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4 schools celebrate the gift of digital

December 12, 2017 - 9:48am

By: Christina Samek, Marketing Specialist.

Last year around this time, we told you all the ways digital is a gift. We provided helpful and trusted statistics and while those are still valid and important, we wanted to take the time to share personal testimonies. Because after all, it’s the season of giving. The gift matters, yes, but who doesn’t love hearing how the gift made the receiver feel? We live for the smiles underneath all the wrapping paper. We live for the moments OverDrive makes life a little better for you, your teachers, and your students.

The magic of multilingual Read-Alongs

For Alysa Haack, a teacher at Lincoln Public Schools, OverDrive gave a student a moment of familiarity and connection while reading a Read-Along in English and Arabic. “You should have seen him, jumping up and running to the screen as the Arabic narration started,” notes Haack. “It’s really cool when we see first hand how a book can make a difference.”

Haack sums up that feeling, one we’ve felt quite a bit, perfectly: “It took my breath away!”

Mixed media promotion

Sarah Daudney, Library Multimedia Specialist, and Russ Tomlin, Librarian, at San Leandro USD realized they had something great before they even launched their OverDrive service. They went above and beyond in their promotion to make sure their students were well aware of their brand new, exciting eBook collection. They created an impressive eBook wall (photo below) no one would miss. “Sarah and I made 4” x 4″ squares that captured the titles of each e-book we ordered, then had our student helpers mount them on card stock to create tiles that fit over the wall tiles,” said Tomlin.

In addition to the wall, they also created bookmarks using images from the wall itself. “We will hand the bookmarks out to each student when they check out a physical book from our library. With 10 different ones, they are collectible,” notes Daudney. The gift of digital and a collectible? Sounds like our kind of promotion!

No more forgotten homework

For Michelle Sherwin at Ottawa Catholic School Board, OverDrive was both a gift…and perhaps a curse depending on who you ask. She gave a lesson on OverDrive to staff and as it turned out, the lesson paid off:

“The next day, [a] teacher told me that when she went home, she asked her son to get out his French reading homework. He said that he “forgot” it at school. She told him, “no problem”. To his dismay, she showed him how to log into Overdrive and had him select a French novel to read. Voila! French homework complete.”

OverDrive October leads to record circulations

Lastly, take it from Elizabeth Rush at Northside ISD, who recently completed a very successful “OverDrive October” where she challenged here campuses to hit record circulations. And boy, did they deliver! Northside exceeded their circulation goal by 5,000+ checkouts. “Our librarians and students and parents truly believe in the product. 24/7/365 access to books is amazing,” exclaims Rush.

“As the administrator of the OverDrive collection, I love providing the eBooks that our students and teachers request, and it is very satisfying to know that these books are available to all of our students both at school and at home,” continues Rush.

Give the gift of OverDrive today. Ask us how to get started.

Happy Holidays to all the readers out there!

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Beyond the bestsellers: Capitalizing on the Holiday Spectacular Sale

December 12, 2017 - 7:15am

By: Ryan Chamberlain, OverDrive Publisher Account Specialist

Merry mid-December.

It’s that time of year again, the time when everyone’s merry’d you with just about every possible holiday. You’ve been wished, impossibly, a happy Black Friday, been spammed with decks of ‘gift cards’ for the full week of Cyber Monday. You’ve skirted lines leading to signs that read DON’T MISS THIS DAY ONLY, whatever, SALE—you know the tune. It is the farthest thing from Mariah Carey wanting you for Christmas.

I’m here not to merry anybody. I’m the mid-sale man: I’m here to humbug with you.

So I hope you’ll join me—but, please, keep your distance—in turning off whatever it is that’s jingling. Missing out is not a possibility here. Our staff librarians have done all the work, so the sale-sifting mirth some people allege having is winnowed mercifully down. No paging through search results—you already know what’s popular. And now our Holiday Sale lists include a new bowl of candy. We have a new category of curated lists showcasing what’s Beyond the Bestseller.

Speaking of weeding out the cloying sweet injected into the Holiday Cheer we’re fed, our Sci-Fi and Fantasy collections are now free of Romance. If you are after some of that cross-genre syrup, we may part here, reader, but you are not alone. Now available is our Best of Romantic Suspense. We’re unveiling some other handy lists, too, including Literary Reads and Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. For the younger ones, with their dreams of sugar plums and whatnot we also have Kids Fiction, Kids Nonfiction, Teen Fiction, and Teen Nonfiction lists.

Before I go, Buyer: beware. There is no mad dash you need to take part in. We appreciate that you’re not channeling your efforts into the year’s single hot item, but into, potentially, tens of thousands of patrons’ wish lists for an indeterminate and shifting future. But please, there’s no need to door-bust for anything we offer. We do ask that you take care to look through our collections, which were built for you to peruse comfortably and with a resting heart rate.

To the mad-dashing, competitive shoppers: we’re keeping our catalog’s breadth and price reductions institution-grade. Let’s cool it this holiday season.

The post Beyond the bestsellers: Capitalizing on the Holiday Spectacular Sale appeared first on OverDrive Blogs.

5 of Macmillan’s Most Popular 2017 Releases

December 11, 2017 - 8:39am

It’s the most wonderful time of the year to stock up your digital collection with top trending titles for readers to enjoy during the holiday season. As 2017 comes to an end, readers are eager to borrow the most popular titles that were released throughout the year. You’ll also see a surge in new users anxious to try out your digital library for the first time. There’s never been a better time to give your readers the gift of reading and thankfully, you can do so while saving on your holiday shopping. Now through December 18th, public libraries (US and Canada) will receive 35% off the most popular 2017 Macmillan titles.

These featured titles are the top trending Macmillan books from 2017 that are sure be on your readers ‘to be read’ list this holiday season!

Come Sundown By: Nora Roberts

Come Sundown was named as one of Whoopi Goldberg’s “Favorite Summer Reads” on ABC’s The View and one of NY Post’s biggest blockbuster “Whizbang Books” of the summer. A novel of suspense, family ties, and twisted passions from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Obsession.

Glass House By: Louise Penny

An instant New York Times Bestseller and August 2017 LibraryReads pick! In Glass House, her latest utterly gripping book, #1 New York Times bestselling author Louise Penny shatters the conventions of the crime novel to explore what Gandhi called the court of conscience. A court that supersedes all others.

Audiobook and eBook both available in the sale.

The Breakdown By: B. A. Paris

Named One of the Most Anticipated Thriller Novels Of 2017 by Bustle! Readers won’t be able to put down B. A. Paris’s The Breakdown, the next chilling, propulsive novel from the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Behind Closed Doors.

Audiobook and eBook both available in the sale.

Echoes in Death By: J. D. Robb

Echoes in Death, the new suspense novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author J.D. Robb, is the perfect entry point into the compelling In Death police procedural series featuring Lieutenant Eve Dallas.

The Saboteur By: Andrew Gross

Based on a stirring true story, The Saboteur is Andrew Gross’s follow-up to the riveting historical thriller, The One Man. A richly-woven story probing the limits of heroism, sacrifice and determination, The Saboteur portrays a hero who must weigh his duty against his heart in order to single-handedly end the one threat that could alter the course of World War II.

Audiobook and eBook both available in the sale.

Shop the sale, today!


The post 5 of Macmillan’s Most Popular 2017 Releases appeared first on OverDrive Blogs.

Winter reads: a season without Santa

December 7, 2017 - 3:17pm

By: Bethany Porter, Collection Development Specialist.

Christmas time is a good time to reflect, give, and believe in magic. But if you don’t celebrate Christmas (or want to put your cheer on hold for a moment), it can be an exhausting time of year. Here are a few winter reads that do not revolve around Christmas, because we all need a break occasionally!

The Mitten by Jan Brett

Jan Brett has a few winter story staples, and this one is my personal favorite. This story teaches children friendship and how to share, and even about being kind to the environment. Follow this story with making homemade bird feeders.

The 101 Dalmatians by Dodie Smith

Smith’s writing is delightful, and if you have seen the Disney version of this story, you’ll love the original. Think about that scene in the movie where Lucky says “I’m tired, and I’m hungry, and my tail’s froze, and my nose is froze, and my ears are froze, and my nose is froze…”
Now imagine a grown woman saying that for an entire Ohio winter. That is me, and there’s nothing that sounds better to me than curling up by a fire with a cup of tea and reading some Dodie Smith. When you’re done with this one, try out “I Capture the Castle.”

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

I have read all of the Chronicles of Narnia, but this is the only one that I revisit frequently. I reread it once every winter. I love the idea of a winter with no Christmas – it is the ultimate dystopia, dealing with freezing weather with no hope of a joyful celebration. Reading this book makes me cold, and reminds me that too much of a good thing – Turkish Delight, in Edmund’s case – makes it not so delightful anymore.

Winter by Marissa Meyer

Ok, so this one isn’t technically about Winter-the-Season. It’s about Winter-the-Person. This season is a great time to revisit a favorite series, and I’ll be spending some time rereading the Lunar Chronicles. These books are long, (“Winter” is the final book in this 4-book series, and it’s over 800 pages long), but they’re fast-paced and exciting retellings of a cyborg Cinderella and her friends. This is a perfect series to binge-read as the weather gets colder, and as the Holidays approach to try to make your life more stressful. I can’t wait to dive in and suspend reality for this series again!


We have more than 100 J/YA books about winter.

Want to purchase books about Winter holidays other than Christmas? Check out this Marketplace list.

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Libby named one of Google Play’s Best Apps of 2017

December 7, 2017 - 9:08am

Every December, Google honors a select number of apps in their Google Play store as the best of the best. These apps are broken out into various categories and highlighted on their homepage for users to discover. Libby, our one-tap reading app, was honored as one of five “Best Hidden Gem” apps, which are described as fresh to the scene and quietly building a fanbase — from newcomers on the brink of becoming huge, to cult apps and niche topics.

Google’s note hightlighting why Libby was selected states, “The joys of the library (free reading and endless possibilities!) meet the convenience of the digital age in Libby. Borrow media from your local library, then dive in with an in-app ebook reader and audiobook player.”

Since Libby’s release earlier this year, hundreds of thousands of readers have discovered (or re-discovered) the wonders of their public library. If you haven’t tried Libby out for yourself yet, there’s never been a better time. We also have a full suite of marketing and training materials for your staff to utilize on our Libby Resource Center. Download our award-winning app and get started sharing the goodness of Libby with your entire community!

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5 Search Features in Libby That Every Bookworm Will Love

December 5, 2017 - 2:00pm

By: Rickie Mascia, OverDrive Social Media Specialist

Throughout the year, libraries add thousands of eBooks and audiobooks to their digital collection, making it fairly easy to get lost in a sea of titles when searching for your next great read. Libby, our one-tap reading app, is equipped with numerous tools that refine search results based on a readers selected preferences. In the app, you are able to set specific parameters that are personalized to your reading habits and interests. These features eliminate titles that do not match selected criteria, providing a seamless searching experience for exploring their libraries digital collection.

Here are a few of our favorite tips and tricks that will help every bookworm find their next read with ease!

1. Search the series.

Libby’s newest search feature makes finding series information faster, easier and more accessible.

Run a search for an entire series by typing the series name directly into the search bar. A series search will pull a list of all the titles (and only the titles) in the selected series that are available at your local library. Additionally, titles in a series are now marked as “[number] in series” in lists and search results. A book’s place in a series can also be found on its ‘details screen’. You can view any title’s ‘details screen’ by clicking on its cover art, which displays all the information about the selected title, including an overview of the chronological order of the other books in the series.

2. This isn’t your average search, this is…advanced search.

Advanced Search allows you to search for digital titles by multiple criteria, including subject, series, audience, format, ISBN, and more. Ideal for readers that are looking for a new title to read, but do not have an exact book in mind. Selecting specific parameters in your search will produce tailored and personalized search results.

3. Sort and filter.

Standardize your search preferences. Select your desired criteria by tapping the plus sign (on your library’s main page in the Libby app) and then tap the ‘Apply Preferences’ button. These settings will be saved to your account ensuring that all future search results generate lists that best match your individual reading habits. Preferences can be saved to automatically filter search results by availability, sort by (relevance, popularity, date added, release date, author, title), language, audience, and compatibility. This feature can also be a useful tool for parents to monitor the content that filters into their children’s search results.

Refine your search. Limit the number of titles that appear in your results by utilizing the ‘Refine’ link (found in your search results). Selecting ‘Refine’ will prompt Libby to display additional filters that can be selected to narrow down your search including sort by, language, audience, and compatibility. A specific search can also be sorted the same way you save your overall account preferences by simply tapping the plus sign to select additional filters with-in your search results.

4. Remove saved search items.

Libby automatically creates a log of your search items directly underneath the search bar. This feature provides you with an overview of all titles, authors, series, etc. that you have searched for in the past. If you prefer your lists not be saved, there is an option for you to remove them from the log. Simply tap the search bar as if you were going to run a search, this will prompt your search log to appear. Swipe left on the search item you would like to clear from the log and a red box that says “remove” will appear next to the search item.

5. BISAC search.

BIASC search is a dream search for readers that may not know the genre or subject or really anything other than a keyword that may help them find the title they are looking for. Use keywords such as ‘Holiday Romance’ in your search to view a list filled with every title available in your local library’s digital collection that matches that description. It does not matter what type of book you are looking for BIASC search will help you find your next great read much easier.

Learn more about Libby by visiting our Help page!

Not reading with Libby yet? Download our new one-tap reading app, today!

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OverDrive Help Wanted: We’ve Got It Here!

December 4, 2017 - 7:08am

By: Courtney Sveda, OverDrive Training Specialist

Getting users started with your library’s digital collection is easier than ever… but what happens if they run into a technical issue? It’s important that, once readers decide to go digital, you can support them should they run into any technical issues. Here at OverDrive, we want to empower your staff with the resources necessary to assist users, and share ways they can troubleshoot for themselves, too.

Join us for our all new, scenario-based webcast, OverDrive Help Resources, and transform into a troubleshooting guru. You’ll leave our 30-minute session knowing what help resources are available and where to find them. We’ll discuss potential user challenges like app error messages, returning titles early, and recovering titles borrowed with a lost library card.

Additionally, we’ll cover how to get support for a variety of OverDrive platforms and products, including OverDrive Marketplace, your digital library website, the OverDrive app, and Libby. Let us help you cover all your bases with this comprehensive session hosted by our knowledgeable Training Specialists. As always, you’ll have the opportunity to live-chat with the OverDrive team during the webcast.

If this sounds like the webcast you’ve been waiting for, you won’t have to wait much longer! The OverDrive Help Resources live webcast is Thursday, December 14 at 11:00 AM. Save your spot by registering here on our Resource Center under Staff Training > Live Webcasts.

Don’t forget to register for our other live webcasts that week including Shopping for Titles in Marketplace on Tuesday, December 12 and The End User Experience on Wednesday, December 13.  We hope to see you there!

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Professional Book Nerds Author Interviews – Now free for your digital collection

December 1, 2017 - 10:29am

By: Adam Sockel, Co-host of the Professional Book Nerds podcast

For the past two years, the Professional Book Nerds podcast has been providing weekly book recommendations and author interviews to listeners from more than 100 countries. We’re excited to announce that you can now add our 80+ author interviews to your library’s OverDrive collection as a simultaneous use plan for free in OverDrive Marketplace.

These interviews, which have been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times, offer readers insights into some of their favorite authors’ writing processes and craft while also introducing them to new authors they may not have heard of yet. In the collection you’ll find conversations with Pulitzer Prize winners like Colson Whitehead, #1 bestsellers George Saunders, James Patterson, Jodi Picoult, Tana French and Lee Child, famed celebrities like Alan Cumming and YA sensations including Leigh Bardugo, Marieke Nijkamp, Marissa Meyer, Jason Reynolds and dozens more. You’ll even find frequent episodes with America’s Librarian, Nancy Pearl.

These interviews can be downloaded and enjoyed like any audiobook in your collection and they will show up in search results for those specific authors. As we interview more authors, new episodes will be automatically added to your collection. A perfect way to curate your collection is to feature episodes of the podcast to align with special collections, book clubs or community reading events you’re promoting. The Ohio Digital Library has done this with their featured collection and will be updating it frequently.

Best of all, every time a patron listens to this free content, it counts as a checkout for the library! Head to Marketplace today to add these interviews from the Professional Book Nerds to your collection today and, if you want weekly book recommendations, be sure to subscribe to the Professional Book Nerds in iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts today!

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5 Ways to Prepare Your Digital Library for the Holiday Rush

November 29, 2017 - 6:22am

By: Annie Suhy, Collection Development Analyst

Get ready. Get set. Hold on to your candy canes. We’re fast approaching one of the highest circulation seasons of the year for your digital collection! It’s no secret among librarians that the holiday boom comes just after Christmas when patrons cozy up on the couch with a new device from Santa and check out an eBook for the first time—or when seasoned users make a dent in their reading lists thanks to some extra free time. There’s no better place to go considering the digital library has no holiday hours and is always ready to serve your community, snow or shine.

Is your digital collection ready to handle the holiday rush? Can you hook new users and keep them coming back long after the Christmas cocoa has cooled? Read on for 5 helpful tips on how to make sure your OverDrive collection as sparkly as the star topping your tree:

1. Mind the Gaps

As I reader, I can attest that there’s nothing more frustrating than ending Book 1 and not being able to jump immediately into Book 2. I NEED BOOK 2. Or, what if Book 2 is available, but not Book 1? Well then, you can just forget it.

Make sure your series offerings are neat and tidy by using the Series Gap tool under the Insights sidebar in Marketplace. Search by age level and see where you can fill in. You might even spy some series on sale like Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series.

2. Zombies—Not Just for Halloween

Long after the Halloween candy has been eaten, zombie titles still lurk around your digital collection. And I’m not talking about The Walking Dead on audiobook. I’m referring to the titles in your collection that have expired, but still appear active on your site and can obtain holds.

It’s easy to zap the dreaded zombie with a quick Advanced Search. Under Holdings, search for MA: 0 checkouts remaining or MA: 0 days remaining. Under Holds, click 1 or more. And voila! Let the zombie zapping begin.

You can always easily see which titles are on sale as well by selecting the ‘On Sale’ facet on the left-hand bar and save yourself a fortune.

3. If You Promote It, They Will Come

Now that you have the perfect collection, you can SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS! Or, if you’d rather stay on the ground, we have print ready bookmarks and flyers, digital graphics to share on your website or social media, holiday themed event ideas, and more in our Holiday Marketing Kit.

Engage new users and they’re sure to let family and friends in on the “secret” at holiday get-togethers bringing even more new readers to the library.

4. Have a Watch Party!

Grab your staff, bring some cookies, and watch our special webcast: Preparing for the Holidays and Beyond where you can get even more tips to accommodate the rush and suggestions for making 2018 your library’s best year yet.

5. Curate, Curate, Curate

One of the most important things you can do for your circulation is to keep those homepage collections looking fresh. Everyone likes a new suggestion when they hit the homepage, so why not show them something that’s available for check out now while they wait for that hottest new bestseller?

We’ve added some festive draft collections in your Marketplace account that have proven to be perpetually popular like Best Books of 2017 and New Year, New You! It’s as easy as setting live and watching your circulation numbers grow!

The post 5 Ways to Prepare Your Digital Library for the Holiday Rush appeared first on OverDrive Blogs.

Let Team OverDrive Help You Prepare for the Holidays and Beyond

November 28, 2017 - 8:32am

By Shannon L. Hunt, Training Manager

I turned on the radio this morning and heard The Chipmunks singing Frosty the Snowman, which can only mean one thing… the holidays are officially here! I love this time of year – twinkle lights, holiday parties, visits with family near and far, and watching Elf over and over (and over) again. I’m all about the holiday hustle and bustle.

Of course, said hustle and bustle means an even busier time of year for you, too, as more users borrow titles to enjoy while they’re on vacation or want to get started with OverDrive on the new devices Santa placed under their tree. We’re here to help you prepare for this holiday rush with our special webcast, Preparing for the Holidays and Beyond on Wednesday, November 29th at 11AM and 2PM EST.

In this jam-packed session, we’ll cover marketing tips and resources to help you get ready for an increase in users, including how to maximize your year-end budget, curate special holiday collections, utilize OverDrive’s holiday marketing kit and checklist, incorporate digital ideas into programming already established at your library, and much more!

And once you’ve survived the holiday rush, it will be a perfect time to take a deep breath and think about what goals you want to achieve for your digital collection in 2018. We’ve got you covered here, too, with information on how to increase circulation and new user registration, reduce wait times, and ways to achieve those goals and measure your results

Registration is available on the OverDrive Resource Center or contact the Training team at training@overdrive.com for additional information.

Until then, happy holidays!

The post Let Team OverDrive Help You Prepare for the Holidays and Beyond appeared first on OverDrive Blogs.

9 books we’re thankful for

November 22, 2017 - 6:54am

Earlier this week, we shared a few things Team OverDrive is thankful for this holiday season, ranging from the librarians we work with to the inspiration we see around our office every day and, of course, our families. At our our core, we believe in reading and what it can do for the world and so we thought we should also provide you with a few examples of the books we’re thankful for as well. We grabbed a few people from around the office and asked them the books they’re most thankful for and why. Here are their answers:


The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger



Little Women by Louisa M. Alcott



Rising Strong by Brene Brown



The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein



Froggy Gets Dressed by Jonathan London



Beard Science by Penny Reid



11.22.63 by Stephen King



Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce



Oh, The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss!


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Celebrating the heritage of First Nations people

November 21, 2017 - 11:46am

We’ve compiled a list of more than 100 eBooks & audiobooks featuring indigenous topics, authors and characters for Native American Heritage Month. Sample a few here, or get the complete list of titles.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Whole communities were reading this together a few years ago. Bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.

Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author’s own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by Ellen Forney that reflect the character’s art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live. With a forward by Markus Zusak, interviews with Sherman Alexie and Ellen Forney, and four-color interior art throughout, this edition is perfect for fans and collectors alike.

Little You

Richard Van Camp, internationally renowned storyteller and bestselling author of the hugely successful Welcome Song for Baby: A Lullaby for Newborns, has partnered with talented illustrator Julie Flett to create a tender board book for babies and toddlers that honors the child in everyone. With its delightful contemporary illustrations, Little You is perfect to be shared, read or sung to all the little people in your life—and the new little ones on the way!

Walk on the Wild Side

One day, a bear, a moose and a beaver go for a walk in the mountains. To make the hike more exciting, they decide to race to the top. But soon the friends fall into deep trouble. Who will give up their chance for glory to save the day?

The Plague of Doves

Evelina Harp is a witty, ambitious young girl, part Ojibwe, part white, who is prone to falling hopelessly in love. Mooshum, Evelina’s grandfather, is a seductive storyteller, a repository of family and tribal history with an all-too-intimate knowledge of the violent past. Nobody understands the weight of historical injustice better than Judge Antone Bazil Coutts, a thoughtful mixed blood who witnesses the lives of those who appear before him, and whose own love life reflects the entire history of the territory. In distinct and winning voices, Erdrich’s narrators unravel the stories of different generations and families in this corner of North Dakota. Bound by love, torn by history, the two communities’ collective stories finally come together in a wrenching truth revealed in the novel’s final pages.

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10 things Team OverDrive is thankful for

November 19, 2017 - 7:43pm

Every single day we are hashtag blessed with the opportunity to interact with thousands of librarians around the globe. Their relentless creativity and tireless promotion of literacy continues to amaze us. Around Thanksgiving, it is customary to think back about all the events and instances we’re thankful for and so we asked a few members of Team OverDrive for their thoughts. Given that I am writing this post, I suppose it’s only fair that I start us off…

Adam Sockel, Marketing Communications Specialist


And since my brother works here as well, I’ll make him go next…


Jason Sockel, Collection Development Sales Manager


Adam Eberle, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer


Noel Fenton, Collection Development Specialist 


Lindsey Levinsohn, Library Partner Services Account Specialist


Hannah Monson, Collection Development Specialist


Lauren Bajda, Digital Media Events Specialist


Melissa Marin, Marketing Specialist


Cindy Orr, Digital Collection Advisor


Lori Franklin, Chief Operating Officer

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Creating eReading Rooms for your library community

November 16, 2017 - 4:49pm

Last month, we shared the news that the National Library Board of Singapore (NLB) has launched the first-ever Digital Business Library as a part of their OverDrive-powered website. NLB’s using this aspect of their collection to bring new users from their community to the library. This is an exciting direction to take our eReading Room capabilities, but it’s by no means the only example of libraries working with their Account Specialists to create segmented collections for their readers.

Several years ago, we launched eReading Rooms specifically for kids and teens to provide young readers and their parents a place to find digital content appropriate for their age and reading levels. We’ve since expanded on this idea, working with creative librarians to highlight collections that will cater to specific audiences. Below you’ll find examples of eReading Rooms currently live on OverDrive library websites across the globe.

Language Rooms

OverDrive has titles available in over 100 languages, and if you have a multilingual community, a perfect way to bring them to the library is by making content in their respective languages easy for them to find. Several libraries have created language-based eReading Rooms, including Los Angeles Public Library’s Spanish RoomSeattle Public Library’s Chinese Room and Auckland Libraries Community Languages Room in New Zealand.

Los Angeles Public Library

Seattle Public Library

Auckland Libraries

Genre specific

Curating lists in genres and subgenres is nothing new, but if your readers are heavily borrowing cozy mysteries or biographies, it might make sense to prominently feature those collections. San Jose Public Library created a romance eReading Room where they spotlight certain publishers, types of romance books and even levels of “heat” so readers know what they’re getting into. Toronto Public Library has a “Whodunnit?” eReading Room where they promote mystery collections including domestic thrillers and The Girl on the Train Read-alikes, classic mysteries, award winners and several other subcategories. Birmingham Libraries’ users are heavy nonfiction readers, so their eReading Room’s loaded with everything from self-improvement books to autobiographies and historical nonfiction.

San Jose Public Library

Toronto Public Library

Birmingham Libraries

Let your imagination run wild

You don’t have to limit yourself to a specific group or genre of titles. Sno-Isle Libraries frequently changes out the collections they featured on their homepage, and once they’re no longer there, they add them to their Recently Featured eReading Rooms. The Ohio Digital Library worked with their Collection Development Specialist to curate lists of 2016 and 2017 award-winning books and created an Award-Winning eReading Room. Maryland is seeing a big push to get students involved with S.T.E.A.M (science, technology, engineering, arts and math), so Maryland’s Digital Library created a young adult-specific S.T.E.A.M. Room highlighting exactly those collections of titles.

Sno-Isle Libraries

The Ohio Digital Library

Maryland’s Digital Library

If you’re interested in creating something similar to any of the eReading Rooms above or have another idea entirely, contact your Collection Development Specialist for more information on getting started.

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Give your community the gift of reading this holiday season

November 14, 2017 - 10:12am

Each year, libraries around the world experience a surge in their OverDrive traffic as the calendar turns to December. Existing users will dive into “best of” lists and look forward to 2018, as new patrons unwrap devices and learn about the 24/7 access of your digital library for the first time. You can expect your OverDrive circulation to increase as readers are looking for a literary break from the chaos of the end of the year, and what better way to show them how much you appreciate their library love than by giving them the gift of reading.

This week, we officially kicked off the 2017 Holiday Spectacular Sale, OverDrive’s biggest content sale of the year, where you can save up to 50% on thousands of titles. If you visit our sale page, you’ll find easily shoppable collections broken out into various categories. We’ve generated lists for you based on new releases, bestsellers, holiday themes and so much more. Looking to curate collections of well-reviewed titles by industry sources? We have lists from Publisher’s WeeklyLibrary Journal and more. Interested in beefing up your comicsfantasyromance or self-improvement collections? We have the sale fully segmented by genres and subjects for you as well. You can see all titles on sale that you don’t currently own as well as books you have in your collection that have holds lists built up. The Holiday Spectacular sales page is designed to help you find exactly what you’re looking for, as well as titles you didn’t even realize your collection needed, quickly and easily.

Need help deciding on how to build your collection through our Holiday Spectacular and beyond? Register for one of our special webcasts on Nov. 29 for tips on curation, marketing and more. You’ll hear from the directors of both our Collection Development and Partner Services teams on how to make the most of this exciting sale. We’ll have live trainings that day at both 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., so be sure to register to save your spot today.

As readers rush to your digital library to borrow books for the first or hundredth time, the best thing you can provide them is a browsing experience full of available titles to borrow. The gift of reading is something that will keep readers coming back not just through the end of this year but into 2018 and beyond. Take advantage of all this new traffic to hit your year-long circulation goals and do so while saving big with our Holiday Spectacular sale.

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OverDrive training and the gift of time

November 14, 2017 - 5:25am

By: Sydney Kalnay, Training Specialist.

When I worked at a school, I wanted one thing every holiday season: time. By the time winter break rolled around, I was always knee-deep in ungraded essays, next semester’s lesson plans, and end of the year requests for volunteer hours, and I was left with little or no time for myself. (Did I mention that we renewed our professional certifications every January? Sigh.)

While I rarely wished for a complete change of pace — for me, it was always harder to get back into a routine after stopping completely than if I just slowed my pace — I did wish that my tasks took up less of my precious free time.

With that knowledge in hand, we at OverDrive want to give you the most meaningful gift we can this year: more time.

If you need to brush up on a skill, learn a new workflow, or complete some self-directed professional development time, our free monthly webcast series and on-demand training modules will deliver the information you need in the time you have.

Shopping for Titles in Marketplace

On December 11th at 3:30 PM (EST) join us for our live webcast, Shopping for Titles for your K-12 Website. Our OverDrive experts will demonstrate easy, time-saving tips, Marketplace shopping shortcuts, and ways to lean on your OverDrive specialists for your spending, curating, and budgetary needs — all in 30 minutes! Register for this session today.

Student User Experience

Then, we kick off the New Year with an overview of the OverDrive Student User Experience, walking you through the school digital library website and OverDrive Read and Listen from the perspective of a student user. Join us on January 22nd at 3:30 PM (EST).

On-demand Modules

Can’t attend a live session? Check out some of our short recorded modules on OverDrive Marketplace features, such as Reporting, Assigning Titles to Students, Understanding Lending Models, and more. We have modules around the student user experience, too, including how to enjoy titles on a variety of devices, and even how to create and export any annotations you make in an eBook. You can also learn to discuss OverDrive with your entire school community, from admins to teachers, parents to students, with our How to Talk to Your School Community About OverDrive playback.

We know your time is short and we want to make the moments you spend with us meaningful. We hope you find everything you need in our live sessions or archived on the OverDrive Resource Center this holiday season. Thanks for spending your time with us!

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We were only freshman

November 13, 2017 - 10:23am

By: Christina Samek, Marketing Specialist.

The transition from high school to college is one of the biggest and most significant changes in a young person’s life. They are experiencing a world of responsibility and true freedom for the first time. It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of re-starting their life, figuring out who they want to be, and occasionally skipping a class or two. It will be one of the best times in their life, as most post-grads will tell you, as I’ll tell you. But, it’s really hard too. They are as prepared for it as they can be. As educators, you explain the vigor of classes, the lack of hand-holding, the “NO EXTRA CREDIT.” You do your best to warn them but it’s up to them how they take that advice, those 12 long years of learning, and grow up.

As fun as it is, college life requires a balance that is sometimes hard-fought. There are no parents to call for lights out, ensure the books stay open, a vegetable is occasionally consumed, etc. It can be equal parts exhilarating and overwhelming. No matter how wonderful the exhilarating parts, they’ll each have that moment (or several) where they miss home, the comforts of their high school, the guidance of their teachers, simply: the easy joys of being a child. So, here’s a list of titles for college-aged students getting swept up, taking it all in, and figuring it all out for those overwhelming days. It’s okay to be sacred and stumble through it. They’ll find that’s most of adulthood. They’ll find that no, they probably won’t need the Pythagorean theorem, but, they’ll realize how glad they are for you.

Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando

When Elizabeth receives her freshman-year roommate assignment at the beginning of summer, she shoots off an email to coordinate the basics: TV, microwave, mini-fridge. She can’t wait to escape her New Jersey beach town, and her mom, and start life over in California.

 by Rainbow Rowell

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

Positively Mine
 by Christine Duval

An imperfect heroine plagued by bad choices and isolated during what should be the best time of her life, readers are sure to identify with Laurel as she confronts teen pregnancy, in secret.

A Little Something Different
 by Sandy Hall

Lea and Gabe are in the same creative writing class. They get the same pop culture references, order the same Chinese food, and hang out in the same places. Unfortunately, Lea is reserved, Gabe has issues, and despite their initial mutual crush, it looks like they are never going to work things out.

The Queen of the Tearling
 by Erika Johansen

On her nineteenth birthday, Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, raised in exile, sets out on a perilous journey back to the castle of her birth to ascend her rightful throne. Plain and serious, a girl who loves books and learning, Kelsea bears little resemblance to her mother, the vain and frivolous Queen Elyssa. But though she may be inexperienced and sheltered, Kelsea is not defenseless: Around her neck hangs the Tearling sapphire, a jewel of immense magical power; and accompanying her is the Queen’s Guard, a cadre of brave knights led by the enigmatic and dedicated Lazarus. Kelsea will need them all to survive a cabal of enemies who will use every weapon—from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic—to prevent her from wearing the crown.

The Last Lecture 
by Jeffrey Zaslow

When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give such a lecture, he didn’t have to imagine it as his last, since he had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. But the lecture he gave—”Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams”—wasn’t about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because “time is all you have…and you may find one day that you have less than you think”). It was a summation of everything Randy had come to believe. It was about living.

So Much I Want to Tell You 
by Anna Akana

In So Much I Want to Tell You, Anna opens up about her own struggles with poor self-esteem and reveals both the highs and lows of coming-of-age. She offers fresh, funny, hard-won advice for young women on everything from self-care to money to sex, and she is refreshingly straightforward about the realities of dating, female friendship, and the hustle required to make your dreams come true. This is Anna’s story, but, as she says, it belongs just as much to Kristina and to every other girl who must learn that growing up can be hard to do. Witty and real, Anna breaks things down in a way only a big sister can.

Norwegian Wood 
by Haruki Murakami

Toru, a quiet and preternaturally serious young college student in Tokyo, is devoted to Naoko, a beautiful and introspective young woman, but their mutual passion is marked by the tragic death of their best friend years before. Toru begins to adapt to campus life and the loneliness and isolation he faces there, but Naoko finds the pressures and responsibilities of life unbearable. As she retreats further into her own world, Toru finds himself reaching out to others and drawn to a fiercely independent and sexually liberated young woman.A poignant story of one college student’s romantic coming-of-age, Norwegian Wood takes us to that distant place of a young man’s first, hopeless, and heroic love.

What I Know Now: Letters to My Younger Self 
by Ellyn Spragins

If you could send a letter back through time to your younger self, what would the letter say? In this moving collection, forty-one famous women write letters to the women they once were, filled with advice and insights they wish they had had when they were younger.


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Sharjah Public Library Launches the United Arab Emirates first eBook Collection

November 8, 2017 - 6:45am

Sharjah Public Library, together with OverDrive, the world’s leading digital reading platform for libraries and schools, announced today the launch of its digital library collection with a large catalog of eBooks and audiobooks. Sharjah is the first library in the United Arab Emirates to join the 38,000 libraries and schools worldwide in the OverDrive network. Their collection is comprised of 1,200 eBooks and audiobooks in English and includes a broad selection of pleasure reading and professional, academic, and continuing education titles, including content supporting English language proficiency and science and medical content. New content is added to the site regularly and readers can enjoy the user experience in English, Arabic and French.

“We are delighted to serve our diverse readership with the convenience of digital books from the Sharjah Library,” said Sara Al , Marzouqi, Director of Sharjah Public Library, operated by the Sharjah Book Authority.  “We are working with OverDrive to help Arabic publishers develop eBook and audiobook editions we can provide for anytime, anywhere use on mobile devices.”

This latest innovation comes on the heels of other significant book and reading-related initiatives in Sharjah. His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, announced at the Sharjah International Book Fair the formation of Sharjah Publishing City, a free trade zone designed to increase publishing activity in the Middle East. In January, the Emirate of Sharjah provided 2.1 million books to Emirati households, as part of the Home Library project, to strengthen the bonds between citizens and books and to promote reading as a noble habit in every Emirati household.

“Sharjah Public Library’s new digital collection is an outstanding extension of the library’s services, with convenient access to popular and relevant eBooks and audiobooks,” said Steve Potash, President and Chief Executive Officer of Rakuten OverDrive.  “OverDrive has enabled public libraries all over the world to reach readers of all ages, and we are excited to work with the Sharjah to offer the first digital collection in the UAE.”

The post Sharjah Public Library Launches the United Arab Emirates first eBook Collection appeared first on OverDrive Blogs.

Add these books and bevvie pairings to your autumn reading list

November 7, 2017 - 8:37am

We asked Team OverDrive for their favorite fall reading selections. And, once cozied up by the fire, in the chair or with a fuzzy buddy, what’s on their coaster nearby?

Transition begins with tea

I’ve gotta go with The Hobbit, and I’d pair that with a nice fall tea. Something like the Harney & Son’s Hot Cinnamon Sunset tea. Sounds ridiculous, I know, but it’s good tea, and it reminds me of taking a journey, for some reason. Maybe it’s just that I associate fall with transition, and Bilbo’s story is all about a journey of change. He’s clearly not the same Hobbit he was in the beginning of the story.

~Quinton, Product Owner

Spoiler: not rum

What was that noise? That one…right outside my window! Was it the patter of rain or the tapping of ghostly fingers? The rattle of desiccated leaves or an unearthly chuckle?

Truthfully, I couldn’t care less. I am snuggled into my blanket fort, drinking a crisp Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley and re-(re-)(re-)reading The Shining by Stephen King, ready to get scared out of my wits by a haunted hotel, a little boy with a big supernatural gift, and Jack Torrance’s spiral into madness. Red wine and REDRUM – what more could I want?

~Sydney, Training Specialist

Drinks with a dinosaur

My favorite autumnal book and beverage pairing is Dead Beat, book seven of the Dresden Files, by Jim Butcher, and Thirsty Dog’s Barktoberfest Lager. This series focuses on the anti-hero protagonist Harry Dresden, a wizard for hire in modern day Chicago. This novel is set around Halloween with zombies, ghosts, necromancers and goblins. Harry frequents a local pub and micro-brewery called McAnally’s Pub. I like to imagine myself sitting there at the bar, drinking a beer, and listening to Harry tell his stories of his most recent endeavors. Plus, not to spoil the plot for any potential readers, but, who wouldn’t love to ride a zombified T-Rex into battle against zombies, ghosts and necromancers!

~Matt, Developer

Pumpkin! (shush it haters)

I love pumpkin season. Pumpkin lattes. Pumpkin beers. Pumpkin cookies. Pumpkin cereal. You get the idea. I will shout my love for pumpkin from a mountain of pumpkins and I don’t care who knows it. You and your judgmental eyes can take a walk. Pumpkin flavored anything pairs deliciously with a bone-chilling horror novel. Morning – pumpkin coffee with a side of Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake. Afternoon – pumpkin hot coco and The Fall by Bethany Griffin. Night – pumpkin beer while hiding under the covers with The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender.

~Andrea, Launch Specialist

Terror is neat

I’d choose Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer, paired with bourbon whiskey, neat (to ease the tension). Annihilation is a slow burn tension builder, with Vandermeer’s prose ever so slowly revealing Area X to be full of terror and awe at every corner. Like a good bourbon, take your time with it, savor it, and, once it’s finished, get some more (by moving on to its sequels, Authority and Acceptance, or just pick them all up at once with Area X: The Southern Reach Trilogy).

~Kenny, Metadata Specialist

Drinking from the pages

Mine is Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children paired with Chocolate Cherry coffee from Gourmand’s. This is a beautiful yet spooky story about acceptance of one’s peculiarity. It is perfect for Halloween especially if you pay attention to the photographs pictured in the book. Sitting on the couch under lots of blankets with a hot cup of Chocolate Cherry coffee from Gourmand’s while reading this love/coming of age/ scary story sounds like a cozy fall day to me. The slightly bitter, slightly sweet notes in this coffee pair perfectly with this story.

~Amanda, Account Specialist

Reading with your bestie

My ideal pairing would be hot apple cider and any Paws and Claws Mystery by Krista Davis. In the fall, I start going out less, and sitting at home with my dog and a blanket more. So why not get cozy with a cozy? Davis’s next book comes out this November, so it will be right on time.

~Briana, Training Specialist


All the spices

On a perfect fall day, I will have a window open to let in the crisp air, have a musky candle lit, and some festive Halloween lights will, of course, be hanging. My favorite autumnal beverage is hot spiced cider, like my mom always made it. You add the apple cider to a saucepan along with cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, and allspice, and allow that to simmer until hot and slightly reduced. Not only will it warm you right up, it will make your house smell delightful as well! Then I will crack open my illustrated version of Ray Bradbury’s The Halloween Tree, and be whisked away by the magic of the season.

~Shannon, Account Specialist


I’d pair hard Apple/Cranberry Cider with Short Stories by Edgar Allan Poe because fall is the time for scary stories, and is also when cranberries are harvested in New England. I cannot think of a better time to revisit some of my favorite scary short stories by an author from Massachusetts! From “The Cask of Amontillado,” where one man becomes entombed alive in the catacombs of an unnamed Italian city, to “The Tell-Tale Heart,” where a man insists that he hears the disembodied beating of a heart. Poe pairs well with the rotting and decay of fall leaves, which will eventually make room for growth in the spring. I am a huge fan of light, humorous reading, but I’ll be sticking to the darker classics for this season.

~Bethany, Content Analyst

Wine for blood

On a perfect fall day, especially around Halloween, I can be caught reading Anne Rice’s Lestat, a tale of a young French man bestowed the Dark Gift by an ancient vampire and immediately abandoned by his maker. This title is best paired with a French Cabernet Sauvignon. This hearty red wine will give your mouth a drying sensation that leaves you craving more; similar to Lestat’s craving for blood.

~Jessica, Accountant


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Have You Met Libby Yet? – Get Introduced During November’s Live Library Webcasts

November 6, 2017 - 6:25am

By: Courtney Sveda, OverDrive Training Specialist

Libby is the newest one-tap reading app from OverDrive that has delighted readers with its ease of use and fun, interactive design. Libby is perfect for first time users looking to access your library’s digital collection or even those users looking for a new digital reading experience.

Join us on Thursday, November 16th at 11:00 AM or 2:00 PM ET to receive a formal introduction to Libby. Does the idea of reading with an app sometimes sound complicated to your users? Don’t worry – we’ll cover all the basics – logging in, adding a library card, and quickly borrowing an eBook or audiobook to enjoy on the go.

Already a fan of the Libby app? We’ll also demonstrate all of Libby’s special features. Have you ever wanted to track your books by custom categories? Libby has a tagging feature which allows you to organize titles into whatever groups you’d like! Do you share a device with others? Add multiple library cards so everyone can enjoy titles. We’ll even show some new ways to search that will allow you to uncover more titles.

This live, 45-minute webcast will provide you with everything you’ll need to help your patrons (or you ) get started. We’ll cover some of Libby’s most frequently asked questions, and as always, you can live chat with the OverDrive team. We know that once you’ve met Libby, you’ll want to introduce your patrons as well!

Register for this can’t-miss session on our Resource Center under Staff Training > Live Webcasts. And while you’re there, sign up for our other monthly webcasts in November, Shopping for Titles in Marketplace and The End User Experience, too. We hope to see you there!


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