ORLANDO, FL — June 23, 2016 — With so many options to find and read digital books, librarians often compete to bring in new readers. Now, librarians can compete with new resources similar to those used by top retailers and e-commerce sites. By featuring a selected eBook or audiobook and recommending titles so readers can easily find new books in their favorite genre, librarians are merchandising more books from their digital collection. Having librarians suggest additional titles will help readers discover alternative books and keep them coming back.
As librarians meet this week at the American Library Association (ALA) annual conference, industry-leading eBook and audiobook provider OverDrive (booth #651) will demonstrate innovations, curation and reporting tools designed to help libraries stay competitive and reach more people in their community.
- The completely new OverDrive app will provide the easiest and fastest experience for readers to read eBooks and listen to audiobooks on a mobile device. Based on OverDrive Read technology, the new app has been engineered from the ground up to quickly onboard first-time users. Readers will always be one click away from online or offline reading, discovering more titles at the library and managing their checkouts. At ALA, library partners will have the opportunity to join a closed beta test of the new OverDrive app.
- New Merchandising Tools will get more digital books in the hands of readers. Upgrades to the new OverDrive website and user interface provide new ways for libraries to connect with their users. Specifically, consortia libraries that are Advantage members, will continue to benefit from the consortium's curated collections, but will also have the option to create and publish custom collections that are of interest to their local community. In addition, each library has options for their own unique, static URL to better promote their digital collection. These websites will be rolled out to the OverDrive network beginning in the fall.
- Digital Book Clubs. Libraries are using Digital Book Clubs to connect with readers. Libraries around the world are increasingly using their OverDrive platform to host and promote "eBook Reading Clubs" enabling dozens of "city read" or "one book, one community" programs.
Publishers are capitalizing on this growing trend by offering libraries eBooks and audiobooks under simultaneous use or bulk discount plans. For example, independent publisher Sourcebooks has created a catalog specifically for library Digital Book Clubs.
- Circulation and Demand Analysis. At no cost, OverDrive partners can receive a comprehensive Digital Library Performance Analysis. This advanced report not only displays circulation growth, but it also compares a library's digital circulation to libraries of similar size and population around the country. It shows how a digital collection is performing and can be narrowed down for a closer look at genre, audience and format. This comparison helps librarians identify gaps in their collection or system features to deliver the most valuable digital library experience for readers.
- Dozens of New Suppliers and Collection Development Tools. OverDrive's global eBook catalog now offers thousands of comics and graphic novels, including new additions from DC Comics and Viz Media. Public libraries and schools can now offer their readers titles such as Batman: The Killing Joke and popular manga titles such as Naruto, which has sold millions worldwide. In addition, thousands of new titles are now available in dozens of languages, including large collections in Spanish, Polish, French and German. Finally, based on valuable partner feedback, OverDrive has added BISAC (Book Industry Standards and Communications) subject headings to OverDrive titles for enhanced searching. The change is live first in OverDrive Marketplace and will be added to customer-facing websites later.
- The NEW Digital Bookmobile. Building on the appreciation for the traditional bookmobile, as well as its inaugural tour from 2008-2015, OverDrive is updating the Digital Bookmobile. In 2017, a brand new Digital Bookmobile experience will hit the road on a North American tour to promote the local library's and school's digital service in new and exciting ways.
As lifestyles continue to get busier and technologies advance, people are taking advantage of eBooks and digital audiobooks more than ever. A recent Pew Research Report noted that awareness of eBook availability at libraries increased more than 20 percent among the general population in just the last year alone. As of April 2016, three out of every five adults now say they know their local libraries offer eBook lending programs. The innovations OverDrive is presenting at ALA correlates with the strong upswing in digital circulation libraries are experiencing at their OverDrive-powered websites.
For more information, visit OverDrive in booth #651 at ALA.
OverDrive is the leading digital distribution platform, supplying the industry's largest catalog of eBooks, audiobooks, streaming video and periodicals to 34,000 libraries and schools worldwide. We support all major computers and devices, including iOS, Android, Chromebook and Kindle (U.S. only). OverDrive delivers all digital media on a single platform, and offers innovations such as OverDrive Read, the breakthrough EPUB and HTML5 browser-based reading experience, and Read-Along eBooks. Founded in 1986, OverDrive is based in Cleveland, Ohio USA and is owned by Tokyo-based Rakuten. For more information, visit www.overdrive.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and our blog.