Thursday, September 11, 2014

Google Offers 2-Hour Refund Window for Paid Apps


In the beginning, Google gave users a full 24-hours to regret an app purchase. In 2010, they updated their policy such that users only had 15-minutes to change their minds (which is a little tight, especially if you like to shop on your desktop and have apps downloaded onto your device from there –this method of shopping can add a few extra minutes to complete installation). As of September 10, 2014, the Google Play Store has become a little more generous and settled on a 2-hour refund window.

While many people enjoyed the original 24-hour window, most are willing to agree that it was overkill. Having 2 full hours to test-drive an app is very reasonable, and it is hard to complain when it beats the 0-minutes offers by the competition!

Some developers may be unhappy with this window being extended, but it should have a positive impact on reviews –with fewer users leaving poor reviews indicating that they are completely dissatisfied.

Google made this change without a press release or much fanfare, but it is laid out in black and white on the Google Play support page.

Google Offers 2-Hour Refund Window for Paid Apps is a post from: Good e-Reader

EU Court Rules Libraries can Make eBooks without Publisher Permission


The highest court in Europe has ruled that libraries can digitize books without publishers permission and distribute them to dedicated reading terminals. The decision rests on exceptions built into the EU Copyright Directive for reproducing and communicating intellectual property. Specifically it says that publicly accessible libraries may make works available at “dedicated terminals… for the purpose of research or private study.”

Under the EU Copyright Directive, authors have the exclusive right to authorize or prohibit the reproduction and communication of their works. However, the directive also allows for exceptions or limitations to that right. 

"The right of libraries to communicate, by dedicated terminals, the works they hold in their collections would risk being rendered largely meaningless, or indeed ineffective, if they did not have an ancillary right to digitize the works in question," the court said.

This is good news for library patrons that simply need to conduct research. However, libraries cannot permit visitors to use the terminals to print out the works or store them on a USB stick, by doing so, the visitor reproduces the work by making a new copy. This copying is not covered by the exception, particularly since the copies are made by individuals and not by the library itself. 

EU Court Rules Libraries can Make eBooks without Publisher Permission is a post from: Good e-Reader

Young People are Reading As much as Adults


The Future of libraries and publishing looks bright, as young people are reading as much or more than adults. A new report by Pew gives us some new data on the reading habits of adults and millennials.

The community and general media-use activities of younger adults are different from older adults. Those under age 30 are more likely to attend sporting events or concerts than older adults. They are also more likely to listen to music, the radio, or a podcast in some format on a daily or near-daily basis, and socialize with friends or family daily. Older adults, in turn, are more likely to visit museums or galleries, watch television or movies, or read the news on a daily basis.

As a group, Millennials are as likely as older adults to have used a library in the past 12 months, and more likely to have used a library website. Among those ages 16-29, 50% reported having used a library or bookmobile in the course of the past year in a September 2013 survey. Some 47% of those 30 and older had done so. Some 36% of younger Americans used a library website in that time frame, compared with 28% of those 30 and older. Despite their relatively high use of libraries, younger Americans are among the least likely to say that libraries are important. Some 19% of those under 30 say their library's closing would have a major impact on them and their family, compared with 32% of older adults, and 51% of younger Americans say it would have a major impact on their community, compared with 67% of those 30 and older.

As with the general population, most younger Americans know where their local library is, but many say they are unfamiliar with all the services it may offer: 36% of Millennials say they know little or nothing about the local library's services, compared with 29% of those 30 and older. At the same time, most younger Americans feel they can easily navigate their local library, and the vast majority would describe libraries as warm, welcoming places, though younger patrons are less likely to rate libraries' physical conditions highly.

While previous reports from Pew Research have focused on younger Americans' e-reading habits and library usage, this report will explore in their attitudes towards public libraries in greater detail, as well as the extent to which they value libraries' roles in their communities. To better understand the context of younger Americans' engagement with libraries, this report will also explore their broader attitudes about technology and the role of libraries in the digital age.

It is important to note that age is not the only factor in Americans' engagement with public libraries, nor the most important. Our library engagement typology found that Americans' relationships with public libraries are part of their broader information and social landscapes, as people who have extensive economic, social, technological, and cultural resources are also more likely to use and value libraries as part of those networks. Deeper connections with public libraries are also often associated with key life moments such as having a child, seeking a job, being a student, and going through a situation in which research and data can help inform a decision. As a result, the picture of younger Americans' engagement with public libraries is complex and sometimes contradictory, as we examine their habits and attitudes at different life stages.

Even among those under 30, age groups differ in habits and attitudes

Though there are often many differences between Americans under 30 and older adults, younger age groups often have many differences that tie to their age and stage of adulthood.

Our surveys have found that older teens (ages 16-17) are more likely to read (particularly print books), more likely to read for work or school, and more likely to use the library for books and research than older age groups. They are the only age group more likely to borrow most of the books they read instead of purchasing them, and are also more likely to get reading recommendations at the library. Yet despite their closer relationship with public libraries, 16-17 year-olds are less likely to say they highly value public libraries, both as a personal and community resource. Older adults, by contrast, are more likely to place a high level of importance on libraries' roles in their communities—even age groups that are less likely to use libraries overall, such as those ages 65 and older.

The members of the next oldest age group, college-aged adults (ages 18-24), are less likely to use public libraries than many other age groups, and are significantly less likely to have visited a library recently than in our previous survey: Some 56% of 18-24 year-olds said they had visited a library in the past year in November 2012, while just 46% said this in September 2013. They are more likely to purchase most of the books they read than borrow them, and are more likely to read the news regularly than 16-17 year-olds. In addition, like the next oldest age group, 25-29 year-olds, most of those in the college-aged cohort have lived in their current neighborhood five years or less.

Finally, many of the library habits and views of adults in their late twenties (ages 25-29) are often more similar to members of older age groups than their younger counterparts. They are less likely than college-aged adults to have read a book in the past year, but are more likely to keep up with the news. In addition, a large proportion (42%) are parents, a group with particularly high rates of library usage. Additionally, library users in this group are less likely than younger patrons to say their library use has decreased, and they are much more likely to say that various library services are very important to them and their family.

Younger Americans' community activities, and media and technology landscapes

As a group, the library usage of younger Americans ages 16-29 fits into the larger context of their social activities and community engagement, as well as their broader media and technological environment. Those under age 30 are more likely to attend sporting events or concerts than older adults. They are also more likely to listen to music, the radio, or a podcast in some format on a daily or near-daily basis, and socialize with friends or family daily. Older adults, in turn, are more likely to visit museums or galleries, watch television or movies, or read the news on a daily basis.

About four in ten younger Americans (43%) reported reading a book—in any format—on a daily basis, a rate similar to older adults. Overall, 88% of Americans under 30 read a book in the past year, making them more likely to do so than older adults. Among younger Americans who did read at least one book, the median or typical number read in the past year was 10.

Younger Americans typically have higher rates of technology adoption than older adults, with 98% of those under 30 using the internet, and 90% of those internet users saying they using social networking sites. Over three-quarters (77%) of younger Americans have a smartphone, and many also have a tablet (38%) or e-reader (24%).

Respondents of all age groups generally agree that the internet makes it much easier to find information today than in the past, and most Americans feel that it's easy to separate the good information from bad online. However, Americans under age 30 are actually a little more likely than older adults to say that there is a lot of useful, important information that is not available on the internet. They are also somewhat more likely to agree that people without internet access are at a real disadvantage because of all the information they might be missing.

Relationships with public libraries

Younger Americans are significantly more likely than older adults to have used a library in the past year, including using a library website. Overall, the percentage of all Americans who visited a library in person in the previous year fell from our 2012 to 2013 surveys, but the percentage who used a library website increased; the same is true for younger Americans. Few library users made use of a library website without also visiting a library in person in that time, however, so overall library usage rates did not increase:

Among those ages 16-29, the percentage who visited a public library in person in the previous year dropped from 58% in November 2012 to 50% in September 2013, with the largest drop occurring among 18-24 year-olds.

36% of younger Americans used a library website in the previous year, up from 28% in 2012, with the largest growth occurring among 16-17 year-olds (from 23% to 35%).

Despite their higher rates of library usage overall, younger Americans—particularly those under age 25—continue to be less likely than older adults to say that if their local public library closed it would have a major impact on either them and their family or on their community. Patrons ages 16-29 are also less likely than those ages 30 and older to say that several services are "very important" to them and their family, though those in their late twenties are more likely than younger age groups to strongly value most services.

As with the general population, most younger Americans know where their local library is, but many are unfamiliar with all the services they offer. However, most younger Americans feel they can easily navigate their local library, and the vast majority would describe libraries as warm, welcoming places, though younger patrons are less likely to rate libraries' physical conditions highly.

Views about technology in libraries

Looking specifically at technology use at libraries, we found that as a group, patrons under age 30 are more likely than older patrons to use libraries' computers and internet connections, but less likely to say these resources are very important to them and their families—particularly the youngest patrons, ages 16-17. Even though they are not as likely to say libraries are important, young adults do give libraries credit for embracing technology. Yet while younger age groups are often more ambivalent about the role an importance of libraries today than older adults, they do not necessarily believe that libraries have fallen behind in the technological sphere. Though respondents ages 16-29 were more likely than those ages 30 and older to agree that "public libraries have not done a good job keeping up with newer technologies" (43% vs. 31%), a majority of younger Americans (52%) disagreed with that statement overall.

About these surveys

This report covers the core findings from three major national surveys of Americans ages 16 and older. Many of the findings come from a survey of 6,224 Americans ages 16+ conducted in the fall of 2013. A full statement of the survey method and details can be found here:

Young People are Reading As much as Adults is a post from: Good e-Reader

Macmillan titles now available to consortia!

Fantastic news! Effective immediately, Macmillan Publishers has made the decision to begin selling their eBooks to library consortia! When you log in to Marketplace, you will now be able to add titles from the likes of Stephen Covey, Lisa Scottoline, Bill O'Reilly, Louise Penny, Jeffrey Archer, Tatiana de Rosnay, Rainbow Rowell and more. You'll also be able to fill in gaps in popular series such as Janet Evanovich's bestselling Stephanie Plum series.

Here are some great lists to get you started:
Top 200 Macmillan Titles
Macmillan Frontlist – Most Recent Popular
Macmillan Frontlist – Adult Fiction
Macmillan Frontlist – Adult Nonfiction

Macmillan Frontlist – Juvenile Titles
Macmillan Frontlist – Young Adult Titles

Macmillan eBooks are Metered Access eBooks available for 52 checkouts or a 24-month timeframe, whichever comes first. Independent library systems will continue the access they previously enjoyed, and are not impacted by this announcement. OverDrive's Collection Development team is available to help build carts of these popular titles that were previously unavailable at the consortium level, so please don't hesitate to reach out if you would like any assistance with your selections.

*Some titles may have limited geographical availability or other restrictions.

Weekly eHighlights: Kids and teens edition

Welcome to this month's eHighlights newsletter for kids and teens. Check back on the second Thursday of every month for a new edition listing some of the best new youth titles added to OverDrive's Marketplace. The featured titles below are some of the best picks, but don't miss the complete list of 200 titles! Click on the link below to see these and even more great purchases conveniently placed for you into a Marketplace cart.

Click here to view the Marketplace cart of these titles and more.




Top Authors: No Annotation Needed

David A. Adler – Cam Jansen and the Joke House MysteryAges 7-8 – Penguin

Holly Black and Cassandra Clare – The Iron TrialAges 9-11 – Scholastic eBook and Books on Tape audiobook; first in a new series by these two blockbuster authors.

P. C. Cast – The Fledgling Handbook 101Ages 12-14 – Macmillan; Companion to House of Night.

Carl Hiaasen – No SurrenderYA – Random House eBook & Books on Tape audiobook; Skink series.

Pittacus Lore – The Revenge of Seven– YA – HarperCollins eBook and audiobook; Lorien Legacies.

Mike Lupica – Fantasy LeagueAges 9-11 – Penguin eBook and Books on Tape audiobook

Rachel Renee Russell – Tales from a Not So Happily Ever AfterSimon & Schuster eBook and audiobook; Dork Diaries 8.

Maggie Stiefvater – Blue Lily, Lily BlueAges 12-14 – Scholastic; Raven Cycle series Book 3.

Tui T. Sutherland – Against the TideAges 9-12 – Scholastic eBook; Spirit Animals series Book 5.

Cynthia Voigt – Book of SecretsAges 9-11 – Random House eBook and Books on Tape audiobook. Mister Max, Book 2.


Picture Books

Tracey Fern, illus. by Emily Arnold McCully – Dare the Wind Macmillan

The true story of Ellen Prentiss, who in the early 1800s learned sailing and navigation from her father, a sea captain. She married another sea captain and served as his navigator when he was given command of The Flying Cloud, one of the most famous of clippers, and this book tells the story of their record breaking journey from New York City to San Francisco in 1859. Kirkus and PW starred reviews.


Sanrio – Hello Kitty, Hello Halloween

Hello Kitty tries to decide on her Halloween costume. This book is in our newly available Fixed Format, which means simply that the digital book displays illustrations in the way that the author and illustrator intended. Check the Marketplace cart linked at the top and bottom of the page for other great Halloween titles as well.


Fiction for Early Readers

Chris Duffy – Fairy Tale Comics: Classic Tales Told by Extraordinary Cartoonists – Ages 8-9

Nineteen top cartoonists each tell a fairy tale—some classic, but some not so well known. Second in the series after the Eisner-nominated Nursery Rhyme Comics. Starred Reviews from Booklist and Publisher Weekly.


Chris Monroe – Bug on a BikeAges 6-7

Rhyming silliness makes this book a hit, but the illustrations just may steal the show. A ladybug hops on his bike and begins inviting friends to come along on a ride, but he won't tell them where he's going. It turns out that it's a birthday party, and the hilarious pictures show the pickle breakdancing, the clams eating buckets of nachos, and a bunny on a skateboard.


Middle Grade Fiction

Lynda Beauregard – The Missing Cuckoo Clockand The Whispering Lake GhostsAges 9-11
Lerner Publishing Group

Books 5 and 6 in the Summer Camp Science Mystery series. This series of graphic novels teaches about math and science while the kids in the story solve a mystery. The first title is about the science of gravity, and the second is about sound. Click here to see all the books in the series.


Stuart Gibbs – Space CaseAges 9-11
Simon & Schuster eBook and audiobook

A whodunit set on the moon, and the details of what life on a moon base would be like are a bonus. 12-year-old Dash Gibson is totally bored in Moon Base Alpha, but when the beloved base physician dies, he is convinced it's murder. Kirkus starred review.



Scott Westerfeld – Afterworlds
Simon & Schuster eBook and audiobook

Booklist, SLJ, and PW starred reviews.

Darcy Patel has finished high school and is accepted at her college of choice, but when her "Hindu paranormal romance" novel that she pounds out during National Novel Writing Month is accepted with a large advance, she decides to move to New York, revise her novel and being the second one. Westerfeld has masterfully written two novels in one, with alternating chapters between Darcy's story, and the story in her novel. Booklist, SLJ, PW starred reviews.


Rick Yancey – The Infinite Sea
Penguin eBook and Dreamscape Media audiobook

The first book in this series—last year's The Fifth Wave, received rave reviews in adult media like Entertainment Weekly and The NY Times Book Review, plus starred reviews from Kirkus, PW, and Booklist. Now, the second book in the series continues the story of Cassie and her brother Ben and friends, who are fighting aliens who have managed to kill 7 billion humans in the first waves of their attacks. Yancey is a Printz finalist and the author of Carnegie medal honor book.



Mike Dillingham et al. – Alaska Dogs and Iditarod MushersAges 12-14
INscribe Digital

True adventures of four famous sled dogs.


Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan, illus. by Brian Floca – Ballet for MarthaAges 7-8

Newly available in eBook, this was an ALA Notable Book, a Kirkus and SLJ Best Book of the Year, and received starred reviews from Booklist, Kirkus, School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, and Horn Book. It tells the story of the creation of one of the most beloved ballets—Appalachian Spring, with beautiful watercolor illustrations.


Yona Zeldis McDonough – Little Author in the Big WoodsAges 9-11

An autobiography of Laura Ingalls Wilder, making it clear that her books were largely autobiographical. Supplemented by recipes, games, and crafts of the time.


S. D. Nelson – Black Elk's Vision: A Lakota StoryAges 9-11

Another ALA Notable Book newly available. This story of Black Elk, who fought at the Battle of Little Bighorn, traveled with Buffalo Bill, and was injured at the Massacre of Wounded Knee, received starred reviews from Booklist and School Library Journal, and won multiple awards.


Jacqueline Woodson – Brown Girl DreamingAges 9-11

The memoir of the beloved award winning author is told in her very recognizable voice: "I am born in Ohio but the stories of South Carolina already run like rivers through my veins.” Written in free verse. Starred reviews from all sides: Booklist, Horn Book, Kirkus, PW, SLJ.


Click here to view the Marketplace cart of these titles and more.


*Geographical rights may vary by title.


Use Google Forms to Create Quizzes, Surveys, and More

Google Forms is one of Google Drive's best-kept secrets. Use it to create quizzes, questionnaires, and other kinds of forms!

The Raspberry Pi Guy Interviews Clive & Gordon

Last month we put out a call for questions for our education and engineering teams. Matt Timmons-Brown, aka The Raspberry Pi Guywas given the chance to interview Clive Beale who heads up our education team; and Gordon Hollingworth who heads up software engineering.

We hope you find that fills a few gaps and enjoyed hearing from us at Pi Towers. Thanks to Matt for filming and a great job editing.

Samsung Launches “Apple Bashing” Campaign


Before I begin, let me assert: I do not hate Samsung and I do in fact like many of their products. Heck, in many ways I actually think that their new Galaxy Note Edge is prettier to look at than Apple’s new iPhone 6 Plus. What I do find disappointing is that the day after Apple’s big announcement, Samsung responds with a series of ads that do little more than bash their competition.

Each of the advertisements centre around a couple of guys, behaving like idiots, that intentionally remind us of Apple Store employees. They mock things like the poor-quality of the Apple live-stream during the keynote at the event this week, and make jokes that are clearly supposed to poke fun at the hype surrounding the products Apple announced.

In reality, the advertisements look ridiculous and feel almost petty. Not only are they so annoying I can barely watch them, they communicate absolutely nothing of any value. Of course Apple is going to demo new products at a -product launch- (it should also go without saying that they would try to generate some excitement and hype while doing so).

Whether Samsung has a better product line isn’t clear and the company comes across as childish. Apple is probably delighted by the campaign: anybody who sees the ads is more likely to hit Apple’s website to see the new products for themselves than they are to become instant Samsung loyalists. In my view, Samsung would have been better advised to produce thoughtful (and classy) advertisements that detail exactly why their products are the right choices –comparing features, offering incentives, and providing actual details.

Curious? Watch the ads for yourself and see if you agree:

Samsung Launches “Apple Bashing” Campaign is a post from: Good e-Reader