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Monday 5×5 May 28 2018

May 27, 2018 - 9:24pm

By: Jill Grunenwald, Marketing and Communications Specialist

It’s Memorial Day here in the United States, which means you may not be reading this until Tuesday, but like I’ve been doing for the past couple weeks, here’s a roundup of interesting links you may have missed last week.

And, remember, even if your local library is closed for the holiday, their OverDrive collection is available 24/7.

Slate talks to four Fifty Shades of Grey fans about the movie Book Club
I am mostly amused at the fan who admitted she read Fifty Shades when she was a high-school student working at the local public library and she would just sneak peeks while at work. Can confirm: twenty years ago, when I was a page at my local public library, I would sneak read books in the stacks all the time. They also always were the ones I was too embarrassed or scandalized to check out and take home (if only OverDrive had been around back then!). Also, unrelated, but apparently I’ve been working in the library field for twenty years?

Our very own Steve Potash was interviewed in Crain’s Cleveland Business
One of the best things about this company is our fearless leader, Steve. His passion for this industry and this business is so infectious, you can’t help but also want to advocate for libraries and digital reading. OverDrive recently won the OHTech award for Large Tech Company of the Year and that is all because of Steve’s leadership and guidance.

Quartz discusses the Japanese bestselling self-help book that encourages readers to be disliked
I admit to being super curious of this concept, and I’m trying to not judge it based on the some of the passages presented in the article, but I’m skeptical. Luckily, the English version is out now so I can read it and decide for myself.

Bustle breaks down a study that asked the question do young really do prefer eBooks?
Okay, obviously I’m a little biased given that I work at OverDrive and all, but can we seriously table this whole paper v. eBook debate? Make no mistake, I read the Bustle article and went and the ScienceDaily post. I understand what they are saying regarding the ownership aspect, but reading is reading. Books are books. Unpopular opinion alert: one format is not, in any way, superior to the other. Also, I may work for OverDrive but I love physical books. Our house is full of books. We literally have run out of room for more books (not that it stops us from adding more, of course).

Also, note I am saying physical books. This is deliberate, because that’s the main difference in formats: physical books versus electronic books. This is me whenever the eBooks versus “real” books thing comes up:


#WhateverItTakes. The Ringer on LeBron James and Cleveland
As many of our librarians who have attended Digipalooza know, OverDrive is based in Cleveland we are very, very proud of this fact. We are also proud of our sports teams. By the time this post comes out on Monday, we’ll know whether or not the Cavs won over the Celtics or if the season for Cleveland is over. This essay does a good job reflecting on LeBron’s relationship with the state and city and I agree wholeheartedly with the author’s final statement regarding LeBron’s future.

The post Monday 5×5 May 28 2018 appeared first on OverDrive Blogs.

The top 10 Libby and OverDrive questions answered

May 23, 2018 - 2:31pm

With all of the exciting updates to Libby and your OverDrive service as well as the constant stream of new books being added to your digital library, it’s understandable that your users may have some questions. Can I download the files? What about Kindle? Or even the standard, but often asked, “How do I get started?” To answer these and any other OverDrive-related questions we’ve created two handy websites that you and your patrons can access any time you need. OverDrive Help is your one stop shop for articles, videos and how to guides for your OverDrive service. If you have a more specific, Libby related question, there’s Libby Help to take a deep dive into all the tips and tricks of our award winning one-tap app.

Both of these websites provide the answers readers are looking for whether they’re first time eBook readers or they’ve been borrowing digital books for years. Some questions may be asked more than others so to help lend a hand, below are links to the most popular articles on both sites below.


Frequently Asked Libby Help questions

How do I send books to Kindle & How do I make Kindle my preferred way to read

Given that OverDrive is the only digital book company working with libraries to have Kindle compatibility, it makes sense your users will want to make sure they understand how it works. These are perfect articles to have readily available for sharing.

What’s the difference between Libby and the OverDrive app

This question may come up for current OverDrive app users. We suggest all users try Libby as their digital reading app and in the event your users are looking for the difference between the two, this article is the perfect answer.

Downloading or deleting titles

When you borrow a book on Libby one of the main benefits is the instant availability of the title, thanks to the ability to stream it through OverDrive Read. If a user asks how they can actually download the files, you can provide them this article. Here you’ll also find information on how to delete titles.

Managing download settings

This is a great article to send to patrons that are worried about data usage. They can quickly pop into their settings in Libby so it only downloads titles when connected to WiFi, providing peace of mind.


Top OverDrive Help articles

What updates have been made to my library’s digital collection recently?

Our developers are constantly innovating the digital reading experience for your patrons. This article is great to have on hand to keep everyone up to speed with what’s new.

Getting started with OverDrive

Thousands of people are still discovering that their library offers eBooks and audiobooks for free, so this is still a highly sought out article. Keep it handy for those first time users.

How to enable cookies on your mobile device

OverDrive websites require the use of cookies for better performance and functionality. By default, browsers on mobile devices are set up to accept cookies, so you shouldn’t have to manual adjust anything. However, if you get an error telling you to enable cookies while browsing an OverDrive site on your mobile device, follow these steps below.

Getting started with Kindle Books from your library

As we mentioned above, users love reading on their Kindle, so be sure to take advantage of OverDrive’s exclusive compatibility in your promotions and conversations with patrons.

How do I get started using Libby?

And we’ve come full circle! This getting started guide is perfect for both current and new users looking to try out Libby. They’re sure to love the one-tap reading experience.



For all of your users who happen to be visual learners be sure to point them in the direction of both our Libby intro video and all of our OverDrive Help videos as well.

No matter what type of question a patron may have, these tools are sure to provide the right answers to get them back to creating reading happiness in your digital library.

The post The top 10 Libby and OverDrive questions answered appeared first on OverDrive Blogs.

New K-12 webcast! Engaging Students in the Classroom with OverDrive

May 22, 2018 - 11:39am

By: Courtney Sveda, Training Specialist

Congratulations on a successful 2017-2018 school year; we hope you’ll be able to take a well-deserved break. For those of you still in session or who are taking this time to start preparing for the new school year already, we’re here to support you! That’s why OverDrive’s May webcast is focused on strategies for bringing your digital library into the classroom. If you’ve been thinking next year is the year to move to digital, you won’t want to miss this session.

Engaging Students in the Classroom with OverDrive will present ideas on incorporating digital content into your lesson planning, leveraging your school digital library website for syllabi and student work, adopting best practices for working with digital content, and increasing student awareness of the school’s digital collection.

After attending this webcast, we’re positive you’ll be inspired to make at least one of next year’s assignments digital, and walk away with some great ideas from other educators during the live group chat. This session is a must for classroom teachers, media specialists, school librarians, school administrators, technology integration specialists, and any staff in charge of working with students and championing OverDrive.

Register today to join our K-12 experts on May 23 at 11 AM ET for this 45-minute session filled with examples and applications for engaging your students with your digital library.  Can’t attend the live session? All registrants will receive a link to the archived webcast as well as a PDF of the presentation. We look forward to seeing you there!

The post New K-12 webcast! Engaging Students in the Classroom with OverDrive appeared first on OverDrive Blogs.

What’s on My Nightstand – The Goth Girls Edition

May 22, 2018 - 9:08am

By: Sydney Kalnay, Training Specialist

The days are getting longer – ugh, the worst – and that means hours of hiding in my windowless room far away from the cloudless skies, the SPF 100s, the cheery beach umbrellas…the people. Thank badness for World Goth Day on 5/22, the one dark spot in an otherwise drearily sunny season.

How do I escape the boredom of those endless summer days? When I am not drowning out the din of fireworks and picnics by pumping Bauhaus through my noise canceling headphones, I light a candle and peer at a book through the tangle of my black mantilla.

This year, I begin the delightfully miserable wait for the resurgence of dark days and dead leaves with a peek at what titles are on the TBD (to be devoured) lists of famous goth girls in media.

Lydia Deetz – Beetlejuice

Lydia is a classic goth. She lives in a house haunted by a recently deceased married couple, her parents torture her with relentless cheeriness and terrible modern art, and she is about five seconds away from becoming the child bride of a demented ghost with a God complex. When she’s not too busy moping, taking photos, or levitating to Harry Belafonte in her front stairwell, she likes to curl up with a true classic just like her: The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath.


Nancy Downs – The Craft

When I think dark, I think Nancy. Never one to follow rules or care what anyone thinks about her, Nancy Downs uses and abuses her goddess-given power until it consumes her. If she were celebrating World Goth Day the same way as me, she’d get as close to the elements as she could – possibly atop a hill overlooking Los Angeles – reading The House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. (And probably tagging the title “nursery stories” in Libby!)

  Margot Tenenbaum – The Royal Tenenbaums

Mad, maudlin, mesmeric Margot. Though she dresses like a Nouvelle Vague film star mixed with a tennis ingenue, Margot nonetheless fits the bill as the most kohl-loving member of the goth assembly. She’s even introduced in The Royal Tenenbaums by walking in slow motion to Nico’s version of “These Days.” Given her druthers (which she never, ever is), on World Goth Day, she’d be highlighting passages of Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Virgin Suicides on her tablet, the other hand free to tap ash from the tip of her Gauloise.


Jane Lane – Daria

In the late 90s to early 00s, anyone worth their goth salt endeavored to dress, talk, and make art like Jane Lane. As Daria Morgendorffer’s cynical but shockingly well-adjusted best friend, Jane oozes cool and smarts. Even her misanthropy is brainy!

Her one fatal flaw seems to be her ongoing hatred of the outdoors – and in particular camping – which I imagine she is overcoming on World Goth Day by reading volume 1 of the appropriately titled Lumberjanes graphic novels (in the dark, with a flashlight, on the top bunk of whatever bug-ridden campground she’s been dragged to.)


Wednesday Addams – The Addams Family

Wednesday is the O.G. – Original Goth! But for someone who has been around since the 30s and portrayed across comics, TV, books, and movies, she’s surprisingly modern. When she’s not raising spiders, guillotining her dolls, or practicing her judo with her butler, Lurch, she’s making glow-in-the-dark protest signs and teaching herself about intersectional feminism by reading Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay.

Readers, what are some other dark titles that could be appropriate to celebrate this Word Goth Day? Let’s share. But…not. Actually, just leave me alone.


The post What’s on My Nightstand – The Goth Girls Edition appeared first on OverDrive Blogs.

The ALA annual conference is coming and we have exciting things to share

May 22, 2018 - 8:04am

On June 22, America’s librarians will gather in New Orleans for the annual American Library Association Conference. Team OverDrive will be there sharing exciting updates about Libby, our Instant Digital Card service, and the return of digital Magazines to your OverDrive digital library. Laissez les bons temps rouler indeed.

Click here to schedule a meeting with an OverDrive Rep

Visit the booth
When you visit booth 3715, you’ll see presentations on state-of-the-art marketing idea and in-depth updates about all the ways we can help you bring new readers to the library throughout the rest of 2018 and beyond. We also will have a few surprise presentations from industry-leading librarians about how they’re leading the way in connecting their community through digital reading. Everyone who stops by the booth for a presentation will be entered into a raffle to win a free device from OverDrive.

Stop by to learn more about OverDrive’s Instant Digital Card service, which has helped libraries add 30,000 new card registrations this year alone. Incorporated into our award-winning reading app Libby, IDC makes it as simple as inputting a cellphone number to receive a library card. By ALA, we’ll also be releasing new Libby marketing materials designed to connect with every segment of your community.

The new tools and marketing techniques you’ll learn about will make it easier than ever to reach record-breaking circulation numbers this year. It’s quite apprope, then, that we’ll be spending time in the “Big Easy.” Come to the booth for the valuable information, stay for the good times.

The post The ALA annual conference is coming and we have exciting things to share appeared first on OverDrive Blogs.

Monday 5×5 for May 21, 2018

May 20, 2018 - 9:40pm

By: Jill Grunenwald, Marketing and Communications Specialist

Welcome to this week’s Monday 5×5! In case you missed the introduction last Monday, this is a weekly series I’ll be doing where I share 5 links from the previous week that I think should be read. Every week will be different, but I’ll try to stick to 5 areas of thought: libraries, literature, publishing, tech, and anything else I find interesting. Hence, 5×5.

With apologies to Stranger Things, it’s my way of saying “Mondays are for coffee and contemplation.”

Buzzfeed ranked the stories from Scary Stories to Tell In the Dark based on fear factor
A few weeks ago, I was in the bathroom brushing my teeth and noticed a spider up in the corner of the ceiling and I had this moment of wondering: Which came first: My fear of spiders or my reading The Red Spot from the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark series? It’s a true chicken and egg scenario. The trilogy, complete with original illustrations, will be available in eBook starting next month and I’m already looking forward to freaking myself out all over again. Ah, memories.

(Ed. note: “Harold” not being on the list is a crime)

Researchers have found two new pages from Anne Frank’s Diary, but Electric Literature asks if we should read them
I confess, I have never read Anne Frank’s diary. It was never assigned to me in school and I never had an interest in reading it, even for its historical value. It’s not just Anne, either: I don’t find any interest in reading the journals of others. Perhaps it’s because I’ve always kept a journal myself and would hate for another person to read them, it just seems so intrusive. This case in particular seems fraught with tension because it seems that Anne herself attempted to destroy these pages, which leads to the question of how much editorial authority does an author have after death? (Answer: not a lot, but can readers mitigate that by refusing to read posthumous work that was altered?)

Atlas Obscura introduces us to the ancient libraries of Chinguetti
My coworker Adam shared this story with me and who doesn’t love the idea of ancient texts and libraries? The fate of the Library at Alexandria just kind of makes this librarian want to cry, but here’s a collection of libraries that continue to exist in the same state as when they were originally found.

Popular cozy mystery author Amanda Flower answers the question what exactly is a Cozy Mystery?
I’ve had the opportunity to meet Amanda Flower a few times at local Ohio author events and she is utterly delightful. Her cozy mystery books are equally delightful. Cozies, in general, are delightful and Amanda does an excellent job unpacking what makes a cozy a cozy (aside from a fantastically punny title).

Over on The Ringer, a comparison of the Fishbowl on Westworld v. the Hatch on Lost
This one clearly falls under the heading of “things Jill found interesting,” but I am a huge fan of both Lost and Westworld. Like, tinfoil hat, rabbit hole of Reddit theories huge fan. This past Sunday, while watching the opening of the latest Westworld episode, all I could think about was how much it reminded me of the season 2 opener of Lost (although director Lisa Joy maintains it’s a coincidence). If you’re in need of some Westworld read-alikes, be sure to check out episode #221 of the Professional Book Nerds podcast.


The post Monday 5×5 for May 21, 2018 appeared first on OverDrive Blogs.

Take the mystery out of Curated Collections this May

May 17, 2018 - 7:53am

By: Jill Grunenwald, Marketing and Communications Specialist

May is Mystery Month and while we’re already halfway through the month, there’s still time to add some mystery themed curated collections to your OverDrive site! As a genre, mystery is one of those all encompassing ones that can also include suspense and thriller and, of course there are cozies and traditional. There really is something for everyone.

Of course, half the fun of creating curated collections is coming up with clever titles for the collection so with the help of my fellow staff librarians here, I’ve compiled a list of some names you can give your curated collections:

Once Upon a Crime

Killer Thrillers

Hail to the Chief (of police) Cop Mysteries

The Suspense Is Killing Me

Scandi-Mania! Nordic Murder Mysteries

In the Library with the Book

‘Til Death Do Us Part Marriage Thrillers

The Game is Aftoot!

Crook Books

Cozy Up to a Cozy Mystery

The Girl Who Read Nordic Noir

For best practices and tips to enhance your OverDrive Marketplace shopping experience, be sure to visit our Resource Center training page to view on demand recordings and sign up for live webcasts.

The post Take the mystery out of Curated Collections this May appeared first on OverDrive Blogs.

8 Book collections readers will love this summer

May 16, 2018 - 10:47am

Summer time, and the readin’s easy…

Apologies. I couldn’t help myself. The calendar now says May which means, on this western side of the globe, temperatures are heating up. Summer to me has always been a time of outdoor adventures, beach lounging and, of course, summer reading. In my youth, we had reading programs from schools and libraries to prevent the summer slide but as an adult those aren’t as prevalent.

This is why it’s important to curate and promote books that will make sure your users keep the library in their daily routine while having fun in the sun. Here are several collections we’ve created over on overdrive.com that you’re welcome to use as jumping off points for your digital library curation.

Page to screen 2018
This collection is always popular and, hey, you don’t always have to re-invent the wheel. Books becoming movies and TV shows resonate with readers, especially those that want to be in the know and say, “The book was better.” (raises hand).

Beach Reads from Kobo Writing Life
Our friends at Kobo provide independent authors a unique opportunity to publish and promote books without needing a major publishing house’s backing. The collection we’ve created here features some spicy titles perfect for heating up your beach or poolside afternoon.

OverDrive’s favorite audiobooks
The long days that summer brings means I am constantly outside. Whether it’s running trails, hiking with my dogs or just doing yard work, I am constantly on the go. My quest to soak up vitamin D and have as many outdoor excursions as possible means I’m rarely sitting still long enough to grab a book. That doesn’t mean I don’t read, though. Audiobooks help me enjoy books no matter what new adventure I’m seeking.

This collection is a sampling of OUR favorites, but showing your staff or reader picks is a great way to add a unique spin and bring your community together.

Book Riot Read Harder Challenge recommendations
Each January, we all set out hit milestone goals as readers. Many of these read-solutions (I’m on fire today…) fall by the wayside come summer. This collection is perfect for anyone trying to tackle Book Riot’s popular Read Harder Challenge. Every few months our Professional Book Nerds podcast provides recommendations to conquer the challenges and this is a running list of everything they’ve suggested so far.

Thirteen Reasons Why Read-Alikes
Jay Asher’s YA phenomenon took the world by storm both in book form and as last year’s most popular new show on Netflix. Season two just launched so now is the perfect time to capitalize on all those readers who will binge watch the show and yearn for more content.

Westworld Read-Alikes
Speaking of shows we can’t get enough of.

I’m like 91% sure I’m not a host robot but even if I was I would love this collection of westerns, science fiction, robot rebellions and mystery.

The Great American Read-ing list
PBS is rolling out an eight-part series this summer with the goal of determining America’s favorite book. We’ve previously discussed this collection but it’s a perfect way to reignite interest in classic books.


Series Starters
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a book that looks intriguing only to learn it’s book five of a series. Summer is the perfect time to take a deep dive into a new world. Plus, this ensures those readers will keep coming back for the next titles in the series!

The post 8 Book collections readers will love this summer appeared first on OverDrive Blogs.

eBooks off the grid

May 14, 2018 - 1:54pm

What to do when your nearest bookstore is a one and a half hour flight away? Sign up for OverDrive!

Wanda Quigg of Sahtu DEC in Norman Wells in the Northwest Territory of Canada lives a little off the grid but that hasn’t stopped her from promoting OverDrive to her staff and students to ensure all of their reading needs (not just digital!) are met. We’ll let Wanda tell you all about it:

Isolated? No problem.

We live in an isolated region in Northern Canada where, for two and a half months, we are serviced by a barge traveling on the Mackenzie River. For another two and a half months, we are serviced by a winter ice road. At all other times, our supplies must come in by air cargo. We have to carefully consider which books and how many books we wish to purchase since the freight costs are prohibitive. Due to budget constraints, we have to be extremely selective in our choices. Our location also makes it extremely challenging and expensive to obtain anything on short notice.

When we heard about the possibility of subscribing to OverDrive, we were intrigued and excited. With OverDrive, we are able to obtain current, popular titles immediately. We can get titles like Wonder, and many students are able to access a wider range of titles than what is physically available in their schools. The student population of our region is approximately 600 and I’m excited to say, since the start of our subscription to OverDrive, we have had over 750 checkouts. I do have to admit that just over 30 of the checkouts have been mine.

Promotion drives success

Since OverDrive is new in our region, we have given a workshop to all staff members. Our plan is to offer a workshop for all grade 7 to 12 classrooms by the end of this school year. We make use of social media by putting the sign-in information for OverDrive on our websites and Facebook pages. Every time new content is added to OverDrive, an email is sent to all staff members. Just recently, at the Territorial Teachers’ Conference, a guest speaker recommended several titles and many of them are available on OverDrive. This was a perfect way of reminding the staff that the books he recommended are available on OverDrive. Several movies have been made or are in the planning stages, movies such as Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson. I send out emails promoting several books that have been made into movies. We are planning a contest where students in a random draw will win a prize for summarizing and explaining their recommendation of any book that they have read on OverDrive. This draw will be an ongoing event and we are soliciting advice from the students and classroom teachers as to how to improve it for the next round.

Don’t forget Professional Development

Another benefit of OverDrive is the Professional Development titles that are available. Professional Development books tend to bigger and heavier that most books. Having a selection of Professional Development books on OverDrive allows us to take our work with us wherever we go. We now have a central location where we can direct our staff members and we will not have to replace misplaced resources anymore. We are now in the planning stages of Professional Book Club meetings.

Overall, we are extremely pleased with what OverDrive offers us. We are looking forward to implementing new strategies to engage everyone in our region and to increase readership with OverDrive.

If Wanda can do it, anyone can! Reach out to your OverDrive team for assistance with all your promotional and professional development needs.

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Introducing the Monday 5×5

May 13, 2018 - 10:17pm

By: Jill Grunenwald, Marketing and Communications Specialist

Mondays, amirite?

Even for those of us that love our job, Mondays can be a struggle so why not ease back into your work day with some light reading? Whenever I need just a few minutes of breathing room, I peruse my large collection of bookmarked websites. Over the course of the week I always find several links that I just have to share with everyone, which is where the Monday 5×5 comes in.

You may be asking yourself what, exactly, is the Monday 5×5? Every Monday, I will be sharing five links from the previous week that I came across that I think you should read. These links will come from a mix of five industries: Literature, libraries, tech, publishing, and, well, anything else I happen to find interesting that week.

So grab your morning cup of joe, settle in at your desk, and let’s get started!

Over on Electric Literature, Christine Prevas discusses why we need more non-binary characters who aren’t robots or monsters
The book industry as a whole is emphasizing the importance of diversity and representation in what we read and write, which is fantastic. Of course everyone wants to see a mirror of themselves in the books they consume. But for non-binary individuals, that mirror reflects back an image that continues to other them, often in harmful ways.

From LitHub, a brief history of million dollar advances
Ah, advances. Before I became a published book author myself, I was always a twinge envious of authors who landed such large advances. A million dollars! Can you even imagine? Here’s the thing about advances: they are an advance against royalties. It’s not just free money the publisher is giving with no strings attached. The author has to earn that money back for the publisher before they can start collecting any additional royalties. And royalties? That gets paid out at a very small percentage per copy sold, which means an author has to sell a lot of books just to break even.

May is Mystery Month and The Booklist Reader has Five Agatha Christie Mysteries Everyone Should Read
Spoiler alert: sadly, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, is not included. But you should add it to your own list after reading the others mentioned in the article.

(Ed. Note: Also Hercule Poirot’s Christmas. Come on Jill AND Booklist!)

Legal Inspiration unpacks the romance author who got a little cocky with her trademarks
I tend to (half) jokingly say that if I had known intellectual property attorneys were a thing, I would have become one of those rather than a librarian. IP law is fascinating but also very, very complicated. Trademarks! Copyright! Patents! All have their own rules and regulations and attempting to navigate them as a layperson is a bit like riding a tandem bicycle by yourself through a sandstorm, which is why I always appreciate when someone who actually knows what they are talking about breaks it down.

Shameless self promotion: Head on over to The Millions to find out why I have stopped waiting for George R. R. Martin to finish his Game of Thrones series.
“But this is not a transactional relationship. There is no quid pro quo here. My giving George R.R. Martin money, my helping him achieve superstar status, does not earn me the right to dictate and demand when and how his next book should appear.”

The post Introducing the Monday 5×5 appeared first on OverDrive Blogs.

Dyslexia and the technology that can help right now

May 10, 2018 - 3:41pm

Three million people are diagnosed with dyslexia each year. Students might struggle with reading fluency, decoding, reading comprehension, recall, writing, spelling and sometimes speech. All of these challenges might exist along with other related disorders, which can make the learning experience incredibly stressful.

Among students with learning disabilities receiving special education services, 70-80% have deficits in reading. Dyslexia is the most common cause of reading, writing and spelling difficulties, affecting up to 20% of the population, regardless of gender, ethnic or socio-economic backgrounds.

While defined as a Language-Based Learning Disability, there are additional perspectives that could offer intervention and treatment for dyslexia.

Visual physiology

A 2017 study found a major difference between the arrangement of the eye’s light-receptor cells in dyslexic and non-dyslexic people.

It found that in people with the condition, tiny light receptor-cells were arranged in matching patterns in the center of each eye. In non-dyslexics, the cells were asymmetrical, allowing the brain to choose one eye to override the other and create a single image. For dyslexic students, there is no dominant eye. The brain has to successively rely on the two slightly different versions of a given visual scene, which creates a glitch in how the image is processed.

The study’s authors posit that the lack of asymmetry might be the biological and anatomical basis of reading and spelling disabilities.

Brain development & neurology

Neuroscience offers another view. Dr. John Gabrieli, a professor and expert neuroscientist in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Science at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology, looked closely at brain plasticity, and how hearing a word and reading a word aren’t quite the same experience.

“At first your brain responds strongly [to a] word and then when it’s repeated a few times it responds less and less strongly. We think that’s because the brain has changed to process the word more efficiently,” he said. “What we found in both adults and kids with dyslexia – this change in brain, this plasticity, this response to something repeating — was less with words that they saw and words that they heard.”

Gabrieli joins educators and parents in a strong desire for early identification of children at risk.

“We know the literature supports that early interventions are most effective not only for learning to read, but we also hope in any discouragement the child might have about his or her first major educational experience,” he said.

After that early detection? Students need comprehensive multi-sensory interventions and personalized learning opportunities.

“Because no two children are exactly the same, personalized instruction is critical. Studying ways in which personalized instruction can be even more effective and fit a child’s specific needs early on, is crucial,” he said.

Thoughtful instructional and personalized strategies can ease the strain of reading and learning, and are often detailed in an IEP. But not every student in need will arrive with a district-diagnosed intervention. How do you support their reading needs?

Tech that can help right now

Odds are, you have struggling readers in your classroom right now. While many young readers report a preference for traditional books, standard typefaces are often difficult to read for people with dyslexia. The letters are hard to differentiate and words tend to jumble together. Screen reading with eBooks offer one thing a paper page cannot: dyslexic font. Audiobooks, as well, offer a different sensory experience that provides another reading solution that students with visual, language and processing challenges can all enjoy.

The dyslexic font, or dyslexie, is designed so that each letter is unique. Letters and words have extra distance between them to combat reversal and flipping of letters. Capital letters are bolder to help readers identify new sentences, and each letter is bottom-weighted.

OverDrive is the only U.S. eBook provider to offer the dyslexic font option as a reading setting in our apps, through the browser-based OverDrive Read and for navigating digital collection websites. Offering students a discreet, personalized way to read with less frustration will foster a love of reading, boost confidence in their ability to learn and improve achievement. And it’s available right now.

The post Dyslexia and the technology that can help right now appeared first on OverDrive Blogs.

Save Big This Month With Our A-May-zing Sales

May 9, 2018 - 8:03am

By: Jill Grunenwald, Marketing and Communications Specialist

When I was a kid, one of my favorite jokes went like this:

Question: If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring?
Answer: Pilgrims

I know. Super corny. But, along with corny jokes and even cornier blog post titles, May also brings some really awesome sales that you will want to take advantage of to build up your collection as we start our sprint towards summer.

YAY! For YA Sale
Peep super lit savings for your fam with more than 3,000 YA titles up to 50% off through May 31st and make your young readers go “YAASSSSSSS”.

Spanish Language Sale
Save on over 1,000 Spanish itles up to 50% off all month long. Stock up on bestsellers and classics, popular celebrity biographies, movie tie-ins, history and culture and more and update your Hispanic collection — for less!

College & Career Readiness Sale
Ensure every student, young patron and professional is a success! Shop from over 1,000 titles up to 50% off designed to prepare students for postsecondary education and beyond, plus titles for all learners looking for self-improvement and career development. The future is yours! Don’t miss out on these savings before the sale ends May 31st.

For best practices and tips to enhance your OverDrive Marketplace shopping experience, be sure to visit our Resource Center training page to view on demand recordings and sign up for live webcasts.

The post Save Big This Month With Our A-May-zing Sales appeared first on OverDrive Blogs.

Let our training team help you help your patrons

May 8, 2018 - 9:02am

By: Briana Johnson-Sims, Training Specialist

Public Service Announcement: OverDrive has all the tools you need to help new and existing OverDrive users; you don’t have to do it alone. Join us for our free Help Resources webcast on Tuesday, May 15th at 2:00PM ET to learn how to get the most out of OverDrive Help, Libby Help, our free marketing materials, and OverDrive Marketplace.

When providing digital support to your patrons, it’s helpful to know where to find the right answers. If you’ve visited OverDrive Help, you’ve already gone a step in the right direction. The next step is to explore the other support pages we offer, and know when to use which.

You may already be using OverDrive Help to assist your patrons, but it’s not the only place you can go for support. Sometimes you need to know more about Libby, sometimes you need troubleshooting steps, or sometimes you need assistance from an OverDrive expert. In this webcast, we’ll review common patron scenarios and recommend ways to assist patrons with our online help pages or by contacting the OverDrive Support team directly.

Tell your colleagues to join us, too! Anyone who assists patrons or just wants to learn more about OverDrive will benefit from this session. And while you’re at it, make sure they also know about the webcasts we hold each month, Getting Started with OverDrive and Introduction to Marketplace. Knowing how to borrow books in Libby and fulfill patron demand for titles in Marketplace are important ways to support your readers, too. Register for all our free webcasts on the Staff Training page of the Resource Center.

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Vote on the next Big Library Read

May 7, 2018 - 9:41am

The next Big Library Read global book club will take place this summer and we need your help deciding the book the whole world will be reading. Thousands of libraries and countless readers have participated in our Big Library Read events, and this time around we are focusing on a mix of mystery and romance for the selection choices. Our publishing partners have submitted a number of wonderful options and now it’s up to our readers and librarians to decide the winner. The next Big Library Read will kick off on July 9th but before that happens, we need to pick a book!

Click here to see all the choices and cast your vote

Voting only lasts until Wednesday so be sure your voice is heard.. You can select up to four titles that sound interesting to you. Which title will it be?

We’ll tally the votes after May 9th and share the winning selection soon.


About the Big Library Read

Big Library Read (BLR), facilitated by OverDrive, is a reading program through your library that connects readers around the world with the same eBook at the same time without any wait lists or holds. It’s a worldwide digital version of a local book club, the program is free through your local library or school library and all you need to get started reading is a library card.

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How eBooks guard against bullying

May 4, 2018 - 1:31pm

Thirty percent of kids worldwide are bullied each year. Every day, 160,000 teens skip school due to bullying. LGBTQ students, students who are shy or socially awkward and students with learning disabilities or emotional or behavioral disorders are bullied in disproportionate numbers. Whether or not students actually fall within these groups, their social capital is calculated based on how other students perceive them. This kind of stress interferes with learning.

Teens are constantly curating their identity, but young people from marginalized groups might not have the same kind of chameleon ability. This can leave them vulnerable. Representation and inclusion is a hallmark of modern education: we can’t be what we don’t see. But does *everyone* need to see? Increased privacy is a demand that emerges between childhood and adolescence, essential to teens’ healthy development. In the confusing tides of adolescence, quietly relating to a book character might be the only buoy afforded a student struggling with emotional access and expression during middle school and high school.

Reading in peace

The privacy provided by digital learning reduces the stress of overexposure and judgment that students are desperate to avoid. eBooks have no bookcover billboard. Audiobooks offer further anonymity and endless mobility. A student can read a gay YA novel without worry of meaning being made, or getting backed into a conversation they aren’t yet ready for. Or maybe a popular student is a secret sci-fi devotee, and wants to enjoy his reading escape free of peer commentary.

Adolescence is a process of becoming. Reading allows tweens and teens to relate to characters unlike people they know in real life. It can expand their empathy for others and help them feel less alone. Reading is a safe way to explore both their inner world and the broader culture.

Regardless of social standing, every student can benefit from the privacy exclusive to digital learning. Shielding students from overexposure reduces stress and makes learning more meaningful.



Stress & learning

5 reasons teens get bullied
11 facts about bullying

Teens & privacy

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How Children’s literature shaped my life

May 2, 2018 - 9:55am

“Believing takes practice.” – A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
When I was a toddler I spent countless hours in the laps of my parents, flipping page after page of books about rabbits, both stuffed and otherwise, worlds of nonsense that could only be created by a doctor who loved rhymes, and learning about a tree who had no limits when it came to how much it would give to the young boy it loved. I didn’t realize it at the time, but these moments shaped the person I would become. They taught me to understand what family means. They opened my eyes to places that looked nothing like our neighborhood. They taught me how to believe in myself and the good of the people around me.


“You’re mad, bonkers, completely off your head. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.” – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Before I knew how to read for myself, my father would sit down in the room I shared with my brother and read us a very particular Sesame Street book. We opened that book up dozens of times but I have no recollection about what the actual plot was. The reason being that Pops would change up the plot and create new events each time he opened the book, continuously growing more ridiculous with every read. I now know he was doing this so he didn’t have to tell the same story over and over but what he was creating in his two sons was the ability to imagine and create without worrying about making a fool of ourselves (which we do, often). It’s a lesson that has proved invaluable my entire life.

“To live will be an awfully big adventure.” – Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
Speaking of my Pops, one of his most endearing traits is his absolute refusal to grow up and grow old. I won’t say his age, only that he is now happily retired. But regardless of the years he has lived, he continues to approach each day with childlike wonder and an excitement to see what a new sunrise will bring him. He sometimes compares himself to Peter and that thirst for life is something he has passed down to me and my siblings. It’s a gift I can never repay.


“That day, all the Sneetches forgot about star and whether had one, or not, upon thars.” – The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss
Come on, you think I was going to get through a post about kid lit and NOT mention Theodore Geisel? I have some of his words tattooed on me for goodness’ sake. I learned a great many things from my daily visits to Whoville and letters beyond where the alphabet ends. One of the main takeaways that stayed with me is the fact that what makes us different doesn’t need to keep us apart. We should celebrate our differences and understand how they bring us together to create a more meaningful society.


“It’s the time you spent on your rose that makes your rose so important… You become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed. You’re responsible for your rose.” – The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
There are consequences to our actions and the sooner we learn this, the more aware of our choices we become. The Little Prince helped teach me responsibility not just for myself but for the ones who would come to depend on me for their well-being. Speaking of…


“I looked at his grave and, with tears in my eyes, I voiced these words: “You were worth it, old friend, and a thousand times over.” – Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
My wife and I have two dogs and there is very little in this world I cherish more than them. They fill my heart with joy and laughter every single day. I wish there was a way that they would stay with me forever but I know that is not how it works. Dogs live shorter lives than humans but they pack every second of it with excitement and love. I know someday I’ll have to say goodbye to them and the book that made me understand true loss for the first time is also the book that made me realize that the bitter sadness at the end is inevitable, but the millions of memories created before than make it bearable.


“Let the wild rumpus start!” – Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
There’s a wild thing in all of us and sometimes you need to throw on a wolf onesie and crown and let it out.

The post How Children’s literature shaped my life appeared first on OverDrive Blogs.

Help decide The Great American Read

April 30, 2018 - 1:51pm

PBS wants to know America’s favorite book
Over the next several months, PBS will delve into the books that American readers love, both classic and modern, in an effort to discover the most popular book in the country. The Great American Read is a celebration of the power of reading, an investigation on how fictional worlds come into existence, and how stories affect us. Ultimately, it’s a look into what the most popular novels in America say about the nation and the people who live here.

The top 100 titles were selected through a survey of more than 7,000 representative Americans and an advisory panel of thirteen literary professionals. From that list of 100, America’s favorite novel will be chosen through open online voting. To make sure your readers are aware of this exciting program, we’ve created a Marketplace list with every title in the top 100. Because it’s likely your digital library has several of these books already, we’ve also created a customized list for your library that will help you fill in any potential gaps.

Capitalize and Curate
PBS has planned an eight-part televised series to dig into this list and will be heavily promoting The Great American Read all throughout the summer and fall. This makes now a great time to curate a collection of these books on your OverDrive homepage to give your readers the ability to join the fun. As we’ve seen with The Handmaid’s Tale and To Kill A Mockingbird in the past, when older books resurface in the zeitgeist, they’re sure to skyrocket in popularity once more.

Noted about The Great American Read
This program is an effort to discover the country’s most beloved novel and, as such, you won’t see nonfiction works in this list. Additionally, books published in a series (we’re looking at you, Harry) are counted as a single entry on the list. For your convenience, we’ve added the entire series to our Marketplace lists. Each author was also limited to one title on the list to keep it varied. You’ll also notice books published outside of America. Books could be from anywhere in the world, as long as they were published in English.

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