OverDrive is delighted to announce that more than 500 Penguin Audiobooks are now live and available for purchase in OverDrive Marketplace! Penguin Audiobooks are available for public and college libraries in the U.S. and Canada under the one copy/one user lending model in both the WMA and MP3 format.
Here is just a sample of some of the hottest Penguin authors you’ll want to buy right away: Ken Follett, Clive Cussler, Anita Blake, Maya Banks, Roald Dahl, W.E.B. Griffin, Nick Hornby, Stephen King, Jen Lancaster, and Lee Child. Click here to view the suggested list in Marketplace.
Public and college libraries (including consortia) can shop the Penguin Audiobook catalog now on the Marketplace homepage (if catalogs are merged), or the “One Copy/One User” section. You can also search for the content in advanced search under Publisher Account: Penguin Group (USA), Inc. – Audiobooks
Now is a great time to stock up on new titles before the busy holiday season. Your avid listeners will be so happy with your new purchases! Your Collection Development Specialist is always available to help create recommended lists of the Penguin catalog. Email email@example.com for more information today!
Rachel Somerville is a Collection Development Analyst at OverDrive.
We are right in the middle of the holiday season, wrapping up Hanukkah this week and quickly nearing Kwanzaa and Christmas. This is a great time to ramp up marketing efforts for your digital collection and to help your patrons prepare for the influx of shopping and gift giving.
Holiday Device Showcase
Tablets and eReaders are hot gifts but which one is right for you or your loved ones? At your library, you can host a Holiday Device Showcase to display popular devices and give your patrons a chance to get some hands-on experience with the gadgets. Read more about the Holiday Device Showcase in our Holiday Events Part I: Device Mania blog!
Gift Box Giveaway
Once users have picked out what device to buy, help them wrap it up! Inspired by Digital Library Champions contest winner High Point Public Library, think outside of the box – or rather… think inside of the box with a Gift Box Giveaway. The North Carolina library recently wrote about their program of offering gift boxes for eReaders that included tissue paper, ribbon and most importantly, instructions for how that device could get free eBooks from the library. To help other libraries recreate this great idea, we’ve created Gift Box Giveaway resources that are now available in the Partner Portal. In the zip folder, you’ll find everything you need to become one of “Santa’s Helpers” and launch your Gift Box Giveaway program: a print-ready flyer, a Facebook graphic, instructions to help gather what you need, greeting cards and printable getting started guides.
Make sure to use social media to publicize events and to remind users that even during the holidays if the library branch is closed, your virtual branch is always open! We’ve created some fun images that can be posted to Facebook for season’s greetings and helpful reminders. You can download these free graphics in the Social Media section of the Partner Portal.
Keep an eye on the blog – we’ll be sharing event ideas and promotional tips throughout this season. Feel free to let us know what you’re doing around your library or school to market your digital titles as we wrap up 2013!
Melissa Marin is a Marketing Specialist at OverDrive.
Regular users will have noticed some big changes to search.overdrive.com last week. Search has tens of thousands of visitors every day but the old site was getting a bit out of date. The new design is just the start of a big effort to modernize and improve the utility of one of our most important destinations. To begin with, we’ve focused on two key things: speed and usability on mobile devices. We’ve also retired ‘classic’ search and replaced it with a more intuitive and familiar faceted search interface – you can start with general searches and use the filters on the left nav. bar to narrow them down quickly and accurately.
As with all such initiatives, we appreciate that change can be disruptive – if there’s something you can’t find, or are having trouble with, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re listening and happy to help!
Over the coming months we’ll be rolling out new features – alongside the inevitable bug-fixes – that will make it even easier to find your nearest library, or your next favorite book.
Adam Sockel is a Marketing Communications Specialist with OverDrive
Last week OverDrive tech writer and blogger Quinton Lawman detailed his top picks of this year’s crop of new devices in Quinton’s geeky holiday device buying guide (Part 1) (Part 2).
Now it’s my turn.
Conspicuously missing from the list were two iconic devices, the iPad Air, and the iPad Mini with retina display. The iPad Air boasts the most powerful tech specs in any iOS device to date, yet comes in the most elegant package ever. That’s up to 128 GB of storage in a one pound device that fits in the palm of your hand! (For some fun perspective, that much storage back in 1980 would’ve set you back a cool $25 million dollars, and forget about the weight of it!)
While the iPad Air ranges from $499-$799, its smaller cousin, the iPad Mini with retina display, packs all of that goodness into a smaller and more affordable package. Each respective storage capacity, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, is a hundred dollars less than the iPad Air.
Both models feature the best camera we’ve seen on any iPad. With 5 megapixel photos, Autofocus, face detection and a five element lens, it’s perfect to capture those precious holiday moments with friends and family.
But these devices are about more than just great hardware. With the release of iOS 7, the iPad’s newest operating system, Apple did something quietly amazing: they made their entire suite of productivity apps free. Keynote, Pages, and Numbers, collectively known as iWork, are the Apple equivalents of PowerPoint, Word and Excel and create files compatible with their Microsoft Office counterparts. What’s more is that iCloud.com, utilizing the same HTML 5 technology that powers OverDrive Read, offers a web-based version of each app that is accessible from virtually any computer with an internet connection, which will sync with the projects you have on your device. (But let’s face it, even if people don’t want to work on their iPad, at least now they can.) Of course, despite all of those useful free apps, I will probably still spend most of the time on my iPad this winter listening to audiobooks on the OverDrive Media Console.
Hot Holiday Devices
Due to overwhelming demand, we are now at capacity for the December 5th session of Hot Holiday Devices. But we still have room for you to register for our December 4th session at 7:00 PM EST. We’ll be discussing these devices and many more, focusing on how they can be used with the OverDrive service. You can register for Hot Holiday Devices from the Learning Center on the Partners Portal: http://partners.overdrive.com/learning-center/live-sessions/. And don’t forget to use our handy time zone converter to find out when the session starts in your part of the world.
We look forward to connecting with you then!
For those of you who can’t attend a live session, check back in at the Learning Center after December 6th to hear the recorded session and download our resource-packed presentation slides.
Anders Brooks is a Training Specialist on the Knowledge Services Team at OverDrive.
OverDrive is offering a new service for public library partners to give young readers a place of their own. Now there’s an option to incorporate an eReading Room for kids and/or teens as an extension of your digital library website. Kids and teens can browse, sample, place holds and borrow eBooks and other media appropriate for their age range and reading level. Kids can spend as much time as they want clicking away and exploring without the worry of them stumbling upon mature content. See the first live eReading Room for kids at Kitsap Regional Library in Washington at http://krl.lib.overdrive.com/kids.
“eBooks are not just for adults, and we believe this site will help us highlight some of the great children’s content that we have to offer,” said Sharon Grant, Digital Branch Manager at Kitsap Regional Library. “More importantly, we believe this site will save people time because it effectively highlights books by reading levels, age groups and interests.”
The eReading Room is a safe environment for children, independent of the larger digital collection, yet easily accessible and fully integrated – seamlessly working with your existing catalog. OverDrive offers clean, friendly, simple design options and the choice of including juvenile and/or young adult fiction and nonfiction titles. All titles in the eReading Room are also cataloged by reading level, ATOS scores, and other reading metrics to help parents and teachers select titles to aid in literacy campaigns. Adults and kids can sample titles in OverDrive Read prior to checking out a title.
The checkout and hold experience is the same as with the existing site, so when the kids are ready to graduate to the next level, they’ll already be seasoned users of the website’s tools and navigation. We will also provide you with promotional graphics and print-ready materials to promote the eReading Room. You can even name the eReading Room anything you choose, such as the same name for the kids’ section in your physical library branch.
Ready to get started? The kids’ eReading room is available now, so contact your Collection Development Specialist at email@example.com to learn more.
Heather Tunstall is the Public Relations Specialist at OverDrive.
Starting today, Black Friday, the entire McGraw-Hill Professional catalog of 5,000+ business, technical and educational reference titles are available.
McGraw-Hill Professional’s full eBook catalog is now live for libraries and schools worldwide. This catalog is one of the premier eBook collections for career, reference, IT and certification titles available on the market today. To celebrate this new offering, all 2012 and 2013 McGraw-Hill eBook releases, (more than 700 titles) will be discounted 30 percent for library and school partners through the end of this year in OverDrive Marketplace.
Libraries and schools will be able to offer 24/7 access to McGraw-Hill Professional digital titles in three broad categories: Business/Consumer, Science/Technical, and Test Prep/Education. Their proven reputation is highlighted with such notable collections as 5 Steps to a 5 AP (test prep series), Practice Makes Perfect (foreign language study), Schaum’s Outline (study aid series), Mike Meyers’ CompTIA (tech series), and Disney U: How Disney University Develops the World’s Most Engaged, Loyal and Customer-Centric Employees. High-demand bestsellers include The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley; McGraw-Hill’s 5 TEAS Practice Tests by Kathy Zahler; and Programming the Raspberry Pi: Getting Started in Python by Simon Monk.
The eBook collection includes over 700 recently released titles for researchers, business professionals, consumers, scientists, and students including test preparation titles for the ACT, SAT, MCAT or LSAT.
For more information on this partnership or to learn how to add McGraw-Hill Professional titles to your library catalog, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Heather Tunstall is the Public Relations Specialist for OverDrive.
As widely reported, Adobe confirmed that they suffered a security breach of customer data on their servers. The company posted information at their blog here: http://blogs.adobe.com/conversations/2013/10/important-customer-security-announcement.html
Adobe has confirmed that OverDrive school and library users with activated Adobe eBook accounts may have been affected. Here is information that they have provided.
- Adobe is in the process of resetting passwords and notifying affected users. Affected users will receive an email alert advising them to reset their Adobe password in order to continue access to their Adobe account. For security purposes and as a recommended practice, Adobe is encouraging affected users to reset their Adobe passwords as well as reset passwords for any non-Adobe services/applications (in case they used the same user ID and password as was used with Adobe).
- Reactivation of previously authorized eBook software and apps using Adobe DRM (Adobe Digital Editions and OverDrive Media Console) is NOT required in order to maintain access to Adobe eBooks or to download new ones, even if users have since changed the password on their Adobe ID.
- New activations of ADE and OMC will not be possible until users have reset their password with Adobe. This is because Adobe has reset everyone’s existing password.
- OverDrive users can choose to de-authorize ADE or OMC on their devices and re-authorize with their new password; however, that is not necessary or recommended.
- Users who have changed their Adobe password and wish to also update their passwords through OverDrive should do so. Changing passwords periodically and using different passwords for different accounts are good security practices.
- At OverDrive, we do not store emails or passwords for Adobe ID on OMC. We do store emails and passwords for those that registered an OverDrive ONE account. Users can change and reset their OverDrive ONE password by either using the “Forgot password” link or by using the “Settings” panel. Users who have registered for OverDrive ONE using their Facebook account will have to re-authenticate OverDrive ONE in OMC if they have also updated their Facebook email or password.
If you have any additional questions or seek specific advice for your team or users, please feel free to contact our Support team via the Support tab in OverDrive Marketplace.
I know you’ve all been on pins-and-needles waiting for the second installment of my little device buying guide. In this episode, I’ll cover a couple more tablets, and tell you a little bit about our upcoming “Hot Holiday Devices” webinar. Oh, and don’t forget to enter to win your own hot holiday device in the OverDrive Marketplace!
I hope these guides are helping somebody out there—if you have questions, or some feedback, post in the comments below!
Microsoft Surface 2
The Surface 2 is a lot like the original Surface RT, but with better everything. The screen is better, it’s lighter, the speakers are better, it’s more responsive, and recent updates to Windows RT really do a lot to increase overall usability.
Here’s the kicker: the original Surface RT is actually a decent tablet, with solid specs and build quality. So the Surface 2 is a nice improvement over a product that was already pretty good.
There are two reasons that the Surface isn’t higher up on my list:
- It’s a little unwieldy. This has mostly to do with the aspect ratio (16:9 versus the typical 16:10). It’s a little wider and shorter in landscape than your average Android tablet (16:10), and Apple uses 4:3 which is more square-ish. It’s also a little heavier than average (though lighter than the RT).
- The current Windows RT app selection is a little limited (though growing fast). Microsoft has also locked 3rd party web browsers out of Windows RT, which I do not like at all.
That being said, if you’re fine using Internet Explorer all the time, and you want a tablet that grants you a whole lot of excellent productivity options (the best out there, really), the Surface 2 is where it’s at. The price is not cheap, but reasonable at $450. If the tech geek on your list has a serious need for heavy word processing and other officey type things, then you can’t really beat the Surface as a tablet option.
Honorable mention: Sony Xperia Tablet Z
The Sony Xperia Tablet Z gets an honorable mention because it’s a great tablet that also happens to be water resistant. Yup, that’s right; you can have this out in the rain and not really worry about it. It’s a much more useful feature than you might think, and it means that the Tablet Z is pretty resilient.
In fact, if it weren’t for the price (starting at $449 on sale), I’d have probably picked this as my second or third recommendation. It has a good screen (1920 x 1200 for around 224 ppi), and a decent processor (Snapdragon S4 Pro), but neither make it top of the line. That’s my gripe—the Tablet Z is priced as a top of the line machine (the 32 GB model is $550). If they were charging $400 and $450 for the 16 GB and 32 GB model respectively, this tablet would be a great buy.
What, no iPad?
Anders will talk more about the iPad in his post next week. Both the mini with retina display and the Air are solid devices, but I personally prefer the tablets above. If you’re buying for a big Apple fan, or that special someone on your list already has a lot invested in Apple products, then stay tuned. Anders is the man you are waiting to hear from.
Hot Holiday Devices webinar (chat with me!)
Pretty soon we’ll be hosting a “Hot Holiday Devices” webinar for partners. To be specific the dates are:
- December 4th at 7:00 PM EST
- December 5th at 3:00 PM EST
I’ll be on chat support with a friend or two while Anders and Shannon will be presenting. It was extremely popular last year, and we’re expecting a similar (if not better) turnout this year, so don’t forget to register! We’ll help you navigate the path to technological happiness so that you can, in turn, help your users get the content they want. It’ll be fun! And, you’ll have a chance to pick my brain. I’m looking forward to it (I had a blast last time).
Quinton Lawman is a Technical Writer on the Knowledge Services team at OverDrive.
One of the many advantages of your digital collection is that users have access to those titles even when the library doors are closed. Remind your community about your digital collection at those times with a quick Facebook post or tweet. We have created a whole suite of social media images that you can use this holiday season (or anytime). Pick and choose the ones you would like to use and be sure to include information about your digital collection in the description.
You can schedule your Facebook posts in advance so you can take it easy on your day off. These images are also the appropriate size to use for Twitter and Pinterest too.
A full set of Holiday and other social media images can be found in the Social Media section of the Partner Portal. If you aren’t already following OverDrive on Facebook, we recommend you “Like” us for more images like these regularly.
In addition to the social media images, don’t forget about the print-ready holiday promotional flyers that you can hang around your library and community.
Cassie Renner is a Marketing Specialist with OverDrive
Last year I wrote a post where I recommended some solid devices for the holidays, so I figured I’d chime in again this year. It’s an exciting time to be a geek like me, as technology continues to move along at a breakneck speed. Did you know you can now read eBooks and listen to audiobooks on your refrigerator or washing machine? I mean, why not?
I’m going to focus on slightly more practical devices that are perfect for everyday use—specifically tablets. They all work great with OverDrive products, and are pretty versatile to boot. In the not too distant future, my esteemed colleague, Anders Brooks, will write another post that will cover a little more, including E Ink readers.
Let’s get started with Part 1, shall we? Part 2 is coming soon!
Nexus 7 (2013 edition)
You may remember (if you read my post last year) that I was a huge fan of the original Nexus 7. This year Google outdid itself. Simply put, the new Nexus 7 is a best buy at $229.
The iPad mini with retina display (which Anders will talk more about in his post) starts at $399, and has a 326 ppi screen. That’s a great screen, but the 3 ppi difference between that and the new Nexus 7 (323 ppi) is imperceptible to the human eye. Though the iPad mini is a bit faster than the Nexus 7, it’s $160 more expensive, and the speed difference in everyday tasks is negligible.
My wife just got one of these tablets, and she loves it because it’s easy to use, fast, and great for reading. In fact, the screen is fantastic for reading. The sharper the image, the less your eyes have to work to focus on it, and with such a high ppi, the Nexus 7 is practically built for eBooks.
Because the Nexus 7 is also slim and light, it’s also very portable. For me, that means it’s great for audiobooks too. It’s no big deal to take the Nexus 7 on a trip, plug it into the stereo, and use it for navigation while listening to a good book.
It’s this value for money attribute that makes the Nexus 7 my top pick in tablets for the holidays.
Nvidia Tegra Note
The Tegra Note is an interesting specimen. It’s cheaper than the Nexus 7 at $199, which is a major selling point, and it’s also awfully fast with Nvidia’s newest Tegra 4 System on a Chip (SoC). It’s marketed to gamers, but with a $199 price tag, I don’t see why it couldn’t appeal to everyone.
The screen isn’t as good as the Nexus 7 (7” at 1280 x 800 for 216 ppi), but it’s not horrible. It might not be the best out there for reading, but the Note does beat the first and second generation Kindle Fire (202 ppi) and ties the 2nd generation 7” Kindle Fire HD, so it’s just not as big a deal as some reviewers are claiming.
The Tegra Note shows an awful lot of promise in testing (which you can read all about on Tom’s Hardware). Features like the stylus (supposedly very good) and the device’s raw performance make it a real contender. Heck it’s even supposed to have pretty good speakers.
The Note is made out of plastic–Nvidia had to cut corners somewhere along the line to get the price down to $199. Does that mean the Tegra Note is built horribly? I don’t know, because I haven’t been able to get my hands on one yet, but I can almost guarantee that it’s not built as well as an iPad or Nexus 7. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a piece of junk. Reviewers seem to think it feels a little cheap, but nobody likes plastic anymore. My advice is to check one out for yourself—they should be in stores soon.
The new Nexus 10?
There’s a question mark on this one because Google hasn’t yet announced the new Nexus 10. Will it be great? I have no idea. The Nexus brand has done a lot to reshape the way we think about the price of quality tech. You can go out and get a fantastic high-end phone (Nexus 5) for $350 off-contract. Most top-o-the-line phones cost more like $650 or $700. You can go out and buy a killer tablet for $229 too (see above). Each generation of Nexus device has been a significant step up from the previous generation.
The original Nexus 10 is great–even if it’s not the most popular. In fact, it was even higher-end than last year’s Nexus 7. So, I’m dying to know, what will the newNexus 10 be like? Rumors have pointed to a November launch, so it could be announced any day now. If you prefer the 10” form-factor like I do, my advice is to wait to make your buying decision for a week or two to see what Google might announce.
Quinton Lawman is a Technical Writer on the Knowledge Services Team at OverDrive.