Wednesday, June 15, 2011

OverDrive WIN: Is it really?

OverDrive is back in the news, just before the ALA Conference down in New Orleans, giving hints at some new platform enhancements that will supposedly "balance the interests of libraries and publishers" and streamline operations and reduce staff time devoted to both collection development and format tracking.

The platform will be called OverDrive WIN and will supposedly include, among other services:
  • support for the forthcoming Kindle Lending Library, plus all the platforms and devices being used by patrons
  • DRM-free EPUBs
  • Patron-driven acquisitions
  • new collections of always available ebook titles in various genres, including romance, children, young adult
Some of these ventures sound very promising. I know that library staff, and those of us at the consortium level that have to handle support, can hit a wall with some issues. OverDrive is usually pretty responsive in assisting, and it will be good to see them take a more proactive approach with patrons directly.  I like the idea of having more subscription models, but will wait to see if they are going to be more like their current "Max Access" audiobook titles or lean toward HarperCollins decree. Patron-driven acquisitions can be hit or miss, but at least they are describing it as an opt-in feature for libraries.

All in all, I will be cautiously optimistic with this news. I will not be at ALA this year, but am sure I will get all the news from my director and all those who are attending. 

If I find follow up responses to this announcement, I will link to them from the blog.

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