Edmond Rostand.

I really didn’t think I was going to enjoy it because it was written in 1897, Rostand wasn’t Shakespeare, and because it didn’t include much that I was interested in at the time. If I was going to read something from that era, I generally wanted adventure like The Three Musketeers (which was an excellent book). However, the story was great, the jokes were funny, and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing. Plus, we got to watch the Steve Martin movie (Roxanne) after we read it, and that was pretty great too.”

-Quinton, Product Owner

Janie is pretty much the hurricane

“I remember having Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston as a summer required reading book when I was in high school. I thought it was going to be heavy and un-relatable, but Janie, the main character, is a determined woman who wants to find happiness her own way. I loved her free spirit and will forever have a mental image of the hurricane scene at the end of the book.”

-Kristin, Content Analyst

On stretching your comfort zone

“As a student I dreaded reading Lord of the Flies. The title was weird and somehow gross, and the cover and description sounded horrible and scary to me. Well, anyone who has read the book knows it is indeed horrible and scary – and that’s what makes it fascinating and so memorable. Reading and discussing it (at length) with anyone else who had read it made me want to read more things outside my comfort zone and helped me become the book club lover that I am today!”

-Leslie, Library Partner Services Manager

First pass at the portal

I was given A Wrinkle in Time to read in school when I was young, probably early middle school years. At that time, I had not done much exploring into the world of sci-fi literature. Much less something appropriate for young adult readers. Besides being an exciting story, it made me feel like a whole new world opened up – the book has positive messages of power, individuality, bravery and love. It is a must read, for sure.”

-Erin, Software Tester

From bummer to breathtaking

“The book I had to read and honestly dreaded reading, was The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. I thought as a 10th grader do I really want to read a book about the Great Depression? I mean the topic doesn’t necessarily conjure up excitement. I was pleasantly surprised, however, and I really loved it. I couldn’t put it down and it was not a quick read. Steinbeck brought the time period to life and as a big history buff I really appreciated that. The characters and their struggles stayed with me long after I put the book down.”

-Jen, Account Specialist

When a book goes above and beyond

“The book I read in school that I was sure I was going to hate was Native Son by Richard Wright. Shockingly, I liked this book because to me, it was more so a book about what a person will do when put in a situation where they are “up against a wall” and are in a pure panic more so than it was the race issue of the characters. It was about that but I got more from the book than just that.”

-Kelli, Support Specialist

Reading to beat the spoilers on the bus

“I remember reading And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie in middle school. Any book I read in school felt like a chore; however, once we started reading Christie’s title I was hooked. It was a mysterious tale of ten strangers invited to an island where all died “until there were none.” It reminded me of the movie CLUE. I racked my brain trying to figure out who was the killer and why. Several friends read ahead and tried to tell me the ending, which encouraged me to read faster before they spoiled it!”

-Lauren, Digital Media Events Specialist

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#GETCAUGHTREADING : BOOKISH, LITERARY, AND PROUD!

May 10, 2017 - 7:28pm

By: Rickie Mascia, OverDrive Social Media Specialist

Embrace your bookish habits and Get Caught Reading in your favorite place with your favorite characters. As many fellow readers know…the month of May features the Get Caught Reading Campaign, a time for readers across the nation to celebrate and share their love and admiration for all things literary (like libraries and their digital collections ).

Originating in 1999, the Association of American Publishers (AAP) launched the campaign to remind readers of all ages that getting lost in a book is an experience to admire, embrace, and cherish. For obvious reasons, we whole heartedly support this message, not just in May but all year round.

Every reader has their own Wonderland, where they escape reality and dive deeply into a book where no distractions can take them away from their adventure. Inspired by the star studded collection that launched the campaign to encourage bookish people nationwide to capture their reading adventures, these 9 readers are Bookish, Literary, and Proud as they join the “Got Caught Reading” list.

1) THE OUTDOOR READER 2) THE ON-THE-GO READER 3) THE COMFORT READER 4) THE RETREAT READER 5) THE PORCH READER 6) THE ADVENTURE READER 7) THE RELAXED READER 8) THE LESSONS LEARNED READER 9) THE SOCIAL READER

Take a break from reality and #GetCaughtReading…show the world you are Bookish, Literary and Proud!

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Cokie Roberts announced as the Digipalooza ’17 Keynote Speaker

May 9, 2017 - 10:20pm

One of America’s most respected journalists and authors who writes about women in history will take center stage at Digipalooza this summer. Cokie Roberts, award-winning journalist and bestselling author, will deliver the keynote address at the conference you don’t want to miss if you work with digital media in the library!

Cokie Roberts is a political commentator for ABC News and NPR. In her more than forty years in broadcasting, she has won countless awards, including three Emmys. She has been inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame, and was cited by the American Women in Radio and Television as one of the fifty greatest women in the history of broadcasting. In addition to her reporting, Roberts has written six New York Times bestsellers, most dealing with the roles of women in U.S. history, including the children’s version of Ladies of Liberty published in December 2016.

Digipalooza will be held in Cleveland, Ohio August 2-4, 2017. While spots are limited (and filling quickly on the heels of this announcement), registration is still open! Be sure to sign up today to hear Cokie Roberts keynote speech, network with librarians who do what you do, and learn about how to find new users and increase your digital circulation. Don’t miss what one previous attendee called, “absolutely the best conference I’ve ever attended in my twenty-plus years as a librarian!”

Register today at http://digipalooza.com/register-now!

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Everything you need to know about OverDrive Summer Read titles

May 9, 2017 - 3:51pm

By: Christina Samek, Marketing Specialist.

We’re still a few weeks out before OverDrive Summer Read begins but I can’t help getting excited—and it’s not just because it means summer has arrived. We have such a great group of titles this year, thanks to a collaboration with our amazing publishers: Nickelodeon, Orca Book Publishers, Sleeping Bear Press, AudioGO, Ink Monster LLC, Pants on Fire Press and Harmony Ink Press. This year’s collection covers a wide range of topics and with a wonderful cast of characters.

If you haven’t yet, check out our OverDrive Summer Read website. New this month: we’re thrilled to unveil our marketing suite (which includes student activity guides, marketing resources, a letter to parents, and a staff email) and our special edition podcast, hosted by our very own Professional Book Nerds.

There’s a lot to be excited about but in case you need a little convincing (or perhaps your educators do), here’s a summary of our titles and why your students shouldn’t miss out:

Juvenile

The Wild World of Buck Bray: The Miss Grizzly Cubs By Judy Young. Buck Bray is an 11-year-old budding TV star, part of a new kid-oriented wilderness show. The book takes place in Denali National Park, home to amazing wildlife, like the Grizzly Bear. When Buck and his unexpected companion, Tony, a cameraman’s daughter, discover two grizzly cubs are missing they set out to solve the mystery. They end up on quite the adventure with Alaska as their backdrop and criminals hot on their tails. Great for children who love animals and adventure. It will teach them the joys of opening themselves up friendships outside their comfort zone. It will also encourage a love of nature and push kids to explore the world outside, beyond their screens.

Tig Ripley: Rock ‘n’ Roll Rebel by Ginger Rue. Thirteen-year-old Tig Ripley has decided to start a band to propel her out of the background and into the spotlight at her middle school. After a few weeks of drum practice, she feels she has enough rock ‘n’ roll to get things started. Joined by her best friend and cousin, on keyboard and bass, and tough girl Robbie on lead guitar, all she needs is a lead singer. When popular diva Haley Thorton makes a vie for the coveted spot, Tig must learn what it takes to make perfect harmony. Excellent read for young girls as it promotes individuality, girl power, the power of friendship and proves that often, if it scares you, it’s worth the risk.

Happy Birthday, SpongeBob! by J-P Chanda. It’s our favorite little sponge who lives in a pineapple under the sea and it’s his birthday! Though, it seems his lovable brood of marine life has forgotten all about his special day. It’s the hilarity that made the show a still-running classic on TV but with a few lessons along the way. It’s not the material stuff that makes our fondest memories, it’s the people (or creatures) who are there for it all.

Pandas on the Eastside by Gabrielle Predergast. Ten-year-old Journey Strong is on a mission to rescue two pandas being held captive in a warehouse in her poverty-stricken neighborhood. The pandas were destined for a Washington zoo but have been caught up in a diplomatic spat between China and the United States. Journey’s love for her panda friends inspires her neighborhood and they work together to save the day! This is a feel-good read that also explores what life can be like when money is tight in a neighborhood that looks like several across the world. It also gives proof that compassion breeds compassion. It shouldn’t take cuddly pandas to teach us kindness, but they sure don’t hurt.

Meet Shimmer and Shine by Nickelodeon Publishing. Meet genie sisters, Shimmer and Shine and join them on a magical adventure in this read-along eBook. It’s a great option for your younger readers as it uses shorter sentences and basic vocabulary. The read-along narration also helps to sound out new words and enhance learning!

Mikey’s Monster by Nickelodeon Publishing. It’s everybody’s favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! Join Mikey and his friends as they encounter a strange creature living in their sewers and determine if it’s a friend or new enemy! Another read-along adventure. Perfect for young boys. This read-along option is a bit more advanced than Meet Shimmer and Shine but has the same benefits for new readers.

 

Young Adult

Ray of Sunlight by Brynn Stein. Russ is a seventeen-year-old juvenile delinquent expecting to make his way to an adult penitentiary. He has no plans, except to drop out of high school. His most recent stint of community service has him working in a hospital where he meets CJ Calhoun. CJ has aspirations, big dream in fact, and stage 4 cancer. They are complete opposites but find they have more in common than they ever thought possible. A riveting and tragic LGBTQ teen romance that proves that while love can’t always cure us, it can save us.

Instant Winner by Gary Soto. Twelve-year-old Jason Rodriquez just won $3,700 in the lottery. He’s never been very lucky nor has his crazy Uncle Mike. Jason decides to change both their unlucky lots and spring Mike out of jail–as one can assume, chaos ensues. A fun, easy-going read for middle school aged students and up. Students will learn lady luck can be a bit of a jerk if you’re not careful!

Becoming Alpha by Aileen Erin. She might have been called ‘Freaky Tessa’ at her old school, given her strange, psychic ability, but her old classmates can’t even begin to imagine the ‘freakiness’ Tessa is experiencing now at St. Ailbe’s Academy. It might be the fact she kissed the wrong guy on a whim and he turned her into a werewolf. Or it could be the vampires attacking her new school… Who doesn’t love a paranormal teen romance with werewolves and vampires? Our heroine isn’t a shrinking daisy and her romance is a slow burn–the best kind!

The Pigeon Man by Joel Edward Stein. Danny Simon has seen a world of pain at thirteen years old. He lost his entire family in the Holocaust. Now, out of Poland and in America for the first time with an aunt and uncle he’s never met and nightmares that keep him up all night, he’s struggling to adapt. He finds an unlikely friend in Mike Delaney, a weary war veteran. Together they work to save an injured pigeon and repair wounds they both thought would never heal. Everyone should read this book. It’s as heartbreaking as it is beautiful. Danny and Mike are deeply flawed but the lessons they learn from one another can teach us all.

Audacious by Gabrielle Prendergast. Sixteen-year-old Raphaelle has never fit in. She says and does all the wrong things. The only thing she does right and seemingly well is drawing. When her father moves her family across the country, she decides to reinvent herself as Ella and it almost works. She finds herself falling for Samir, a Muslim boy in her art class, and as a way to cope with her confusing feelings she draws a rather explicit photo. When the photo ends up in the wrong hands, her life begins to feel all wrong all over again. Told entirely in verse, this is a unique, funny, and dark look into the life of a teenager. High school can simultaneously be the best and worst time of our life.

At the Edge of the World by Kari Jones. Maddie and Ivan have been best friends their whole lives. They love each other and protect each other. When Ivan’s life starts to spiral out of control, Maddie agonizes over how to save him. How do you keep a secret when it’s hurting the one you love? How far does friendship go? An intriguing and hard-hitting read. It tackles alcoholism and fractured home lives while also portraying the importance of friendship and how it’s sometimes the only saving grace in a young person’s troubled life.

Don’t miss any of these titles! Coming to a school website near you this June.

The post Everything you need to know about OverDrive Summer Read titles appeared first on OverDrive Blogs.

Reading with Mom

May 8, 2017 - 12:56pm

By: Adam Sockel, OverDrive Marketing & Communications Specialist 

I’m a Momma’s Boy. That’s not a secret. In fact, if you visit our blog with any regularity, you’ll find several stories I’ve shared about my lifelong connection to my mother. I was one of those rare kids who never had an awkward period of life where I hated my parents. All the way through grade school and high school I rarely kept secrets from them. We talked every night about school, sports, girlfriends and, of course, books. One of the most important moments in my life comes from the night before I headed off to college. My mother was a teacher, so she couldn’t join us for move-in day. Instead, she and I stayed out on the porch all night long, talking about all the memories we’d created in life thus far. She ended the conversation by telling me how proud she was of me. I cherish it to this day.

I’m as close to my parents as ever these days and Mom and I still frequently discuss books. She and I go on yearly “book dates” where she buys me novels from our local bookstore and a week rarely goes by that we don’t discuss her book club’s selections. Stories have long been one of the many connections Mom and I share and I’ll be forever thankful because of it. The love of literature she instilled in me years ago was the spark that created a career at this incredible company. With Mother’s Day being this week, I thought I’d spread the #MomLove around, so I asked several of my co-workers for their favorite memories of reading with their mom (or reading AS the mom in some cases). Here are what a few of them said, complete with some wonderful book recommendations.

 

Shannon

Shannon’s Book Recommendation: I Love My White Shoes from Pete the Cat.

 

Liz

Liz’z Book Recommendation: Instead of discussing a book from my childhood, I’m highlighting the most recent book we’ve both read: Michelle Sagara’s Cast in Chaos, which was released this past fall. It’s the thirteenth 400-plus-page book of an epic fantasy series that will probably continue for quite some time. Some books in the series are quite good, while others can be a bit problematic – but it doesn’t really matter. Regardless of the story, Mom and I are invested in the series together, and always have a great time discussing them and many, many others.”

 

Annie

Annie’s Book Recommendation: I wanted to read stories just like my mom, so I’d hold story hour and read to my stuffed animals. All that practice paid off when I watch my daughter dance around as I, much like Shannon, read and sing for the billionth time I Love My White Shoes from Pete the Cat.

 

Christina

Christina’s Book Recommendation: Leaving Time by Jodi Piccoult. Picoult explores the complex relationship between mothers and daughters through the behaviors of elephants. Proving that no matter the differences in time, space and even species–when you become a mother, you never stop being one and when you are a daughter, you never stop needing her.

 

Melissa

Melissa’s Book Recommendation: Love You Forever by Robert N. Munsch

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Learn Something New…and win prizes!

May 4, 2017 - 3:36pm

Educators #passthepassion for learning on to their students. It’s sort of the whole point of education done well. Most of us remember fondly a teacher or librarian who helped us discover a love of learning, of reading. It’s basically the job description. If we’re lucky we get at least one adult in our school journey who gets to know us, care for us and open our minds. They stretch our interests and skill just enough to expand our understanding of the world around us, and of our own abilities.

Launching during Teacher Appreciation Week, we want to highlight the conversation about how great teachers are made…by learning first. By inviting our partners and peers to join OverDrive Education’s Learn Something New campaign, we hope to explore and celebrate the way we pass on the love of learning. It’s also a fun way to win prizes.

Participate in Learn Something New
  1. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for new prompts each week.
  2. Share your videos, posts and photos on how you’ve learned something new.
  3. Tag OverDrive Education and use #elearnsomething to win prizes. Each response gets an entry into a drawing for an OverDrive Education swag bag and other surprises, drawn weekly through May and June. Terms & Conditions apply.

Examples might include:

  • Tell us about the book that made you a reader.
  • Tell us about a time a student learned something new about himself.
  • Tell us about a time you learned something new about using digital content in your classroom.
  • Tell us about a time you learned something from a student.
  • Tell us about a time a reluctant reader became a reader.

We hope you’ll participate to show students first you learn to read, then you read to learn.

https://blogs.overdrive.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/promo-Coding.mp4

We can’t wait to hear your stories!

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Short Reads for Weekend Getaways or Staycations

May 3, 2017 - 7:18am

By: Kristin Milks, OverDrive Collection Development Analyst

(Ed. Note: Summer is quickly approaching for readers in the U.S. and with it comes warm weather and holiday weekends. As we welcome that time honored tradition of the long weekend we thought it necessary to offer up some quick reads you can tackle before returning to work. Whether it’s in one sitting or over several days, these books are the perfect excuse to relax all weekend long. We highlight some of our favorites but the links in the first paragraph will direct you to complete lists perfect for curated collections on your OverDrive digital library website.)

The long weekend will soon be upon us and what better way to spend it than with a book in hand. Whether you’re out on the trail, going on a road trip, staying home, or moseying to the beach, a book will make a great companion. But sometimes you need to feel extra accomplished and finish that book quickly! Well we have a list of short books for a long weekend that should satisfy the reader in you, and achiever. But wait…there’s more! Some books, though not short, are hard to put down. Even though you may spend some extra time with these reads, you’ll be wishing there were more pages to flip when you finish. So here is our list of Unputdownables. Below find some picks from both of those lists.

Short Reads:
Something New by Lucy Knisley is a delight. A graphic memoir about the author’s wedding, it’s a look at what it takes to plan a wedding, deal with family, and what marriage looks like, and all that.

At the Mountains of Madness by HP Lovecraft. Need a quick read that has set the basis for much weird fantasy/horror? Nothing like some good old Cthulhu to make you want to curl up in bed.

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes was made into a movie recently, so maybe you can read the book, then go see the movie and compare! I expect your analysis on my desk by 9am Monday morning.

Unputdownables:
You by Caroline Kepnes. Creepy, riveting, and suspenseful, the most terrifying part is that you start feeling for the predator.

Circle of Friends by Maeve Binchy. Binchy writes strong characters with fully formed emotions that compel those in need of a lovely little treat to continue reading.

The Red Hunter by Lisa Unger. The perfect page turner this book has lots of twists and turns, but with enough meat to keep you satisfied. Hear Lisa Unger discuss her writing process and craft with our Professional Book Nerds on our podcast.

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Audiobooks that Kids and Parents Can Enjoy Together

May 2, 2017 - 7:07am

By: Liz Tousey, OverDrive Collection Development Analyst.

Ed. Note: You can view and purchase all these titles for your collection here: Click here to browse a list of these audiobooks and more in Marketplace.)

Many of us know from personal experience that audiobooks are great for the individual listener, but we think they’re also great for family listening! The classic way that families tend to listen to audiobooks is in the car, particularly for road trips, but they’re also great for bedtime and beyond! We’ve composed a short list of terrific audiobooks that are kid-friendly, but fun for parents too!

New Releases For the Kids Who Have Already Read Everything
Try The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora, written and read by Pablo Cartaya, which will be released on May 16th. Thirteen-year-old Arturo has a short To Do list for this coming summer: save the family restaurant, protect the town from a villainous developer, and get the new girl in his apartment building, Carmen, to notice him. No problem, right? A great story about family, Cartaya’s debut novel will make you laugh, and also make you hungry! Other new audiobooks that we recommend are The Door in the Alley, a new adventure and mystery series written by Adrienne Kress and read by Kristen Sieh, and The Lost Kingdom of Bamarre, a fantasy story written by Gail Carson Levine, and read by January LaVoy.

Classics for Parents Who Want to Pass Down Their Favorites
Personally, I can’t wait to listen to The Westing Game or A Wrinkle in Time with my kids, and I’ll bet I’m not the only book nerd determined to raise more of my kind. Of course there are hundreds upon hundreds of books that parents want to pass down to their kids, but some of our favorites are: Brian Jaques’s Redwall series with full cast recordings, Anne of Green Gables written by L.M. Montgomery and read by Kate Burton, The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler written by E.L. Konigsburg and read by Jill Clayburgh, and many many more!

Celebrity Narrators
Kids may not recognize Tony Shalhoub or that he narrates A Cricket in Times Square written by George Selden, or that Kate Winslet is reading Roald Dahl’s Matilda to the family, but with such great actors, parents will know that these audiobooks are world-class. We also recommend David Tennant’s narration of the How to Train Your Dragon series by Cressida Cowell, and James Van Der Beek’s narration of Chomp by Carl Hiasson.

Popular Authors Who Write for Adults and Kids
Does Mom love John Grisham and James Patterson? Maybe Dad can’t get enough of Alexander McCall Smith and Neil Gaiman. Well, these popular authors also write a great kids book! Parents and children can share in their love of the same author with audiobooks like the charming Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman, and the exciting Kid Lawyer: Theordore Boone by John Grisham. And lovers of Alexander McCall Smith’s No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency novels will enjoy the kid-friendly “prequels” about Precious Ramotswe’s childhood sleuthing.

Fiction for the Armchair Historians
Spark an interesting conversation and teach kids a little something about the past with these historical fiction stories. Learn about Midwest prairie life in the 1870s and 1880s with Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House series read by Cherry Jones. Laugh and learn along with the Watsons as they go to Birmingham and experience the Civil Rights movement and it’s implications in the deep south in 1963, written by Christopher Paul Curtis and read by LeVar Burton. Or explore the refugee experience and discuss the Vietnam War with Thanhha Lai’s Inside Out & Back Again.

And Of Course, Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and Star Wars
No list of kid-and-parent-friendly audiobooks is complete without the beloved characters and evergreen adventure stories of Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and Star Wars. With great narrators, these characters are always a hit and are interesting, exciting, and funny enough to keep everyone’s attention.

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How QR codes can connect your community to your digital library

May 1, 2017 - 6:27am

By: Melissa Marin, OverDrive Marketing Specialist

Many libraries have shown renewed interest in connecting readers with their digital titles using QR codes, especially after reading the recent article Digital Wallpapers Open Doors in American Libraries Magazine. That article highlights San Antonio Public Library‘s ongoing Digital Library Community Project and how they use QR codes on highly customized large scale posters created by their graphic design team to provide access to their digital titles.

It is easier than ever to share links from your OverDrive site directly with users to promote your digital collection. All it takes is a quick copy and paste if you’re sharing on your social media accounts. But if you are creating print materials, typing in a long URL is not the most attractive option – this is where QR codes come in. Users scan a QR code with an app on their phone or tablet and right away, they’re taken to the exact URL you wanted to promote.

It’s simple to create a QR code that link to titles, genres or collections on your OverDrive site for your marketing campaigns, big or small!

Visit the title details page for a book in your catalog that you want to highlight – for example, Wild by Cheryl Strayed – and copy the URL. I’ve visited the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library and the URL for Wild is: https://toledo.overdrive.com/media/647415. You can do this when searching by subject or collections, as well. On Toledo’s site, here’s a direct link to their Available Now Audiobooks collection and books with the subject designation of Biography & Autobiography.

Use a QR code generator/URL shortener like Goo.gl. There are many free options available if you do a search but we most frequently use Goo.gl. Copy the URL that you want to link to and paste it where it says “Your original URL here” and then choose “Shorten URL”.

Click the 3 dots that appear next to the URL when you hover to see additional options. For the Google URL shortener, you’ll see Analytics Data, QR code, and Hide URL.

Select QR code and right-click (or take a screen capture) to copy or save the QR code. The codes generated by Google are 150×150 in size and can be added to marketing materials.

A bonus of creating QR codes is that it can give you insight about the traffic to that URL. Google allows you to view analytics data to view clicks, referrers, browsers, countries and platforms.

Here are the codes for the 3 URLs referenced above. Use a QR code scanner app on your device to test these out and see how easy it is to link directly to specific books, genres, and featured collections.

Doing something creative to promote OverDrive at your library with QR codes? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter. We’d love to share your story!

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Pay it Forward in the classroom

April 28, 2017 - 9:37am

By: Tiffany Wincek, Account Specialist.
Have you ever found a lucky penny on the street? When I was little, someone told me that a found penny is only lucky if it’s heads up. Ever since that moment, whenever I’ve found a penny face down on the ground, I’ve always flipped it over so that at least it would be lucky to the next passerby who noticed it. Over the years, several people asked me what in the world I was doing; why wouldn’t I just pocket the change? To me, the thought of someone else stumbling across a lucky penny made me feel so much richer than one extra cent ever could. I guess this was my first foray into the realm of Pay It Forward.

A few years ago, I again experienced the delights of the Pay It Forward concept when I stopped at a Dunkin Donuts on my way to work. Grabbing coffee in the morning wasn’t momentous by any means, but I was in the middle of a particularly stressful week. I loved teaching Shakespeare to freshmen, but I can’t say that they loved it as much as I did. When I went to pay for my daily dose of caffeine, the cashier at the drive-through window let me know that the person in front of me had already paid for me. Without hesitation, I asked if I could pay for the person behind me. I like to think that the chain kept going. That one simple act of kindness had an acute impact on me.

Dunkin derails the lesson plan…in the best way

By the time I arrived at my classroom, coffee in hand, I had decided to completely change the day’s lesson plan. It’s not that I wasn’t looking forward to touting the delights of iambic pentameter, rhyming couplets, and Mercutio’s bawdy wordplay; I was, but all that could wait for the next day. Instead, I had my students rearrange their desks into a circle, a request that usually incites panic or delight in freshmen. Next, I had each student pull out a piece of paper and write his or her name at the very top. I gathered the papers, redistributed them, and then asked everyone to write down something nice about the person whose name was written on the paper. A few groans emanated from the room, a setback I had already predicted. I explained that the comment didn’t need to be overly personal and that I knew each student could think of at least one compliment for the rest of their classmates. Certainly, everyone could muster a minimal “you have nice hair” or “I like your shirt.” The grumbles subsided and the ink started flowing. After a minute or so, the students passed the sheets to the right and wrote down something nice for the next person. This continued until the papers had made their way around the entire circle. I then collected the papers…and in Evil Teacher Fashion, didn’t give them back.

I didn’t give them back right away, that is. I did the same activity in the rest of my freshmen classes and then I took all those sheets and made them digital. I didn’t want my students comparing handwriting to try to figure out who had written what, and I honestly wanted to add my own comment to each student’s list. It may have taken hours, but those hours were some of the most rewarding and enlightening of my career. Yes, there were several of the predictable “you have a nice smile” remarks, but my students displayed an awful lot of bravery, too.

One small gesture

I handed the papers back to my students the next day. As their eyes scanned the sheets, shy laughter bloomed into big smiles. Everybody had a list of reasons to feel good about themselves and the level of empathy and camaraderie in our classroom grew more than I imagined. I’m not saying that everything in the classroom was perfect from that moment on, but it was a starting point and it was a strong one.

Years after my first Pay It Forward classroom experiment, I’ve had many former students tell me that they kept their compliment sheets long after the end of the school year. Some even still have them. It’s pretty incredible how one small gesture or one kind word can impact a person’s life for a day, for a month, for years.

April 28th is Pay It Forward Day

Use our K-12 list of titles to promote mindfulness and empathy in your classroom.

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The SYNC program returns to give you free audiobooks all summer long

April 26, 2017 - 10:40pm

There are few things more exciting than when the calendar turns to late spring and summer. Schools will soon be letting out and students and parents alike can spend their time enjoying the outdoors. The one thing to be cautious of during these months, however, is the dreaded Summer Slide. As students are away from classrooms, they tend to read less and their comprehension levels can taper off. Luckily, there’s a solution that readers of all ages can take advantage of. Audiobooks are wonderful for reading while on the go and thanks to AudioFile’s SYNC program, you can get two free audiobooks each week for the next 16 weeks straight. The program starts today (April 27) and runs throughout summer.

How it works
Visit http://audiobooksync.com each week to get your two free audiobooks. Titles change every Thursday at 7am ET so be sure to visit frequently so you don’t miss out on any books. All titles are in MP3 format and they play in the OverDrive app. While at the SYNC website you can sign up to receive weekly reminder alerts by text message or email newsletter. SYNC is dedicated to introducing the listening experience to the teen audience. The program demonstrates that required reading can be completed by listening but these titles can be enjoyed by literature lovers of any age.

The program kicks off with two outstanding selections. The first one is The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde, a masterclass in innocence and corruption that has endured for over 100 years. The second title is The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich, a terrifying psychological thriller that will keep you guessing long after you’ve finished the book.

You can learn more about the program, see all of this year’s selections and get promotional materials by visiting http://audiobooksync.com. We would like to thank AudioFile for once again partnering with OverDrive on this exciting program to help bring summer reading to headphones around the world.

 

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Help decide this summer’s Big Library Read title

April 24, 2017 - 10:17am

Big Library Read is returning June 12 and we want you and your readers to help choose what title the world will be reading. If you visit the Big Library Read website this week you can take our quick survey to vote on what title readers from around the world will be enjoying at the same time this summer. On the voting page you’ll find eight different options to choose from and we want to know which ones you are most excited to read. This is the perfect time to let your voice be heard and help determine the latest selection for our global Digital Book Club.

About Big Library Read
Big Library Read is an opportunity for those with a valid library card to read the same digital title at the same time without any wait lists or holds. Participating in this event allows your library to offer a new simultaneous use title for community-wide access from your library at no cost. It’s a worldwide digital version of a local book club, and an opportunity for your library to generate more interest in your digital collection beyond the bestsellers. Thousands of libraries have already enjoyed great success engaging thousands of new and current users with 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.

*Participation in the Big Library Read Program is on an opt-out basis.

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25 ways to get outdoors this spring. #8 is our favorite.

April 24, 2017 - 8:44am

As the seasons finally shift, April sunshine invites us to ditch those winter layers and soak up the sun with our favorite warm-weather pastimes. So whether you’re an avid outdoorsman or more of a beach bum, here are some outdoorsy ideas to get you off the couch and into the summer spirit. And with baseball season in full swing, check out our J/YA baseball book recommendations, or check out our Summer Read titles.

1. Take a hike

 

2. Plan a picnic with friends

 

3. Visit the Farmer’s Market

 

4. Ride bikes

 

5. Attend a music festival

 

6. Two words: ice. cream.

 

7. Watch the sunset

 

8. Find the perfect tree to curl up under (or in!) and READ

 

9. Go rollerblading (see: #4)

 

10. Tie dye something (or everything)

 

11. Go camping. Glamping maybe?

 

12. Hit the pool or beach. But not literally. 13. Sports! Play one, watch one, or invent a new one.

 

14. Plant a garden

 

15. Check on the anxiety levels of your favorite zoo animals

 

16. Make a bonfire

 

17. Take a trip to the fair

 

18. Walk your dog. Or cat. Or whatever.

 

19. How about a wee dab of birdwatching?

 

20. Play in the sprinkler

 

21. Unwind with a relaxing afternoon of fishing

 

22. Attend a holiday parade

 

23. Hang around the park with a friend

 

24. Fly a kite

 

25. Go stargazing

All gifs via GIPHY

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