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If pups could read: Their Favorite Titles In Commemoration of the Year of the Dog

February 13, 2018 - 7:54am

By: Winnie Li, Business Development Executive


(Ed. Note: I can confirm all of these animals are very good doggos and their recommendations can definitely be trusted.)

Peoples’ infatuation with dogs has been going on for 15,000 years. We are celebrating our beloved friends in 2018: The Year of the Dog. Much to our surprise, the dogs are very interested in Chinese-language content. We took a poll of several pooches and these are the hot titles!

Recommended by the Papillon:

The Papillon informs us that dogs can recognize human emotions by combining information from different senses. To help humans better understand each other and themselves, the Papillon recommends this title Introduction to the Four-Color Personality Analysis by Le Jia, a theory in decoding personalities via people’s reactions to colors. Le Jia is a professional lecturer and psychological consultant well-known for his guest host role in China’s popular blind date reality show “If You Are the One”. In this book, he divides people into four colors – red, blue, yellow and green – with different personality traits, strengths and weaknesses. By answering a series of questions, readers can quickly identify his/her own personality color. “It feels good to know yourself and others” says the Papillon.

Recommended by the Dalmatian:

The Dalmatian tells us that she has endless capacity for exercises and needs loads of space to run and play. However, understanding the limitation with human society (69% of humans said they don’t have time; 37% said that going to the gym is too costly and 30% said they have no space to work out at home), she recommends One Square Meter Fitness by Bin Ka, in which we can find amazing short workout regimes for small space by mixing and matching high-intensity movements and tools. “No more wimpy excuses for not working out. “says the Dalmatian. There is no need to buy expensive workout equipment or a treadmill. With some creativity and flexibility, you can build a small gym and a strong body in a space of only one square meter.


Recommended by the German Shepherd:

The German Shepherd is proud of his ability to excel as a canine cop. His duties include locating missing people, finding crime scene evidence and searching for illegal substances. He says police dog training can be boring and his favorite books to read during off hours are crime fiction and detective novels such as The Survivor by Qin Ming, a forensic expert and A-list suspense writer. “There isn’t a case that the genius forensic expert Qin Ming cannot crack. The forensic techniques are modern, the science is sound and the characters are terrific.” With over 1 million copies sold in China, Qin Ming’s “Medical Examiner” series was adapted web series – 1.5 billion views since is premiere, making it one of the highest performing dramas on Sohu TV.


Recommended by the Labrador Retriever:

Labrador Retriever loves to shower people with attention and affection while also being a great watch dog. His favorite genre lately is Wuxia, Chinese martial arts fiction combining both romance and action. Wuxia stories typically evolve around the struggles between the armed forces across different martial art factions in ancient China, highlighting the chivalrous spirit and the ultimate pursuit for martial arts. The Labrador Retriever recommends Puzzles over the Town, which tells a romantic story of two martial artists, Yang Yizhi and Xiang Si. The legend says that on the Miao forbidden land, there were seven ancient warcrafts – Seven Zen – hidden inside of the magic cave, and anyone who becomes the master of the Seven Zen can gain epoch-making power and immortality. This Wuxia title is intertwined with fantasy and myth.

Recommended by the Poodle:

The Poodle loves to groom, and she can effortlessly make the best dressed list year after year. With her high standards and abundant experience at the beauty salons, she recommends Elva Style Book as her number one pick this year. Elva is an actress, author, yoga instructor and was once crowned the International Miss Chinese. This is Elva’s first beauty DIY book which covers a wide range of lifestyle topics that every modern and fashionable girl wants to know, such as beauty, makeup, yoga, healthy eating and photography. Elva shares all her beauty secrets, guiding you through step-by-step makeup routines, juicing and meal planning techniques, yoga skills, etc. This title is Poodle approved.


Recommended by the Beagle:

The Beagle is a foodie who has incredible sense of smell and sometimes he wishes he could cook for himself. He has searched across the continents and found one of the best cookbooks for you, Olivia’s Good Time in the Kitchen. Taiwan-based food blogger, Olivia, teaches 70 super popular dishes with the simplest ingredients, from everyday meals, appetizers, weekend picnics, hand-made desserts to exquisite steak dinners and family reunion banquets. As you slowly page through, you will notice that these Chinese and international recipes are highly doable and practical. They are simple and elegant but not overly refined. This book is a must read for those kitchen newbies and passionate cooks. The Beagle says, “Please send some of these dishes my way.”


Recommended by the Golden Retriever:

The Golden Retriever is a fully certified service dog. He recommends the Diary of Guide Dogs for those who are interested in learning more about raising and training guide dogs. Miao Kaka loves observing animals and is most famous for her cat personas in various comic titles. With affection and curiosity, the famous graphic novelist, Miao Kaka, visits the canine Hogwarts – The Guide Dog Association in Taiwan – and presents you the life stories of guide dogs in the four-frame comics style. From the birth of the puppies, their growing process to official guide dog trainings, the book shows you a story of two and a half years of love, laughter and tears. As Golden Retriever says, “Whether you are a dog lover, a relative of a visually impaired friend, or someone who is interested in becoming a foster parent of a guide dog, you can learn about our training process and personally feel our pride and joy of being guide dogs.”


Recommended by the Yorkshire Terrier:

The Yorkshire Terrier is full of energy so it takes a while to settle down before bed. One of his favorite bedtime stories this year is The Snow Child, a beautifully illustrated Chinese Read-Along. In a moment of levity during the season’s first snowfall, the childless couple sculpts a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone, but they glimpse a young, blonde-haired girl running through the trees. It is a wonderful, heartwarming, and beautifully told bewitching tale based on a Russian fairy tale, which captures your heart from the beginning. The Yorkshire slowly drifts asleep as he plays this Read-Along.


Recommended by the Maltese:

The Maltese is tiny in size and loves traveling to new places. Her favorite titles this year are the “China Culture and Geography Picture Book” series. Chinese New Year in Beijing tells the story of a young Beijing resident, Jing Jing, who lives in Old City. While the city has become more and more modern and somewhat westernized, Jing Jing’s family still practices the Chinese New Year traditions. On New Year’s Eve, they make dumplings, set off firecrackers, and welcome good fortune on the Great Wall. After the New Year Day, the family goes shopping for satin coats, visits their grandparents’ homes, attends the temple fair, and watches dragon dances. This book shows many aspects of Beijing’s customs throughout the Chinese New Year Festival. It highlights the humanistic aspects of this imperial city. The “China Culture and Geography Picture Book” series is written with humor and interesting stories and will leave you wanting to know more and even visit these places. “My next stop is China” says the Maltese.


Now go do some reading with the pups in your life. You may find they’re very eager to learn…


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Books & Besties: a GALentines’ Day treat

February 12, 2018 - 12:16pm

By: Sydney Kalnay, Training Specialist.

While I had crushes often as a teen – actors, boy bands, cute boys in my class – my first true love was my middle school best friend, Robin. She showed up at the start of 5th grade with huge, round glasses and a white satin Members Only jacket with a rainbow parrot on the back, and I knew I’d found my ride or die. We were both smart, weird kids with too much imagination (and maybe too little supervision) and we each recognized our soul mate immediately. Now, when I read YA books with a strong female friendship at the center, something hums deep in my chest – a joyful glimpse of my long-lost childhood friend – and I hold that story – the never-forgotten fierceness of that bond – dearer to my heart.

Literarily, Robin and I fell somewhere between Anne and Diana from the Green Gables books and Elaine and Cordelia from Margaret Atwood’s Cat’s Eye; only someone you love that much can make you that insane, after all. But when I polled some of my adulthood friends at OverDrive and asked what book included their representation of a female friendship, their responses filled my soul AND my TBR list!

Long distance friendship

For me, it all started with P.S. Longer Letter Later by Paula Danziger and Anna M. Martin. I believe I was 12 years old when I first checked it out from my library and it warmed my awkward little heart. Elizabeth and Tara* Starr were so different from one another and that’s what worked in their transcontinental friendship. They were experiencing the same prepubescent horrors I was: boys, changing bodies, their parents’ imperfections, and their own growing awareness that Life. Is. Hard. Despite all that angst and hardship, they always had each other. It’s so important to show young girls the importance of female friendships. I think there is a common trope in literature where it’s “girl against the world.” But, that’s not how life works. You can have your great love, your great challenge, your great whatever, but no girl is ever far from that one friend who’d drop everything to help them weather whatever storm may come. — Christina Samek, Outreach Specialist

Sister friends

I must mention Jane and Elizabeth Bennett’s relationship in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Despite having three younger sisters, Jane and Elizabeth are the closest of Bennett girls. I think it’s because their unique traits complement each other so well. Elizabeth is headstrong to the point of prejudice and Jane is fair-minded to the point of naivete. Where Jane reserves her feelings, Elizabeth states them plainly. These two could hate each other for their differences, but instead they appreciate them and wish nothing but happiness for one another. — Briana Johnson-Sims, Training Specialist

Friends stay on the same page

Willowdean and Ellen’s relationship in Julie Murphy’s Dumplin’ is the female friendship I love the most. These two know each other inside and out and are endlessly supportive of one another. I consider these two characters to be family, not friends. But, high school is a time where insecurities are at an all-time high. Jealously and uncertainties pop up daily and frustrations are taken out on those you are closest with. This storyline is extremely relatable for all kinds of relationships. Change is inevitable, but even through the ups and the downs, it ultimately always comes back to Willowdean and Ellen’s strong, loving, “on the same page,” friendship. — Lauren Bogatay, Collection Development Specialist

Fast and forever friends

The first pair of besties that popped into my mind was Ali Bell and Kat Parker from Gena Showalter’s White Rabbit Chronicles. Kat is a supporting character to Ali’s main, but they have an amazingly strong bond. Kat is apologetically Kat – that’s the best way to describe her. She’s fun and exciting, living for the moment and always speaking her mind. Ali is stubborn, determined, and fiercely loyal. Kat befriends Ali immediately and over the course of the series, their friendship remains true and constant. While the series itself is without a doubt one of my favorites (a white-hot romance, amazing characters, gripping plots, and jaw-dropping twists), the friendship between Ali and Kat is one its shining aspects. — Andrea Sieracki, Launch Specialist


Want more GALentines favorites? Check out our entire list.

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At OverDrive, the romance (sale) is in the air.

February 11, 2018 - 9:56am

By: Ryan Chamberlain, Publisher Account Specialist

February is a troubling month. We do strange things for it. The highest-fi equipment and NYC-based reporters travel to a campsite in Punxsutawney to bear analytical witness as a dirt-dwelling animal walks around under a rumored sun. Candygrams are given to classmates at algorithmically-derived remoteness to the intended Valentine. We’re hoarsely critical of movies we would have, in any other month, quietly enjoyed. The point is something is missing, and—let’s put it out in the open—we’re burning for it.

At OverDrive headquarters, we’re well acquainted. Not all of us go for the Navy Seal billionaire, or the latest cozy, souped-up with alimentary puns, but we can all of us relate that this is a month of yearning. And that’s why we’ve stocked this month’s curated lists with every strand of antidote. And out of fearful respect for this month and what it can do, we’re offering several thousand titles at 25-50% off through our Romance Sale.

For the younger readers new to February’s sense of incompletion, we have First Love: YA Romance. (The candygram routine—please write in with counter stories if I’m wrong—will not pan out.)

The cozier set, the thread and butter, if I may, of library patronage will delight in our Sweet Reads for Valentine’s Day list. A few truly punderful titles, as an aperitif: Going, Going Ganache, The Chocolate Bunny Brouhaha, and, my favorite, Bewitched, Bothered, and Biscotti.

Many inveterate readers of romance will want something more, some atmosphere where mere trysts have become routine. Help them gussy up their pleasure reads with Royal Romance. In case you were worried, the Romance Abs still abound. Of the seasoned romance readers, you will also find the Purists, who want no jewels or crinoline getting in the way. Also covered. Prairie Romance is made for their grazing.

Then there’s our librarian-built romance grab bag, Love Is In The Air: Romance Reads, where you can find every stripe of romantic read.

And then you have your holdouts. Many women of good sense prefer to take this time refusing the commercial snares of forced romance and would rather celebrate womanhood. We have the goods: Galentine’s Day: Ladies Celebrating Ladies.

In the Sale itself, you can browse Romance by category. Among many others, we have Christian, Manga, World Languages, and outright, no-apologies Erotica. We all know this is what a lot of patrons want year-round from their libraries. In this month of need, give the people what we want. Please also include a scone recipe at the end.

The post At OverDrive, the romance (sale) is in the air. appeared first on OverDrive Blogs.

New year, new training webcasts

February 8, 2018 - 7:35am

By: Courtney Sveda, Training Specialist

Here at OverDrive, we love to innovate. We continually update our products with new features and improvements, and our monthly library webcasts are no exception. The Training team wants to ensure our live sessions meet your needs when it comes to learning about your OverDrive service, which is why our February webcasts are filled with brand-new content! Keep reading for a sneak- peek of this month’s new sessions.


Tuesday Feb. 13 at 2:00 PM EST- Getting Started with OverDrive

Our first webcast focuses on getting patrons started with Libby– the one-tap reading app! Join this session to learn the basics of using Libby—browsing, borrowing and customizing. Additionally, we’ll highlight some lesser known features like sending borrowed items to Kindle, taking notes and highlights, and updating your download settings. This session is perfect if you support patrons directly when they have questions about OverDrive.

Wednesday Feb. 14 at 2:00 PM EST- Introduction to Marketplace

This new webcast will serve as a great place for selectors and other staff new to OverDrive to start learning how to use OverDrive Marketplace. We’ll answer questions like: How do I update my contact information? How do I purchase titles? What report shows circulation information? and Where do I go for help? If you already feel confident you know the answers to these questions, we recommend attending our more advanced Marketplace training, Collection Development for Your Digital Library.

Wednesday Feb. 21 at 2:00 PM EST– Collection Development for Your Digital Library

Now that you’ve been introduced to Marketplace, we have another new webcast that will take you on a deeper dive into the many tools available across the site to help you make digital content decisions. We’ll highlight how to view sales and recommended lists as well as popular titles that may be missing from your collection. Additionally, we’ll demonstrate how to use automated tools that can help manage in-demand and expiring content.

All sessions will provide you the opportunity to chat with a member of OverDrive’s Training team, so bring your questions and a colleague! Register for all three, 30-minute sessions on the Resource Center> Staff Training. See you soon!

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What we’re reading for Black History Month

February 6, 2018 - 12:18pm

By: Adam Sockel, Marketing & Communications Specialist and co-host of the Professional Book Nerds podcast.

I grew up a fortunate reader. Though my family was not wealthy, my parents always had the means to provide as many books as I could read. Library and bookstore trips were not special occasions. They were weekly staples.

I grew up a fortunate reader not just because of the volume of literature I had access to, but also the breadth of diverse subjects and authors. I grew up in a multicultural city. My hometown residents come from more than 70 nationalities. It’s nickname is literally “The International City.” Birthday parties and sleepovers were a mixture of children with African, Eastern European, Puerto Rican and Mexican backgrounds. We never understood that this might be a rarity. We were all just friends.

I grew up a fortunate reader because I was born in the same city as Toni Morrison. As a world-renowned, Pulitzer Prize-winning author, her works are enjoyed by all walks of life, but living in the city she was from meant that every student had copies of her works from early on.

I grew up a fortunate reader because Toni was just the tip of the iceberg. Alice Walker’s classic The Color Purple and Maya Angelou’s poetry were frequently on my nightstand. I was handed Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison as a part of my reading list when I was a freshman and James Baldwin’s Go Tell It on the Mountain soon followed.

I grew up a fortunate reader because reading these authors in my formative years led me to pick up powerful works by the likes of Zadie Smith, Roxanne Gay, Colson Whitehead, Ta-Nehisi Coates and Ayobami Adebayo. The landmark books by these incredible writers have shown me aspects of society I wouldn’t have otherwise seen. They’ve opened my eyes to new cultures and life experiences different than my own. They have shaped my worldview.

I grew up a fortunate reader because African authors were a part of my everyday life but this is not always the case. For that reason, it is essential that libraries not only provide access to these books but to promote them to your communities of readers. To that end, we’ve created several lists in OverDrive Marketplace ready for you to purchase and curate. These include a selection of what our staff is reading for Black History Month, Science Fiction & Fantasy novels by African American authors, African American Romance titles, and several more lists you can highlight as well.

Books have the power to show us aspects of life we wouldn’t otherwise know exist. By featuring these books in your collection, your providing readers the ability to see things through someone else’s eyes and, perhaps more importantly, you’re empowering others to read stories by people who look exactly like them. Few moments are more impactful than seeing yourself through a character in a book for the first time. The literary world is as diverse as the society around us and it’s our responsibility to make sure our reading choices are as well.



The post What we’re reading for Black History Month appeared first on OverDrive Blogs.

OverDrive’s device advice: tablets, Part 2 of 3

February 6, 2018 - 9:59am

By: Quinton Lawman, Product Owner.

Welcome back! Last time, I talked (quite a bit) about eBook readers. Today, it’s tablet-time! This sounds a bit obvious, but the key to buying a tablet and being happy about it is to consider the specific things you’ll use it for most often. Tablets can do a lot of things—heck, the latest Apple commercial implies that the distinction between tablet and computer is gone.

What are your plans for your new tablet?

While I don’t agree with that last bit (the devices traditionally known as “computers” are alive and strong), I can say that the type of tablet you buy should be entirely dependent on how you’re going to use it. I’d advise you to focus less on manufacturer or platform and more on what you’re going to do with it.

Want productivity?

Buy a Surface (or something similar, but less expensive).

Want to play games?

Buy something high-end like a Galaxy tab S3 or iPad Pro. I’m excluding PC games because, for those, you’ll likely want something beastier than a tablet.

Want to watch movies and/or read books?

Buy something with a great screen. The Tab S3 and pretty much any current iPad will fit that bill, and so will a bunch of other devices. If you’re going to read a lot, be careful with lower-res devices like Amazon’s Fire tablets (the new Fire HD 10 is ok). Why? Higher resolution = less eye strain when reading.

Good speakers, even if you’re going to watch lots of movies, are optional, but you might want loud ones. Why? There isn’t a tablet out there that can match a semi-decent pair of headphones or earbuds. Loud speakers are handy as a back-up for when you forget your headphones.

Narrow the field

I have a Huawei tablet (the Mediapad M3). It has a fairly high pixel density of 359ppi (good for reading), surprisingly good speakers, and it came with a set of AKG earbuds (which are wonderful). I’m quite fond of my tablet, but I only bring it up to exemplify how I recommend making your purchase decision. Here’s what I asked myself while shopping:

  1. How’s the screen? It needs to be top-o-the line, because I read a lot.
  2. Can it handle highly demanding games at the time of purchase? I do like games . . .
  3. What’s the aspect ratio? (I prefer 16:10 in a tablet, but 4:3 is more common.)
  4. Is the battery life at least decent? This one is down the list a bit because pretty much always have a charging solution of some kind with me.
  5. Is it available with at least 32 GB of storage? I highly recommend 64. Just don’t buy less than 32.
  6. Does it support the apps I want to use on it?
  7. How are the reviews?

My Huawei answered all of those questions nicely, so I bought it. I use it daily, too!

Favorites-free zone

You may notice I’m side-stepping the whole Android vs. Apple vs. Windows debate. That’s very much on purpose. My advice, in general, is to stay as platform agnostic as you can. Use services like Kobo, Kindle, Google, and any others that work across all of the major platforms and you’re far less likely to end up grumpy about your purchases.

You can apply all of the guidelines I laid out in this post and end up buying from pretty much any manufacturer. It’s more important to know the specs and capabilities that are directly related to the things you want to do with your tablet. For example, I’m never going to use my tablet for photography, so I really don’t care about the cameras. They look nice on a spec sheet, but don’t actually matter for me.

Had I wanted to write my next novel on something tablet-y, I’d have definitely gone with Windows. If I liked the 4:3 aspect ratio, or cared more about custom accessories, I may have gone with an iPad.

Be sure to have some specifics in mind

A lot of people buy tablets with the idea that they’re going to use them all the time for all the things. I think this is why a lot of tablets (like the one my wife has) tend to lay on nightstands, rarely ever getting used.

Before you spend the cash on one of these slabs of glass, sit down and really ask yourself: “is there something I’m going to do on this, regularly, that I can’t do more conveniently on something I already own?”

Once you’ve identified that thing (or things), use it as your guiding light when picking your device. Yup, tablets can do an awful lot, but so can your phone, and your phone is generally more convenient because it’s there, in your pocket, and it’s on. You’ve really got to have a compelling use (like reading) to make a tablet worthwhile. The other stuff you can do with it, well, that’s just icing on the tech cake, my friends.

The post OverDrive’s device advice: tablets, Part 2 of 3 appeared first on OverDrive Blogs.

The Digital Bookmobile Hits the Road in 2018

February 5, 2018 - 6:14am

By: Lauren Bajda, Digital Media Events Specialists

Ed. Note: this blog was originally posted on the Digital Bookmobile’s blog. Follow along for frequent events and tour updates.

The Digital Bookmobile is geared up and ready to hit the road in 2018! After taking a two month break this winter, the Digital Bookmobile (and its staff) are refreshed and enthusiastic for a great year. We’re pleased to announce that we’re starting our 2018 tour at San Leandro High School in California on Monday, February 5th. The Digital Bookmobile will then make its way down the coast of California before heading east in March. You can see where we’ll be traveling right here.

What is the Digital Bookmobile?
A high-tech update to the traditional Bookmobile, the Digital Bookmobile is for public libraries and schools to promote their digital collection of eBooks, audiobooks and streaming video to their communities. Readers of all ages can learn about and engage with digital books at their local school or library inside the Digital Bookmobile. The traveling exhibit tours North America and contains several interactive learning stations. All Digital Bookmobile events are free to host and attend.

Digital Bookmobile Team
A mighty team of three at OverDrive work on the Digital Bookmobile tour. Digital Media Event Specialists Joe Skelley and Lauren Bajda work full time with the vehicle. Joe plans and prepares for all events while Lauren travels and executes those events. Renee Bixler, OverDrive’s Director of Marketing Services, oversees the Digital Bookmobile team. And, last but not least, we can’t forget about our fourth member, Ira Newman. He is our driver from Legacy Transportation and Logistics who is joining us for a second year on the road! We’re happy to have him back as he goes the extra mile to both drive the vehicle and educate visitors.

Follow Us
Follow our journey around North America as we spread reading happiness through eBooks & more. Visit our website to view the route, follow our blog for detailed adventures, and communicate with us on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Flickr.

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A Picture is worth a thousand words, Instagram how-tos

February 2, 2018 - 8:11am

By: Abbie Frank, OverDrive Outreach Specialist 

Each day, 1.2 billion people around the world use social media and two million advertisers utilize these sites to market their brand. Instagram alone has 500 million active monthly users. For beginners, posting on complex platforms like Instagram can get quite confusing and frustrating at times. Do NOT fret; that’s where we come in! Since we adore your partnership with us here at OverDrive, we want to help you connect with your users and enhance your digital checkouts as much as possible. How you might ask? Let us break it down for you by chapter.

Chapter 1: Instagram for beginners

Important things to know:

• The platform can only be used via a mobile smart phone
• It allows you to post photos and videos (e.g. digital content, special events, contests, etc.)
• Permits users to include the location of their photo for additional public marketing
• Includes a space under the photo or video for “captions” or descriptions
• Much, much more

Chapter 2: Don’t make them read

We understand that your goal is to push people to read and reach their fullest potential. Social media (Instagram in particular) is mainly used for photo sharing with short descriptions of the post. In order to explain what exactly we mean by this, we tried to make it easy for you… To help with your social media marketing strategy, we have created a social media campaign that will show you not only suggestions on what to post, but also some images created for YOU.

Chapter 3: Let’s get “whizzy”

OverDrive knows quite a bit about technology and we want to help you learn too! Here is a step-by-step process to help you become a whiz at Instagram:

  1. On the home screen, click the plus icon at the bottom of the screen.
  2. At the bottom of the screen, you can choose to upload a previous photo/video (click on Library) or take a new photo/video (click on Photo or Video). NOTE: Feel free to share multiple photos/videos at once or make a collage of photos using the icons in the right corner of the upload screen.
  3. Click Next at the top of the screen
  4. Apply filters to add a little fun to your image and spice it up for your readers! (recommended)
  5. Click Next at the top of the screen
  6. Add a caption or description of the photo by clicking into the box that says Write a Caption.
  1. You could stop there, but why not add a few extras to make your post even more discoverable? Tag your library, an author, an organization, or anyone you please by clicking Tag People.
  2. Click Done.
  3. Click Add Location and search for your library’s name or address so people can visit!
  4. Click Done.
  5. You can link your library’s Facebook or Twitter account before posting to share there as well.
  6. Click Share and vaoila! You’ve done it.

Chapter 4: Check your work

In order to review your post or get a sneak peek into how others can find your posts, there are a few simple steps:

  1. When back at the home page, click on the magnifying glass icon at the bottom left.
  2. At the top of the page, click inside the bar that says Search.
  3. Type in your library’s name, any key words/phrases, hashtags or locations that you included in your post.
  4. Click Search at the bottom right
  5. At the top of the page there are 4 tabs: TopPeopleTagsPlaces. Click on these to filter and narrow down your search.
  6. Click on the option that was included in your post and you can scroll through to find yours!

Epilogue: Congrats!

You have now become an Instagram whiz! You now know about the platform, what works in a post, how to post it and even how to track your marketing on the site to see it in action. We believe that these small, frequent changes in your marketing campaign can have a large impact on your library outreach as well as your user engagement. So grab another cup of coffee, put on your creative hat and start connecting. Happy Posting!

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Summer (reading) in Oz

January 31, 2018 - 4:03pm

With the PyeongChang Winter Games approaching, we can’t help but recall the 2000 Summer Games, and the “unseasonably” cold weather in Sydney. Northern Hemisphere dwellers, some of us challenged by geography and climate, sat smugly in shorts, watching those poor runners and swimmers lose the battle against goosebumps. When the announcers reminded us that it was, indeed, winter in Australia, the teachable moment landed, and it was almost audible:



Another Olympics approaches and much of North America shivers. We have books from Aussie authors to celebrate summer. Keep hope (and warmth) alive!

A Hot Cold Summer

A pick-a-path series giving the reader the chance to make the decisions, and choose how the story goes!

It’s the last day of school and Frankie Jones is looking down the barrel of a long, hot, boring summer with only her guitar for company until… 1. She gets a surprise chance to go to London. She’s dying to go – except that it will mean seeing her heartbreakingly cute British friend Jack again. Will things take up where they left off? Or can Frankie finally prove she’s over him? OR

2. Her dad invites her on a beach holiday. But when she discovers her dad’s new girlfriend and her daughter Ellie are also coming on their trip, Frankie’s not sure how she feels. Will she get to spend any time with her dad at all? Or will she be expected to hang out with Ellie, her new best frenemy?



The Secrets We Keep

A beautifully written and insightful new novel sensitively uncovering the effects of trauma on the mind of an eleven-year-old girl.I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a house burn, but it’s not like anything else …Clem Timmins has lost it all – her house, possessions and clothes. Now living in a tiny flat with her dad, she has to go to a new school far from what she knows.On her first day, Clem meets Ellie. To fit in, Clem reveals a secret and immediately regrets sharing too much with her new friend.How can Clem face everything in her life when all she wants to do is run away?


Calypso Summer

Calypso Summer is a story told by Calypso, a young Nukunu man, fresh out of high school in Rastafarian guise. After failing to secure employment in sports retail, his dream occupation, Calypso finds work at the Henley Beach Health Food shop where his boss pressures him to gather Aboriginal plants for natural remedies. Growing up in urban Adelaide and with little understanding of his mother’s traditional background, Calypso endeavours to find the appropriate native plants. This leads him to his Nukunu family in Port Augusta and the discovery of a world steeped in cultural knowledge. The support of a sassy, smart, young Ngadjuri girl, with a passion for cricket rivalling his own, helps Calypso to reconsider his Rastafarian façade and understand how to take charge of his future.


Check out the entire Summer in Oz reading list.



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6 Most Popular Manga Series of 2017

January 31, 2018 - 1:09pm

By: Rickie Mascia, OverDrive Social Media Specialist

2017 was an exceptional year for manga readers. As new volumes were added to popular series and new series were introduced, there was a story for every fan to enjoy. Our partners, Kodansha Advanced Media and VIZ Media, released numerous titles that received recognition as some of the best manga of the year, including a new volume of one of the most popular series in North America, Tokyo Ghoul. While manga fans eagerly await new titles to be released in 2018, these 6 manga series can help pass the time.

Here is a list of the 6 most popular manga series of 2017:

To Your Eternity, by Yoshitoki Oima (Kodansha Comics

A new manga from the creator of the acclaimed A Silent Voice, featuring intimate, emotional drama and an epic story spanning time and space…A lonely boy wandering the Arctic regions of North America meets a wolf, and the two become fast friends, depending on each other to survive the harsh environment. But the boy has a history, and the wolf is more than meets the eye as well… To Your Eternity is a totally unique and moving manga about death, life, reincarnation, and the nature of love.

Rated: T

Tokyo Ghoul, by Sui Ishida (VIZ Media)

Shy Ken Kaneki is thrilled to go on a date with the beautiful Rize. But it turns out that she’s only interested in his body—eating it, that is. When a morally questionable rescue transforms him into the first half-human half-Ghoul hybrid, Ken is drawn into the dark and violent world of Ghouls, which exists alongside our own.

Rated: T+

Land of the Lustrous, by Haruko Ichikawa (Kodansha Comics)

In a world inhabited by crystalline lifeforms called The Lustrous, every unique gem must fight for their way of life against the threat of lunarians who would turn them into decorations. Phosphophyllite, the most fragile and brittle of gems, longs to join the battle. When Phos is instead assigned to complete a natural history of their world, it sounds like a dull and pointless task. But this new job brings Phos into contact with Cinnabar, a gem forced to live in isolation. Can Phos’s seemingly mundane assignment lead both Phos and Cinnabar to the fulfillment they desire?

Rated: T+

Golden Kamuy, by Satoru Noda (VIZ Media)

In the early twentieth century, Russo-Japanese War veteran Saichi “Immortal” Sugimoto scratches out a meager existence during the postwar gold rush on the wild frontier of Hokkaido. When he stumbles across a map to a fortune in hidden Ainu gold, he sets off on a treacherous quest to find it. But Sugimoto is not the only interested party, and everyone who knows about the gold will kill to possess it! Faced with the harsh conditions of the northern wilderness, ruthless criminals and rogue Japanese soldiers, Sugimoto will need all his skills and luck—and the help of an Ainu girl named Asirpa—to survive.

Rated: M

Descending Stories, by Haruko Kumota (Kodansha Comics)

A hapless young man is released from prison with nothing to his name, but he knows exactly what he wants: to train in the art of rakugo comedic storytelling. After seeing an unforgettable performance from one of Japan’s greatest masters, Yakumo Yurakutei VIII, during his time in jail, he will settle for nothing less than to become apprentice to the best. Yakumo, notorious for taking no students, is persuaded to take him on, and nicknames him Yotaro—the fool. Yotaro has no formal training or elegance, but something about his charisma reminds Yakumo of someone from his past.

Rated: T

Assassination Classroom, by Yusei Matsui (VIZ Media)

Meet the would-be assassins of class 3-E: Sugino, who let his grades slip and got kicked off the baseball team. Karma, who’s doing well in his classes but keeps getting suspended for fighting. And Okuda, who lacks both academic and social skills, yet excels at one subject: chemistry. Who has the best chance of winning that reward? Will the deed be accomplished through pity, brute force or poison…? And what chance does their teacher have of repairing his students’ tattered self-esteem?

Rated: T+

*Check out our full manga selection for more reading recommendations. *

Age Ratings:
All Ages– Recommended for any age group.
Teen (T) – Recommended for early to mid-teens, ages 13+. May feature intense fantasy violence and crude humor.
Teen+ (T+) – Recommended for older teens and adults, 16+. May feature realistic violence and sexually suggestive situations.
Mature (M)– Recommended for adults. Mature themes and depictions.

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Kickstart your 2018 reading resolutions with audiobooks

January 29, 2018 - 2:16pm

By Rachel Kray, Collection Development Librarian and avid audiobook listener

If you’re anything like me (and most other OverDrive staff members), you have a lofty reading goal for 2018. To help you get a jump-start on your reading resolution, we have compiled a list of over fifty great audiobooks less than 3 hours in length. Many can be finished in one gym trip or car ride! I’ve highlighted a few of my favorited below:

We Should All Be Feminists

Duration: 00:45:11

Drawing extensively on her own experiences and her deep understanding of the often-masked realities of sexual politics, here is one remarkable author’s exploration of what it means to be a woman now: an of-the-moment rallying cry for why we should all be feminists. All of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s books are wonderful and this is a perfect place to start with her works.

Citizen: An American Lyric

Duration: 01:37:16

In essay, image, and poetry, Citizen is a powerful testament to the individual and collective effects of racism in our contemporary, often named “post-race” society. Claudia Rankine’s words are both poignant and essential.

You Will Not Have My Hate

Duration: 01:43:41

On November 13, 2015, Antoine Leiris’s wife, Hélène Muyal-Leiris, was killed by terrorists while attending a rock concert at the Bataclan Theater in Paris, in the deadliest attack on France since World War II. Three days later, Leiris wrote an open letter addressed directly to his wife’s killers, which he posted on Facebook. Now Leiris tells the full story of his grief and struggle.

Seven Brief Lessons on Physics

Duration: 01:45:34

A playful, entertaining, and mind-bending introduction to modern physics by Carlo Rovelli.

The End We Start From

Duration: 02:03:37

The End We Start From heralds the arrival of Megan Hunter, a dazzling and unique literary talent. Hunter’s debut is a searing original, a modern-day parable of rebirth and renewal, of maternal bonds, and the instinct to survive and thrive in the absence of all that’s familiar.

Enchanted Night

Duration: 02:39:12

Steven Millhauser, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Martin Dressler, returns with a magical novella filled with the transforming power of the (almost) full moon.

The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter

Duration: 02:39:56

A charming, practical, and unsentimental approach to putting a home in order while reflecting on the tiny joys that make up a long life by Margareta Magnusson.

Click here to purchase all the titles featured in this blog post (and many more!) in OverDrive Marketplace.

Happy Listening!

Some titles may have limited regional or platform availability.


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Brush up on the beasts: Host a Harry Potter Book Night

January 26, 2018 - 8:31am

By: Rickie Mascia, OverDrive Social Media Specialist

Join us in celebrating the Wizarding World titles once again, with the return of Harry Potter Book Night, on Thursday, February 1, 2018. Devoted to the stories that brought us characters such as Harry, Ron and Hermione and magical creatures such as the Niffler and the Basilisk, Harry Potter Book Night will be celebrated worldwide by fans of the Wizarding World. This year’s theme Fantastic Beasts invites fans to discover and rediscover the magical creatures featured in

J.K. Rowling’s writing. Spread the magic with us by joining libraries near and far in hosting a Harry Potter Night. 

There are lots of ways you can get involved with Harry Potter Book Night, big or small – such as hosting events and activities that will encourage readers to embrace the magic of the Wizarding World. This kit is filled with marketing resources, activities and ideas themed around Fantastic Beasts for readers to enjoy the Wizarding World titles and the unforgettable worlds created within.

Listed below are simple ideas on how you can celebrate with your community:

Beasts Bingo
– As part of your Harry Potter Book Night event host your own ‘Beasts Bingo’ game. Use the boards, provided in the event kit, as a starting point to host your own Beasts Bingo game.

– Print the provided marketing material to decorate your library or school in the lead up to and during the celebrations including:
-‘Brush up on the beasts’ illustrated poster
– Illustrated beasts infographic poster

Curated Collections
Prepare your patrons for a night of Wizardry by curating lists that specific to the Harry Potter houses.
Ravenclaw Reading List
Slytherin Reading List
Hufflepuff Reading List
Gryffindor Reading List

Social media
Post on your social media channels using pre-designed social squares. (available in the Pottermore event kit)
– Engage with Pottermore social activity by re-tweeting and sharing content with your library users.

Include Harry Potter Book Night in your newsletters.


Spread the magic with fans of the Wizarding World and join us in preparing for this special night of celebrations.
Stay connected, share your ideas and photos for Harry Potter Book Night on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook using #HarryPotterBookNight!

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6 Tips on How Libby Can Help You Read More in 2018

January 25, 2018 - 10:42am

By: Rickie Mascia, OverDrive Social Media Specialist

Many bookish people are starting 2018 off with new reading goals and high hopes to read more than the year before. With titles piling up on “To Be Read” lists, it can be difficult to stay on track with projected reading goals. Local libraries have numerous tools and materials, including the Libby app, that can help readers stay on track and accomplish all their reading goals for the year.

Below are a few tips on how Libby can help you read more in 2018:

  1. Read Harder Challenge Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge, presented by Libby, encourages readers to explore new topics, formats, and genres. The challenge outlines 24 tasks providing suggested guidelines to select titles readers never would have read throughout the year. The Read Harder Challenge is a great way to help readers explore new content and see the world from a new perspective. To help you get started the Professional Book Nerds curated a list of recommended reads.
  2. Get a Library Card. This one might be quite obvious, especially coming from us, but the best part about a library card is that it is the most inexpensive way to read ALL the books you want. One of Libby’s newest features provides readers with the opportunity to sign up for a library card instantlywith their mobile phone number right from the device in their hand. Local libraries have materials and resources that help readers of all ages increase their reading habits. As Librarians continuously add titles to their digital collection, readers are re-introduced to titles they love and introduced to new titles they may have never picked up.
  3. Use tags. Keep your bookshelf organized and keep track of your reading habits throughout the year. Tags help you organize titles you have read, want to read, loved, or hated. They are designed personal use (and not shared with your library or OverDrive). You can add as many tags to each title as you like. Tap Tag on a title’s details page and select one from the list. Create tags (including emoji tags) by simply tapping the plus sign icon. All tags are found on the Tags screen of your Shelf. From there, tap a tag to view it, rename it, delete it, or untag titles.
  4. View Your Activity The activity shows a time-line of all the titles readers have borrowed, placed on hold, renewed, and returned from all their libraries. You can find your activity under Shelf > Activity. The Activity will also display a “For your attention” section listing expired loans, that can be dismissed. If readers are not interested in tracking their activity, they can prevent new activity from being added to their timeline by Disabling Activity Recording.
  5. Suspend holds This is an ideal tool for time management. Suspending a hold lets you continue moving up on a title’s wait list without the title becoming available for you (if you reach #1 on the wait list). If you reach #1, you will simply be in the first position to get the book once your suspended hold period ends. You may want to suspend a hold if you have too little time to read or too many books in progress.
  6. Listen to audiobooks. For readers that are frequently on the go, listening to audiobooks is a great way to stay on track for accomplishing your 2018 reading goals. With Libby, you can listen to audiobooks at a pace that is tailored to your personal listening preference by adjusting the playback speed . The app allows you to modify the audio speed between 0.6x-3x. To switch between the common speed options you can tap the dial above the page and drag your finger down the screen to your preferred setting. You can also set a custom sleep timer by clicking on the moon icon and dragging your finger down the screen to view options between 5-120 minutes.

Learn more about Libby by visiting our Help page!

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

The post 6 Tips on How Libby Can Help You Read More in 2018 appeared first on OverDrive Blogs.

Cost Per Circ lending model launches in OverDrive Marketplace

January 24, 2018 - 9:53am

Thousands of eBooks, audiobooks and videos are now available in the Cost Per Circ (CPC) lending model in OverDrive Marketplace. You’ll find popular books from more than 30 publishers, including HarperCollins, Blackstone Audio, Baker Publishing and Simon & Schuster Audio. Add these titles to your collection and only pay when they’re borrowed by a patron.

CPC titles can be borrowed simultaneously by an unlimited number of users until individual users reach their monthly CPC title limit or you hit your pre-determined monthly CPC budget. Libraries and schools can manage both their CPC monthly budgets and user title limits by format in Marketplace. You also have the ability to revoke individual or all CPC titles at any time.

Some of the titles you’ll find available in the CPC model include The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman, classics by Agatha Christie, the Pete the Cat series by Kimberly and James Dean, the Seekers series by Erin Hunter, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, 1984 by George Orwell and Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil DeGrasse Tyson.

CPC content is available for standalone libraries and schools, consortia and Advantage accounts. As with content under other lending models, each publisher defines the account type(s) to which their titles can be made available. Titles available in the CPC model are also available in other formats as well. If you have titles available in both the CPC and one copy/one user lending models, the one copy/one user lending model will circulate first.

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

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The OverDrive Million Checkout Club hits 58 members in 2017

January 23, 2018 - 11:01am

Recently, we shared news about another record-setting year in digital reading as libraries and schools around the world circulated over a quarter of a billion titles through OverDrive in 2017. Libraries hit individual milestones as well, with 58 library systems surpassed 1 million eBook and audiobook checkouts in the calendar year. The libraries represented the U.S., Canada, Singapore and New Zealand, as readers worldwide continued the consistent growth of library digital lending.

Several libraries far exceeded one million checkouts, with five hitting two million, seven hitting three million and Toronto Public Library and Wisconsin Public Library Consortium surpassing four million digital titles borrowed. Additionally, nine libraries reached the million mark for the first time, which lead to 2017 beating the previous record of 49 libraries that were apart of the Million Checkout Club in 2016.

Several libraries achieved their success through innovative and engaging marketing campaigns:

  • Sacramento Public Library introduced a new Instant Digital Card where new patrons use their cell number to access the collection in less than 30 seconds. Circulation also grew after consolidating the library’s eBook collection from another vendor to OverDrive to gain access to 20,000 additional titles compatible with Kindle® devices and apps.
  • Austin Public Library created targeted web graphics in English and Spanish, increased the number of titles readers can borrow, and frequently updated curated lists for readers, often on a daily basis.
  • National Library Board of Singapore created an immersive experience on two commuter trains in Hobbit and middle earth themes and included QR codes for riders to instantly borrow the eBook as part of a national reading movement. The library also launched the first Digital Business Library offering 24/7 instant access to 19,000 world-class eBooks and audiobooks covering the latest business trends such as business intelligence, data analytics and cybersecurity.

Here is the complete list of Million Checkout Club members for 2017:

Library Systems:

Toronto Public Library

King County Library System

Los Angeles Public Library

New York Public Library

Seattle Public Library

Hennepin County Library

Cleveland Public Library

Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County

Multnomah County Library

Cuyahoga County Public Library

Calgary Public Library

Mid-Continent Public Library

Fairfax County Public Library

San Francisco Public Library

National Library Board Singapore

County of Los Angeles Public Library

Indianapolis Public Library

Harris County Public Library

Broward County Library

Pikes Peak Library District

Sno-Isle Libraries

Boston Public Library

Denver Public Library

Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative

Metropolitan Library System

Sacramento Public Library

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

St. Louis County Library

Brooklyn Public Library

The Free Library of Philadelphia

San Antonio Public Library

Orange County Library System

San Diego County Library

Ottawa Public Library

Nashville Public Library

Edmonton Public Library

Salt Lake County Library Services

Pierce County Library System

Austin Public Library



Wisconsin Public Library Consortium

The Ohio Digital Library

Greater Phoenix Digital Library

Tennessee READS

Digital Downloads Collaboration

Maryland’s Digital Library

Ontario Library Service Consortium

North Carolina Digital Library

Kentucky Libraries Unbound

Oregon Digital Library Consortium

Utah’s Online Library


Midwest Collaborative for Library Services

Auckland Libraries

My Media Mall

Houston Area Digital Media Catalog

Las Vegas-Clark County Library District


Minuteman Library Network

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Going to FETC in Orlando? Visit us in booth #342

January 23, 2018 - 5:44am

During FETC, OverDrive Education will be presenting in tandem with local school partners. Mark your agenda for the sessions below, and attend for a chance to win a Galaxy tablet at the end of each in-booth session. Pick up your flashing eBook heart and wear during the show for more chances to win!

The sharing paradox: How Shared eBook and Audiobook Collections give schools more for less

A shared eBook and audiobook collection gives schools or districts access to more digital titles than any one individual institution could purchase on their own. Jim Bence, Support Analyst from Pinellas County School District will detail their recent experience launching a digital content solution and successes with utilizing a district-shared collection. Learn strategies for tailoring digital content to student need and how to expand their learning environments with technology.

JIM BENCE, Support Analyst, Pinellas County School District

THURSDAY, JANUARY 25 at 11:00am

From stacks to screens: Managing the changing landscape of reader advisory

Traditionally, librarians have made book recommendations by standing in the stacks, chatting with students and pulling print books to preview based on their interests. Digital discoverability with eBooks & audiobooks means students gain more self-direction, and school librarians shift into more of a guidance role. Emily Swiger, Director of Media Services at Academy of the Holy Names will show you how to sustain great conversations about books with students while supporting their autonomy to make good reading choices. Learn how OverDrive can help, with anonymous title requests, holds, and anytime-anywhere access to eBooks and audiobooks.

EMILY SWIGER, Director of Media Services, Academy of the Holy Names

THURSDAY, JANUARY 25 at 1:30pm

Reclaiming my space: How OverDrive frees up library space on campus

It’s great to have a campus full of voracious readers. With 5,000 students, though, there is not enough space to expand the school library to accommodate every title readers are interested in. This is the problem Shawn Maas, Media Specialist/ELA Instructor at Cypress Bay High School had to solve. He will share how OverDrive reduced his library’s physical space needs while continuing to expand the reading collection, and boosting circulation and engagement.

SHAWN MAAS, Media Specialist/ELA Instructor, Cypress Bay High School

THURSDAY, JANUARY 25 at 3:30pm

What’s new from OverDrive Education

Join us to learn all about the unrivaled content and powerful features OverDrive Education offers to meet your students’ and educators’ unique reading and learning needs. We’ll also take a look at how schools are maximizing budget and resource allocation with Shared eBook and Audiobook Collections. And don’t miss out on the chance to hear about our all-new school reading app!


FRIDAY, JANUARY 26 at 9:30am

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Earn an “A” in the Student User Experience

January 22, 2018 - 8:27am

By: Courtney Sveda, Training Specialist.

Welcome back! In mid-January, we’re getting back into the groove of waking up early and, depending on where you live, wishing for a snow day. With students’ return to school, it’s the perfect time to learn (or review) how they can take advantage of your school’s digital library website.

We invite you to join us for our live Student User Experience webcast on Monday, Jan. 22 at 3:30 PM ET. The information covered during this session will be invaluable when helping students navigate your OverDrive site. During the webcast, we’ll highlight the many ways students can browse for titles, including the new curriculum tab. We’ll also show you how easy it is to begin enjoying titles by demonstrating the Read-in-browser format (and why we think it’s the best option for students!).

Benefits of digital in the classroom

One benefit of students using digital titles in the classroom is that it allows them to take copious notes without turning it into a hodge-podge of different colored highlighter and writing in the margins. We’ll cover all the annotation features your students can take advantage of, including notes, highlights, and bookmarks. These features, along with the ability to export from the student’s account, make the school digital library the perfect companion for class assignments.

Your tech-savvy students will love experiencing both classic and new stories on their personal devices, and after attending this webcast, you’ll feel confident to help them all get started. This 30-minute webcast is the perfect way to jump in and will also include live-chat with a member of the OverDrive team—so bring your questions! By the end of our session, you’ll have earned an “A” in the Student User Experience.

Extra Credit: Have you recently joined a shared digital collection? Is a shared digital collection membership something your school is considering? Register for a live, shared digital collection training and information session. This 30-minute webcast will cover the three steps to shared collection success – authentication and content, training, and marketing –  and include 10 minutes at the end for answering your questions via chat.

Register for all upcoming webcasts on the Resource Center > K-12 > Staff Training.

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Sacramento PL adds hundreds of new patrons in two months using OverDrive’s instant library card feature

January 22, 2018 - 6:15am

The Sacramento Public Library (SPL) is the latest OverDrive partner to see an influx of new users to their digital library thanks to our instant library card feature. The service, accessible through both Libby and your OverDrive-powered websites, provides first-time users a digital library card in under 30 seconds. Libraries across the country have embraced this seamless tool to connect readers in their community to eBooks and audiobooks. SPL alone has seen hundreds of new users sign up in less than two months.

When asked about how the implementation process worked for the service, the SPL library staff had this to say:

The instant library card service has been a great asset for Sacramento Public Library. In the past it has always been difficult to sign county residents up for library cards while doing outreach, as it can be rather time consuming while at a table or booth at a busy public event. With the instant library card service it’s as easy as showing a future patron our great selection of e-book and e-audiobook materials, then having them input their phone number and instantly have access.

The phenomenal results speak for themselves. In the first two months, they provided instant digital library cards to over 1,200 new patrons. In the few months that followed, SPL issued full-access library cards to more than 100 of those patrons.

New users are enjoying an incredible first experience thanks to this instant access and the simplicity of the award-winning Libby app. By adding the instant library card feature to your OverDrive service, you can eliminate the issue of people wanting to borrow content but not being able to get to a physical library to get a card. As the numbers show, once these readers begin using the digital library, many are returning to branches to rediscover everything the library has to offer.

Contact your Account Specialist to add the instant library card feature to your services today.

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Get students reading with March Madness Book Brackets

January 18, 2018 - 1:56pm

By: Christina Samek, Marketing Specialist.

Welcome to 2018! For some of you this is the start of a new quarter or semester and nice deep breath after the craziness of preparing for the holidays. Perhaps you’ve made resolutions for a new classroom culture, or perhaps it’s as simple as resolving to read more books (which we strongly support!). It’s a new year and dare I say it, an opportunity for a new you! Speaking of new, if you are looking for new ideas to promote your OverDrive collection, we’ve got them.

We love hearing from our partners. In fact, we can’t take credit for some of the best promotion ideas out there, because they’ve come directly from you! One such example comes from Lynn Miller, School Library System Director at Sullivan County BOCES in New York. She introduced a reading “March Madness” to her schools and it took off like, well, mad!

March Book Madness

The idea came to life in 2016 after Miller saw School Library Journal‘s “Battle of the Books”. The titles presented were picture books up to YA fiction and nonfiction. She thought it was a great idea but wouldn’t work exactly the same in her BOCES, which is broken up into several elementary (K-6) and secondary schools (7-12). She worked with her PR Specialist and the school librarians to formulate a plan. They decided March presented a unique opportunity with the hype around NCAA March Madness and the creation of brackets. But, instead of basketball teams, they selected a collection of books, a mix of print and OverDrive digital, and let the students vote on their favorites.

“We try to pick books that wouldn’t always be their first choice, a different author or topic they may not have been familiar with. We really try to broaden their reading horizons,” notes Miller of their diverse selection each year. The students vote on their favorites leading into March to form the final 16 (a set for elementary and set for secondary). Miller gives the students plenty of time to read leading up to their voting windows to ensure students aren’t blindly making selections.

“We established a Google form and linked it to our BOCES front page for voting, the students have to establish which school where they were from” says Miller on her strategy. “We do a two week time period for voting so kids whose book didn’t make it to the next round still have time to read the additional options to encourage them to keep voting.”

Titles to spark student interest

Miller is entering into the third year of the campaign and so far the results have been fantastic and surprising. “Our last year was our best yet; even if the students didn’t get to read or listen to the book during the contest, we found we had circulations well past the contest deadlines.”

Their current March Madness runs January 2nd to March 23rd (with the initial 40 selections narrowed down to 16 leading into January.) The sweet 16 include Posted by John David Anderson, Orphan Island and Beyond the Bright Sea for the elementary set and Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor, Turtles All the Way Down by John Green, and The Radium Girls by Kate Moore (a nonfiction pick!).

Miller offers this advice to anyone trying a promotion like this: “You could do this with any books in your collection, but try to pick books that spark their interest but still help them relate.” Diversity is key.

“Our goal here is to make them lifelong readers and to read beyond the school day, to choose reading,” notes Miller and we love that sentiment.

Miller invites other schools to participate in their online voting: visit www.scboces.org & scroll halfway down to make selections and cast your votes! Note, choose “Outside Sullivan County.”

We hope you choose reading in 2018!

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Beat Reader Rebellion with planning and organization

January 17, 2018 - 3:40pm

By: Tiffany Wincek, Account Specialist.

I wanted to read 50 books in 2017. I read 11. Eleven! That’s not even one book a month! For many, finishing 11 books in a year might be a great achievement, but it’s far below my typical average. Last January I wrote about resolving to read, yet I failed miserably at my own resolutions. Why? I think the answer is threefold:

  1. I went through some major Reader Rebellion. Have you ever experienced this? Avid readers inexplicably going weeks or months on end without picking up anything new? I want to attribute some of this to the amount of traveling I did last year, but honestly, I spent the bulk of my uninterrupted reading hours sitting next to strangers on airplanes, so that’s no excuse.
  2. I read some mammoth tomes last year, namely Stephen King’s It and Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind, but even if those two books had counted as at least three each, I still wouldn’t have met my goal.
  3. I didn’t plan. It had never occurred to me to plan what I wanted to read for an entire year. What if I didn’t feel like reading a book after I choose it? What if new books came out that weren’t on my list? What if I didn’t finish them all?
Getting organized

I’m determined not to make 2018 a repeat of last year, so I decided to tackle my “what ifs” and do what seemed unnatural: I planned an entire 2018 reading list. I made a new shelf on Goodreads, I tagged all the titles in Libby, and I even wrote a checklist in my planner. I’m the kind of person who has hundreds of books marked as “to read,” so it wasn’t difficult to create the list. I made three categories and planned to read one book from each category each month.

Classic J/YA

The first category includes classic children’s and young adult literature that I’ve somehow never read. Believe it or not, I finished Charlotte’s Web for the first time this week. I loved it, of course (though I do have some very strong feelings about Fern), and have no idea how I’d never yet read it or the other 11 tales on my list. Next up? Where the Red Fern Grows.

Arduous classics

The second category includes classics or modern classics that I’ve also somehow skipped, a list that includes everything from Bronte and Wilde to Heller and Kesey. This is the part of my list that feels most like a chore, but they must be considered classics for a reason, right?

Modern recommended titles

The third category includes books (mostly) published in the last ten years that were recommended by friends. This is the list I’m most excited about, which explains why it quickly blossomed from 12 books to 32. I guess I’ll be needing to read at least four books a month, now! I’ve quickly finished Autoboyography and You and enjoyed both.

Mixing media to prevent boredom and fatigue

I’m hopeful that all my planning will do the trick. So far, so good: I’ve read six books since the beginning of January, and I’ll probably finish my seventh today. My number one strategy?  As soon as I finish one book, I read the first chapter of the next. It’s the literary equivalent of the hair of the dog that bit you, and it seems to be working. Another trick is to have one audiobook, one eBook, and one print book going simultaneously. This way, I can tackle my reading goals almost wherever I go!

Did you keep your 2017 reading resolutions? What resolutions have you made for this year?


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