November 22nd, 2011. We are proud to announce Test Drive, a program for libraries to support demonstration and lending of eBook reading devices and tablets to their patrons. The program includes device recommendations and guidelines for setup, maintenance and support, as well as best practices for institutions that want to stock and lend eBook readers and tablets to patrons.
Whether you are considering providing demo units inside or lending devices outside the library, our Test Drive program will provide useful guidelines to work within the framework of your OverDrive eBook lending collection.
We are also proud to announce that the Sony Reader Wi-Fi (Model PRS-T1) has been selected as the first "Test Drive Approved" device. Test Drive Approved device requirements include compatibility with the library's eBook catalog, direct Wi-Fi checkout and eBook download via an onboard browser or app, and copyright protection (DRM) and lending practices that conform to rules as required by publisher permissions. Test Drive devices are selected based on durability, ease-of-use for library staff and patrons to setup and maintain, as well as battery life, performance, and other usability factors.
Over the coming weeks and months, we will be announcing additional "Test Drive Approved" eBook readers and tablets, including color units for use with illustrated eBook genres such as children's titles, graphic novels, cookbooks and other image-rich titles. OverDrive is also testing and preparing to release information for Test Drive Approved accessible devices for print-impaired readers. Accessible eBook reading devices in the Test Drive program for US public libraries will support the Library eBook Accessibility Program (LEAP), OverDrive's free service to libraries that offers accessible eBooks in partnership with Bookshare.org.
The OverDrive Test Drive program was developed in response to recommendations by The Council of State Librarians (COSLA) from its 2010 report that outlined the need for low-cost, library-friendly eBook devices that library staff could use to train and lend to patrons. Accessibility and upholding publisher rights and library policies were among the requirements listed in that report. OverDrive's Test Drive program gives the libraries the tools needed to effectively and efficiently develop programs to select and provide their staff and patrons with such devices.
Libraries in the OverDrive network may enroll in the Test Drive program for free at www.overdrive.com/testdrive.