Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Confused About Overdrive? New Webinars Should Help


Over the course of the last five years, libaries have embraced digital content in a big way. In North America, 95% of all libraries have an e-book collection, but there is m ore to a library than just books. Overdrive for example has audiobooks, magazines, music, newspapers, and videos. In order to get libraries educated on their portfolio and to address any questions or concerns, Overdrive has just launched a new webinar series.

webinars are basically live video feeds where a series of people walk you through a concept or an idea and answer questions on the fly. This is something new for Overdrive, in the past they relied on their team to personally deal with libraries.

On May 20th there is going to be a 60 minute series on audiobooks where a live discussion will talk about their merits. Another live video will take place on August the 4th, where they will discuss how to keep young adults engaged with audiobooks throughout the whole year.

Why the infatuation with audiobooks? Well, apprently Overdrive launched their first videos at the end of April when they walked you through the basics of purchasing titles in Marketplace, using OverDrive Read and a live demonstration of the latest features with the OverDrive app.

I have no idea where the archived videos are stored, Overdrive doesn’t seem to have any past content available for viewing yet.

Confused About Overdrive? New Webinars Should Help is a post from: Good e-Reader

Discover New Digital Manga with Jump Start

dance cub

Starting next week, Viz is giving two new manga a Jump Start. Next week, almost simultaneously to the release in Japan, we'll be seeing "Welcome to Shika High's Competitive Dance Club." This will be followed by "Devily Man" on May 25.

As none of these manga have even had their Japanese debut yet, the story material and content are almost entirely unknown, although something named "Competitive Dance Club" should be fairly self-explanatory. "Devily Man" seems to be a oneshot, but with the potential for a further story. However, these two did beat out another manga having its debut this month in Japan called "Lady Justice." Viz Manga chose to run an English translation of the two over "Lady Justice,"so there must be something in them worth seeing.

Jump Start is a program started by Viz Manga in an attempt to bring new and unknown manga to the forefront and help gain recognition. They'll run the first three chapters in Weekly Shonen Jump, and if the response is good, Viz Manga will consider running them as part of their weekly magazine. So if you read the chapters and enjoy them, pop on over to Viz and let them know!

Discover New Digital Manga with Jump Start is a post from: Good e-Reader

Best Inexpensive eReaders for Under $70

It’s amazing how cheap ebook readers and tablets have become over the past few years. Back in 2009 when the Kindle 2 was first released it sold for $369. If you think that’s bad, the Kindle DX used to retail for $489. Now it’s possible to get a good inexpensive, multi-functional ereader for as little […]

Onyx Boox i86 ML vs PocketBook InkPad Comparison Video

I came across a video on YouTube that was uploaded yesterday comparing two 8-inch ebook readers, the Onyx Boox i86ML and PocketBook InkPad. The most interesting thing about the video isn’t the comparison itself, it’s the fact that the Onyx Boox i86 shown in the video, the i86 ML, has a frontlight, and the video […]

The Sad Joke That Is the Hugo Awards

Imagine working your tail off to become a writer, to hone your craft, to connect with audiences who clamor for your work, then let your mind be transported to the bliss of being nominated for one of the most prestigious awards in your genre. Then imagine finding out you were only nominated because a handful of people with a hate-filled agenda rallied behind your work in order to edge out other titles whose compassionate worldview they despise.

It’s like being voted as the Homecoming Queen, only to find out later you’re the butt of a school-wide joke. Except in the case of this year’s Hugo Awards, it’s much, much worse.

In order to be nominated for this award–whose previous winners have included Anne McCaffrey, Isaac Asimov, Ursula K. Le Guin, Harlan Ellison, and George R.R. Martin–titles are suggested by Worldcon members, then tabulated. The highest numbers of suggestions results in the nominees’ lists for each category. The ballots then go on to be voted on, again by Worldcon members, literally anyone who’d signed up to attend any of the conferences in 2014, 2015, or 2016.

Unfortunately, this year’s nominations have allegedly been shanghaied by a small collective of people under the name “Sad Puppies” and a rival group “Rabid Puppies” who are disheartened with the “touchy feely” decline of science fiction into a genre that allows gay couples and women who don’t have giant breasts to exist. The groups have garnered enough voting support to send their favorites to the top of the lists, then have seemingly been quite open about achieving their goals.

Sadly, one of the key members of Rabid Puppies is believed to be the owner and editor of a publishing house that now has several titles on the shortlist. The editor himself, Vox Day, is also shortlisted for two top editor awards. Basically, the groups managed to shift the lists not only towards their own agenda, but towards the financial gain of one of the groups leaders. Day is also one of the names associated with the now infamous Gamergate saga that pitted the video game world against three female game developers and resulted in threats of rape and murder of these women.

The groups’ fight against recognizing diversity in both science fiction titles and science fiction authors has led to a serious backlash against this year’s Hugo Awards, with two authors withdrawing their works from nomination (refusing the honor, essentially), one fan writer nominee withdrawing from the awards, and one presenter stepping down from the awards event itself. The authors took this stance after learning that their works were in the slate of titles pushed by the groups, and have decided that no recognition is better than being used in this way.

The Sad Joke That Is the Hugo Awards is a post from: Good e-Reader

The next Reader’s Advisory project is coming soon!

We're excited to invite your library and/or school to participate in OverDrive's next Reader's Advisory project. The project offers hand-picked titles to help users discover new favorites, leading to increased reader engagement and circulation for libraries.

In March, libraries that participated in the Reader's Advisory initiative and curated the Read-Alike collection for OverDrive's Big Library Read title,Shakespeare Saved My Life, saw growth in circulation for the related titles. A case study of selected libraries and several titles included in the collection showed an average circulation increase of 255% for titles over one month (compared to one month before adding the curated collections).

This round, we will be highlighting two collections: Book Club Picks for Adults and Fantastical Fairy Tales for Kids & Teens.

Next steps
The two collections will appear as Draft collections in the curation interface in Marketplace during the week of May 18th.

Preview the collections here:
Book Club Picks
Fantastical Fairy Tales

If you plan to publish, please be sure to fill any gaps in the collection (or purchase additional copies in anticipation of increased demand) by Friday,May 15th.

We will post in the blog to confirm when the collections are available. Your only action at that time will be to Publish the collection to the desired location on your public-facing website.

To learn more about curating collections, you can:
• Watch a recorded training here (15 minutes)
• Consult the "Curate" section of the Marketplace User Guide

If you have any questions, please reach out to your OverDrive team (you can find the team members and their contact information in OverDrive Marketplace > Support tab in the right column).


Rachel Kray is a Collection Development Analyst for OverDrive

Meet the Raspberry Pi Creative Technologists

In February Rachel Rayns, our Creative Producer, announced and opened entries for the new Raspberry Pi Creative Technologists mentorship programme. We selected final participants from the applicants at the beginning of this month – we’ve got a wonderful group of young people.

Last weekend we held the induction weekend here at Pi Towers in Cambridge, which involved Pecha Kucha presentations (20 slides, 20 seconds per slide) from participants and mentors; introducing the CTs to their new Raspberry Pi starter kits; getting them up and running with their Pis with a Python and GPIO workshop using the CamJam EduKit and the camera module; and a punting trip through the heart of Cambridge.

We then took the group on their second field trip – to Newcastle to visit Maker Faire UK and the Baltic Centre. Next up is a trip to Pimoroni‘s workshop for a hack weekend full of laser cutter fun, and we have plenty more in store.

Meet the Creative Technologists



Andrew is 18, studying Computer Science at Queen’s University in Belfast. Readers of the blog will be familiar with Andrew as the developer of PiNet – he also runs the Northern Ireland Raspberry Jam.

The Creative Technologists are a great bunch – everybody’s very excited, and enthusiastic about life. Through the programme I want to make more interactive stuff people can play with, and learn from.



Bawar is 18, studying Maths, Computer Science and English at a Sixth Form in West London. He found out about the programme the day before entries closed – and stayed up all night making his video (but says it was worth it).

I was amazed to find that behind such a big name – Raspberry Pi – there were normal people running it, and I realised we could grow up to do something big like that.

Connor B


Connor is 19 and works in Operations at Ragworm. With his work he’s exposed to the maker community and regularly attends Maker Faires and hackathons.

I want to put everything I can into motion, so those little crazy ideas in my notepad can finally be realised, and shared with the world



Hannah is 20 and studies Creative Writing and Theatre at Lancaster University. She’s been writing stories since she was 6 and has an interest in exploring video game script writing.

The world is becoming more technical and I think it’s important to become more innovative when combining technology and creativity.



Javier is 17 and Spanish; he lives and goes to school in Corunna in North West Spain. He his first languages are Spanish and Galacian (he also speaks English better than some of we do), and he’s been programming since he was ten, and he likes to disassemble gadgets. He’s also a fan of dogecoin.

I am still a beginner, both in programming and electronics. I would love to learn more and more, so I could bring to life a lot of ideas I have.



Maddy is 17, studying Visual Effects at college in Nottingham. She spent 3 months creating an animated music video for a local band (it’s brilliant). She is constantly dancing.

I wasn’t sure whether I should send my application, but hitting that Submit button was the most important click of my life. This one weekend has honestly changed the entire prospects of my career.



Milton is 21, and works as a web developer in London. He loves code and wants to create worlds within worlds. He has a strange obsession with identifying as a dessert.

I want to learn electronics and research behavioural psychology and explore how people interact with technology.



Owen is 17, studying Science subjects at college in Lewes. He’s lightning fast with a Rubik’s cube (better than Gordon and me), does magic tricks (all the time) and he wondered if we were looking for people like him…

You spend 90% of your time playing with things other people have made – and you have the tools to do it yourself.



Yasmin is 21, and works as a front-end web developer in Devon. She’s a keen and successful Vlogger, a games enthusiast, content creator, storyteller and musician.

It was one of the most inspirational weekends I have probably ever had. It’s so true, it was just amazing.


Yasmin also created this video after the induction weekend – we love it!

We’ll be sharing more information about the Creative Technologists as the programme continues and the participants’ projects are developed. It’s a 12-month programme and we intend to run it again next year. Register your interest and we’ll email you when information about the 2016-17 programme is available.