Spotlight on OverDrive

There is a great deal of information and even policy change coming from OverDrive right now.  With social distancing in place, our online resources are more important than ever, and no online resource has a more established footprint with our users than Overdrive.  This “Spotlight on OverDrive” is in place to help you bring us all up to speed in short order.  

Hold redelivery replaces auto-checkout

On March 3hold redelivery went live in Libby and the OverDrive app. Hold redelivery replaces auto-checkout and gives users more options for their holds. Users can now select “deliver later” on an available hold if they’re not ready to read it but want to stay on the wait list. Users can still suspend a hold before a title is ready to borrow as well.

This means users can now manage their holds both before and after they become available. By enabling users to pass books they aren’t ready to read on to the next person in line, hold redelivery helps your library connect more readers to the right book at the right time.


How does hold redelivery work?

After receiving notification that a hold is available, users can:

1) Borrow the title within 3 days.

2) Choose “deliver later” and pass the book to the next person in line for a self-selected period. After the “deliver later” date, the user will receive the next available copy.

3) Cancel the hold.

If the user takes no action during the hold pickup window, the “deliver after seven days” option will be automatically applied as a one-time courtesy. If the user takes no action a second time, their hold will be canceled.

Macmillan Embargo

Backround: Beginning on November 1, 2019, libraries were restricted to a single purchase of any title produced by the Macmillan Publishers, which includes Henry Holt and Company; Picador; St. Martin’s Press; Tor/Forge; Macmillan Audio; and Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, for the first 8 weeks after release.  Another, and more painful, restriction affected consortia libraries particularly.  Titles purchased from Macmillan Publishers would never be allowed to be shared outside of the advantage account they were purchased in. 

Macmillan believed that “library lending was cannibalizing sales” in the critical first 8 weeks of release.

Update:   Macmillan CEO, John Sargent released this brief statement.

March 17, 2020
Dear Librarians, Authors, Illustrators and Agents,

There are times in life when differences should be put aside.
Effective on Friday (or whenever thereafter our wholesalers can effect the change), Macmillan will return to the library ebook pricing model that was in effect on October 31st, 2019.   In addition, we will be lowering some ebook prices on a short term basis to help expand libraries collections in these difficult times.

Stay safe.

The Facts:  Yes, Libraries can now purchase multiple copies of newly released titles.  While the pricing model has been revisited, restrictions remain in place for sharing titles outside of the advantage account.  OverDrive is hoping this too will be lifted.  The cryptic statement and radio silence from the publisher makes it difficult to know if the ebook pricing model will be in place moving forward, or just during the Covid-19 impacted months.

Select Publishers Expand Access to Unlimited

Background: Most ebook and audio book titles are purchased as single use.  These titles can be checked out by only one user at a time, much like their physical counterparts.  Some titles are available to purchase with unlimited use, allowing simultaneous users to check them out at once

Update: In response to Covid -19 social distancing and library closures, some publishers have come to the rescue, providing unlimited access to titles that were purchased prior to March 1, 2020.    Content from the following publishers is now available to readers for unlimited concurrent circulation (simultaneous use) from now until April 30, 2020. Unless otherwise noted, includes the publishers’ full catalogs. Libraries must have purchased content prior to March 1, 2020 to benefit from the expanded usage.

The publishers include: BC-CLIO, Britannica Digital Learning, China Publishing, roup, Guilford Publications, Huawen Tianxia, Lingzi, Jacana Media, Juvenile & Children’s Publishing House, Oxford University Press, People’s Medical Publishing House, Princeton University Press, Rowman & Littlefield, Sourcebooks (select titles only), Springer Nature, Taylor & Francis, Tianjin Booky, TrueLake, Zengogo, ZG Audio

Big Library Read

Background: Big Library Read is an opportunity for those with a valid library card to read the same digital title at the same time without any wait lists or holds. Participating in this event allows your library to offer a new simultaneous use title for community-wide access from your library at no cost. It’s a worldwide digital version of a local book club, and an opportunity for your library to generate more interest in your digital collection beyond the bestsellers. Thousands of libraries have already enjoyed great success engaging thousands of new and current users with Big Library Read.

Visit Big Library Read for information on current or upcoming titles.

Free Classics?

Background: Collections of classic titles are available for purchase with unlimited simultaneous use.  When MHLS libraries began using OverDrive we purchased a core collection of these titles, and currently include 95 of them in our platform.

Update: A collection of  4171 ebooks (Duke) are being made available at no cost for through 6.1.2020. These titles are offered as a 1 year subscription, which can be purchased once the free subscription expires.  The recommendation from OverDrive is that we use collection development practices in reviewing the titles.  In most cases a core of about 400 titles have been added.