Building Our E-Collection 2
An hour long conference call with Overdrive last week helped us to get a clear idea of how we will go about developing our download service of e-books and audiobooks and we have now begun the business of finding content for our customised website.
We have been allocated a schools collection development specialist to answer any of our queries and she has been very friendly but her introductory email was a bit puzzling! She taught sophomore students for a number of years at a certain high school and she met LeBron James even though she never actually taught him. So who exactly is LeBron James? Sarah was kind enough to explain that he is a famous basketball player and that sophomores are 15-16 year olds.
What this anecdote does highlight is how USA focussed Overdrive is at the moment for UK customers. A great training session online helped me understand the logistics of finding my way around the “marketplace” but didn’t prepare me for the content of the homepage which featured e-books on the New York Times bestseller lists, showed a tab leading to “Christian Romance” and provided shortcuts to publishers like Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (never heard of them!)
The good news is, once you find it, there are some great titles available to add to a school library collection. After a hit-and- miss browsing session I found Anthony Horowitz’s Stormbreaker and by clicking on the link to Walker books within the bibliographic data of that title found all the Walker books available. In a similar way I found Bloomsbury Publishing and Egmont titles. It would help a lot if Overdrive’s advanced search had an option to search by publisher but it doesn’t!
Sadly many titles that can be purchased by the ordinary customer, in either Kindle format from Amazon or ePub format through online bookshops like Waterstones, are just not available for libraries to buy to loan. This is not Overdrive’s fault, as far as I can see, but due to the well documented disarray in the publishing world (with companies like Penguin not allowing any of their titles to be acquired by libraries and HarperCollins who insist a copy of a title may only be loaned 26 times and then another etext purchased)! I feel Bloomsbury have got the sensible idea by selling their titles to libraries at about 3 times the cost of the paperback version.
The facts are that I cannot currently purchase any books from the top 10 authors borrowed from Kingswood Library last year. Only one of these authors (Jeff Kinney) has not been published in electronic form. The infographic below tells it own sad story!
To be continued…