Category Archives: Public Libraries

Librarians – CIBER Global Library Survey open through October 18th

Tish Wilson from ebrary just emailed me this press release:

CIBER Opens Global Library Survey in Conjunction with Charleston Conference, ebrary, and YBP
September 28, 2009 – London, UK – The CIBER research group at University College London (UCL) today invited all libraries to participate in an international survey examining challenges, trends, and best practices in tough economic times. Based on input from nearly 200 librarians worldwide, the questionnaire is now available and will remain open through October 18. Results of the survey, which is co-sponsored by Baker & Taylor’s YBP Library Services and ebrary®, a leading provider of digital content products and technologies, will be announced at the Charleston Conference, November 4-7 in Charleston, SC, USA. Continue reading Librarians – CIBER Global Library Survey open through October 18th

Overdrive and Sony to cross-market

From an Overdrive press release:

(Cleveland, OH) – August 12, 2009 – OverDrive (, the leading global digital distributor of eBooks and audiobooks to libraries, announced today a joint marketing agreement with Sony Electronics, Inc., developer of the Sony Reader Digital Book (  OverDrive and Sony will cross-market OverDrive’s library network and the Reader, the leading eBook device that is compatible with industry standard eBook formats offered by libraries.  Continue reading Overdrive and Sony to cross-market

Loaning Kindles

Listened in on a Kindle Loan program at the Handheld Librarian conference today.  Panelists from university and public libraries discussed their current Kindle loan programs.  Some highlights included:

  • Each school had between 4 and 8 Kindles for loan, mostly Kindle 1 and 2
  • Circulation staff handled the loan/fines and the downloading of titles
  • Program started as an ILL service, asking patrons with ILL requests if they were open to using the Kindle/ebook (about 1/2 were willing to during the pilot) Continue reading Loaning Kindles

Booklist launches new reference blog

CHICAGO—Booklist Online announces the addition of Points of Reference to its growing family of blogs. Mary Ellen Quinn and a team of front-line experts from academic, public and school libraries post about reference sources and trends in reference publishing and services. Continue reading Booklist launches new reference blog

Widgets Increase Use of eReference Collections

From the Gale/Cengage RE:sources blog, May 2009

Widgets pack a wallop

Results from K-12 school, academic and public libraries confirm that usage soars when you add the ability to search all or part of your Gale Virtual Reference Library collection with a widget. Comparing the number of user sessions before and after the addition of a widget on the pages of a high school in Minnesota, a college in Texas and a public library in Ohio, Mark Springer, a data analyst from Gale, documented gains of 178%, 167% and 140% respectively. Read more results like these in the RE:sources blog next week.

Results of widgets in three libraries

Cleveland Public Library offers EPUB

Cleveland Public Library ( today became the
first public library to offer eBook downloads in the industry standard
EPUB format. Readers at both Cleveland Public Library and CLEVNET member
libraries can check out and download EPUB eBooks from the library’s
download website. The EPUB files are optimized for the Sony(R) Reader and
can also be read on a PC or Mac(R) with free Adobe(R) Digital Editions
software. More than 8,500 libraries powered by OverDrive
( will soon be able to offer eBooks in the EPUB format,
along with more than 150,000 titles in audiobook, eBook, music, and video
formats, many of which are compatible with both Mac and iPod(R).

Patron-defined lending periods will also be available for the first time
today at The new feature allows libraries to
offer a variety of borrowing options, such as 7, 14, or 21 day lending
periods. Fast readers can now select a shorter checkout time, allowing
them to borrow more titles from their library. Patron-defined lending
periods, EPUB eBooks, and other upcoming enhancements will be
demonstrated at the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting 2009
( on
Jan. 23-26 (Booth #2042).

EPUB is a reflowable, XML-based format for eBooks and other digital
publications developed by the International Digital Publishing Forum
( and adopted by leading publishers and technology firms as
the industry standard for eBooks. OverDrive, an IDPF member company, is
the only library download service that supports EPUB and integrates the
format into a single platform for delivering digital audiobooks, eBooks,
music, and video to library customers. More information on the EPUB
format is available at

“EPUB eBooks are enhanced for mobile reading with reflowable text to fit
any screen and are compatible with the Sony Reader,” said David Burleigh,
director of marketing for OverDrive. “Major publishers such as Hachette
Book Group USA, Random House, and HarperCollins offer eBooks to libraries
in this emerging standard format, so library customers will be able to
enjoy award-winning and best-selling EPUB eBooks with just their library
card and an Internet-connected computer.”

“Introducing the EPUB format in the library market will enhance the eBook
experience for library patrons, as well as accelerate the wide-spread
adoption of this standard for digital reflowable text,” said Michael
Smith, executive director of the IDPF. “More publishers are utilizing
EPUB as they digitize front and backlist titles to provide a greater
selection for digital library patrons.”

OverDrive distributes thousands of EPUB eBooks from top publishers. EPUB
eBooks by James Patterson, Stephenie Meyer, David Sedaris, Janet
Evanovich, Elmore Leonard, Lisa Kleypas, and Brad Meltzer will soon be
available to libraries powered by OverDrive. Popular and best-selling
EPUB titles will also be available, including “Dewey: The Small Town
Library Cat,” “Things I’ve Learned from Women Who’ve Dumped Me,”
“Twilight: The Complete Illustrated Movie Companion,” and “Gossip Girl.”

All EPUB eBook downloads from the OverDrive-powered library download
website are borrowed just like a print book. A library customer can browse
a library’s digital catalog for titles, check out a title with a library
card, and download the eBook to his or her home computer. The titles can
be transferred from the library customer’s home computer to a Sony Reader
PRS-505 (with proper firmware installed) or PRS-700 using the Adobe
Digital Editions software. At the end of the lending period, the file
automatically expires and Adobe Digital Editions prompts the user to
delete the title from his or her computer.

OverDrive powers download media catalogs at thousands of libraries
worldwide, including institutions in New York, Singapore, Boston, and
Toronto. To see if your library is a member of the OverDrive network,
visit OverDrive also operates the Digital
Bookmobile (, a high-tech 18-wheeler that
travels coast-to-coast raising awareness about free library downloads.

About OverDrive

OverDrive is a leading full-service digital distributor of eBooks,
audiobooks, music, and video. We deliver secure management, DRM
protection, and download fulfillment services for hundreds of publishers
and thousands of libraries, schools, and retailers serving millions of
end users. Founded in 1986, OverDrive is based in Cleveland, OH.

David Burleigh
OverDrive, Inc.
216-573-6886 x218
Email Contact

Rosen’s Teen Health & Wellness – this is what I call a Reference Experience

I recently attended the School Library Journal (SLJ) Summit and had the pleasure of working with Roger Rosen, of Rosen Publishing, on a panel about the future of digital reference.  Roger spoke about Rosen’s Teen Health & Wellness product.  I finally had a chance to look it over.  WOW, this is what I call a reference experience!

Some highlights:

  • Thousands of resources for teens on topics relevant to them, and written for them – like sexuality, dating, stress, alcohol/drugs, eating disorders, and even acne
  • In The News – a snippet of data from a published news story, with links to additional information in the database.
  • Cast Your Vote – Polls on relevant topics, to see how other teens feel/act.  After viewing the poll results, links to articles on a relevant topic are included
  • HOTLINES (Get Help Now)- easy to find access to a variety of national hotlines (Suicide, AIDS, Alcohol/Drugs, Eating Disorders, etc)
  • Ask Dr. Jan – a place to ask a question and get an answer from a licensed Psychologist
  • Personal Story – a teen story written about a particular situation, like cyberbullying.  Users may then SHARE THEIR OWN STORY by submitting it to Rosen.  Don’t worry, lots of confidentiality controls are in place.
  • Did You Know? – factoids on various health/wellness topics, with links to related articles
  • RSS Feeds of new content from “In The News,”  “Dr. Jan’s Corner,” and “Did You Know?”
  • Each entry is signed, and includes the name of the MD or other medical professional who reviewed the article.
  • Email, print, and cite this source options
  • Links for resources, glossary, and further reading
  • Date last updated for each article
  • Images

Besides the amazing amount of information in the Teen Health & Wellness database, teens have the opportunity to ask questions, write/share their own feelings, and find out how other teens are dealing with situations.  The RSS feeds, polls, and Q/A make this interactive.  The attention to detail in citing, writing, reviewing, and updating make the information very authoritative.  This should be in every household, not just school.  Congrats Rosen!

Gee, reading all of this makes me want to be a teenager again…..NOT!

But, it does make me wonder why these great features aren’t in other databases.  The product seems to build a community.  Can our generic reference ebook collections possibly do that?  I don’t see why not.�

eBook sales will increase in UK libraries

According to a survey conducted in the UK by NetLibrary, most libraries do intend to increase the acquisition of eBooks in the coming years.

The highlights:

300 libraries responded

  • 3/4 of academic libraries intend to increase eBook collections
  • 1/2 of public libraries intend to increase eBook collections
  • 85% of publics were interested in fiction eBooks
  • 65% of publics were interested in building an audiobook collection

for more information, contact

Booklist Online Articles Feature Follett, NetLibrary, and Overdrive

offtheshelf-f1.jpg Those of you interested in learning more about Follett and Overdrive should take a look at the recent  Off The Shelf column in Booklist Online – E-book Distributors for the Public and School Library Markets.  The article provides an overview of the content, features, and business models of both of these distributors.

NetLibrary, due to it’s recent transformation, has a feature article in the Nov. 1, 2008 Booklist issue (and Booklist Online)

Academic aggregators – ebrary, EBL, and Myilibrary – were featured back in May, 2008.

All articles are linked from No Shelf Required, just check out the articles link.

Infobase to release eBook platform this Fall

Attention public, school, and community college libraries.

Infobase, publisher for Chelsea House, Facts on File, Ferguson, and Bloom’s Literary Criticism will release it’s own eBook platform this Fall.  However, titles will still be available from previously established interfaces.

Current titles and backlist titles will be available at launch (1800+) and forthcoming titles will also come in e version.

Looks like the business model is similar to GVRL – unlimited simultaneous access and an archival PDF copy of each title purchased.  Which, leads me to believe this will NOT be a subscription product.  No word yet on pricing.

I’m hoping to get a sneak peek at the interface in the next couple of weeks, so details on the interface bells and whistles to follow.