In the latest News Bites: voting for the Children’s Choice Book Award is wide open until May 3; Little, Brown will release its first LEGO graphic novel in September 2015; and the finalists for the Lambda Literary Award for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender books published in 2014 have been announced.
Leading library ebook distributor OverDrive was sold to Rakuten on March 19 for $410 million cash, more than 16 times OverDrive’s annual earnings of $25 million. The purchase from private equity firm Insight Venture Partners, OverDrive’s majority owner since 2010, is scheduled to close in April. OverDrive will become a subsidiary of Rakuten USA, the U.S. arm of Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten. CEO Steve Potash will continue to lead OverDrive, and its headquarters will remain in Cleveland, OH.
Middle school librarian Mary Burkey wondered how she was going to get digital books into kids’ hands. Her ongoing partnership with the local public library eventually led to a digital kiosk that allows kids at school to browse and access the library’s full digital collection.
In this round of industry news, learn about the Association for Library Service to Children’s Day of Diversity for children’s literature in collaboration with the Children’s Book Council—plus several grants geared toward enhancing your library’s collection.
The ebook journey has been circuitous for high school teacher librarian Krista Brakhage. Some of the collection she purchased three years ago “disappeared,” prompting her to search for a new ebook purchasing model that works for her budget, students, and staff.
Library Opening $2M Teen Learning Lab; Winners of Censorship Essay Contest; PBS Productivity Tools | News Bites
This month’s industry news features a $2 million Teen Learning Lab launching in Memphis, the winners of a National Coalition Against Censorship essay contest about The Miseducation of Cameron Post, and STEAM mini-grants from ALSC.
September 18 is the first annual Read an Ebook Day, supported by ebook distributor OverDrive. Find out how to become eligible for OverDrive’s free-tablet giveaway.
June’s “Audiobook Month” is just ending, and what better way to extend it than to participate in SYNC’s free audiobook program for teens? Now in its fourth year, this program offers young adults the opportunity to download two free audiobook every week from May 15 to August 13.
ISTE Winners To Be Honored in Atlanta; Ezra Keats Foundation Awards $820K; Qlovi Adds HarperCollins Titles | News Bites
A round up of industry news, including free events, tech upgrades, grants, competitions, and prizes.
What was now only available to public libraries is now open to school libraries. Beloved authors—including Judy Blume, Roald Dahl, John Green, and many others—are now at school libraries’ fingertips.
OverDrive, one of the major vendors of audiobooks to libraries, has announced that it will be moving away from the WMA format and making audiobooks for the library market available solely as MP3s.
McGraw-Hill’s professional’s ebook catalog of more than than 5,000 business, consumer, education, technical, and medical titles is now available for K–12 school libraries and public libraries worldwide on OverDrive. Also, some 700 of McGraw-Hill’s 2012 and 2013 offerings will be offered at special rates.
With OverDrive’s “Netflix-like” streaming video service to libraries and schools, borrowers can watch videos on any tablet, computer, or device with an Internet connection. Streaming content can be sent to any device via email, QR code, or text message.
OverDrive is rolling out upgrades to its digital service for school libraries, with a choice of thematic visual screen settings, more deft searching tools, a new book recommendation system, and social media options, among other features.
If schools want their students to become readers for life, then school libraries should be sure to include fiction ebooks as they build their digital collections, Debbie Swartz, Library Technology Facilitator, Mesquite (TX) Independent School District (ISD), noted during her “Meeting Students Where THEY Learn,” presentation during The Digital Shift: Reinventing Libraries, hosted by Library Journal and School Library Journal.
In a quick reversal of its position on Kindle lending, Penguin on September 26 loosened the terms of its renewed agreement with OverDrive, announced only the day before. The publisher has agreed to allow library patrons to download ebook titles wirelessly via OverDrive’s “Get for Kindle” function instead of, as initially announced, first downloading titles to a computer, and then side-loading those titles to their Kindle classic or Paperwhite using a USB cord.
“Penguin will resume doing business with OverDrive as of this morning,” Penguin spokesperson Erica Glass told LJ on September 25. According to a blog post by Karen Estrovich, collection development manager for OverDrive, 17,000 Penguin ebooks are already “live and available for purchase in OverDrive Marketplace.” Although Estrovich refers to the transaction as a purchase, the books are being offered for a one year term on a one copy/one user lending model.
‘Here Be Fiction’ Launches: New site features ebook fiction available to schools on library-friendly terms
Discovery of ebooks in K-12, particularly worthwhile fiction, has been tough going. A new site, Here Be Fiction, will attempt to remedy that, enabling users to identify quality ebooks accessible to schools on library-friendly licensing terms. Featuring ebook previews and reviews, HereBeFiction.org will enable librarians and others to discover fiction from a wide variety of publishers made available for both individual and multi-user access.
Hachette Book Group today announced that it will once again sell its frontlist ebook titles to libraries, beginning on May 8. Hachette’s entire catalog of 5,000 ebooks will now be available through OverDrive, Baker & Taylor’s Axis 360 platform, and the 3M Cloud Library, under a pricing and licensing model similar to the one employed by Random House.
In his latest “Consider the Source” column, Marc Aronson compares recent developments in digital publishing to hockey’s “change on the fly” technique.