I remember my first experience several years ago with borrowing audiobooks from the local public library. They had just implemented OverDrive for ebooks and audiobooks. Although I do own both an ebook reader and a tablet computer, I still find myself purchasing print books. I guess I like the experience of wandering through the isles of the bookstores better than browsing online. I do, however, find myself regularly checking out audiobooks from the library so I was interested to explore what was available through OverDrive.
My initial findings were not very affirmative at that time. There were not many titles available in this collection that were iOS compatible and of those that were, they were not titles (or authors) that I was interested in reading. I did notice earlier this winter that more items were iOS compatible, and upon digging, I did notice some titles and authors that I might find of interest to me. I have since enjoyed titles like “Soon I Will Be Invincible” (Austin Grossman, 2007), “Gods Behaving Badly” (Marie Phillips, 2007), “The Diviners” (Libba Bray, 2012), and several Terry Pratchett novels.
I did notice again, that I could not find several popular-press authors that I currently follow nor specific titles that one might consider as seminal works of science fiction. Perhaps this was because of a collection-development practices of either OverDrive or the library system, or maybe my tastes are ‘too eclectic’, I don’t know but I continue to monitor these holdings.
With this in mind, I think about the ebooks currently available in my library collection. As a result of being in the ‘right place at the right time’ last year, I have numerious nonfiction, reference, and literature titles to support the Common Core. These available from several different vendors. When I mention to others at school that we’ve got ebooks, the first thing they ask about are fiction titles for their ebook readers. So with this in mind, I am currently exploring collection development practices for fiction ebooks so that I can better meet this need.
As for OverDrive, I do have the app installed on my tablet computer right next to the Nook app. I am currently teaching an experimental elective for High School Students on using mobile technologies and we will be examining both how to access ebooks from the library and how to create ebooks. I’m looking forward to working with my students on this topic.