Dear Library and School Partners,
Just over a year ago at Digipalooza 2011, I reported on enhancements and services that OverDrive would deliver for your digital collections. Notable accomplishments since then include the launch of Amazon Kindle compatibility for existing and new eBook titles (U.S. only), enhancements to our mobile apps for smartphones and tablets, a brand-new OverDrive Help, low-cost MARC records, plus the addition of thousands of popular titles to Content Reserve (including a little series about a boy wizard).
Now, I’m excited to report on the service enhancements we’ll deliver during the 2012 holiday season and months following. We’re working on a complete redesign of our library lending platform to achieve best-in-class user experience. This Next Generation platform will include a new search engine, one-step checkout, responsive websites optimized for every screen, and a new way for users to experience eBooks—OverDrive Read.
OverDrive Read: See Book. Read Book
As we’ve previously announced, OverDrive Read is the new browser-based eBook reading experience that provides instant access to titles from any web-connected device. Whether from a desktop or mobile device, readers will be able to quickly browse, check out, and read EPUB eBooks instantly online and offline—no activation or download required. This will not change the number of available copies or holds in your collection, nor will it eliminate the need for user authentication. OverDrive Read takes advantage of EPUB and HTML5 with native support for color, video, interactivity and easy title integration with social media and education systems. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be upgrading your OverDrive-powered website with OverDrive Read samples of most EPUB eBooks in your existing collection, and by the holidays, this new reading option will enable checkout of full titles. To learn more about OverDrive Read, click here; to view OverDrive Read samples, click the book jackets below.
See Book. Read Book. Click a cover to read sample.
OverDrive Next Generation Library Platform: One Step Checkout
Later this year, we’ll begin to upgrade OverDrive-powered library and school websites (both desktop and mobile editions) with a new “responsive” experience which optimizes the sites for any size screen. From your library’s Next Generation website, users will be able to borrow eBooks in one step. Our goal is clear: Provide the best collection of eBooks, audiobooks, music and video with the fastest and easiest experience for users to read, listen and watch. These updates will reduce the number of steps currently required to check out and download a title.
OverDrive’s Next Generation library platform will ultimately enable one-step checkout and reading.
OverDrive’s Next Generation Content Reserve
Later this year, we’ll also unveil the Next Generation Content Reserve collection development portal. Selectors will enjoy a faster search engine, multiple active carts with a drag-and-drop feature, and support for all browsers, including iPad and other tablets.
OverDrive’s Commitment to Open Standards and Deep Integration With Your OPAC and ILS
As a founder of the IDPF and one of the creators of the EPUB eBook format, OverDrive remains committed to supporting open industry standards. OverDrive Read uses EPUB, HTML5 and web standards to enhance eBooks with audio, video and interactivity. Your digital collection—soon to include OverDrive Read—will continue to be the most complete, versatile and compatible, enabling readers to borrow and enjoy titles on desktops, tablets, smartphones, eReaders and other devices. Looking forward, I expect we’ll see more even more manufacturers introducing Internet-connected devices that will support your eBook collection using OverDrive Read.
Our recently launched OverDrive Developer Portal provides options to further leverage your OverDrive investment. To date, more than 200 libraries, schools, ILS and search vendors, app developers and entrepreneurs have registered to build integrated solutions using OverDrive’s digital collection and application programming interfaces (APIs). These tools, using industry-standard development protocols, provide options for libraries and schools to develop their own services and apps to help users discover and experience digital media. In the coming months, we’ll showcase the innovative ways libraries and vendors are using OverDrive APIs.
OverDrive’s Commitment to Our Partners
For more than a decade, we’ve focused on delivering the highest return for your investment with OverDrive. We’re continuing to invest in our global network in order to provide you with the largest selection of digital content, expand device compatibility and improve our free apps on all major platforms. We’ll also continue to be an active voice on behalf of libraries in ongoing conversations with publishers, content suppliers and trade associations.
To find out more about many of these Next Generation enhancements, register for OverDrive Training Month to attend a live webinar or view on-demand learning modules. And don’t forget to save the date for our international user group conference, Digipalooza, August 1-4, 2013, in Cleveland, Ohio. Registration will open this fall. Finally, to help you prepare your collection for the holiday rush, check out our “Feed Your Reader” campaign.
I thank each of you for your partnership and welcome your feedback as we develop and deliver the Next Generation of digital media for your library and school. If you have any questions, please contact me or your OverDrive Account Specialist.
CEO & President, OverDrive, Inc.
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