Penguin Restores Kindle Lending

PenguinFor those of you who caught yesterday’s post about restrictions on e-books provided by Penguin Group, there has been a positive development. Today,  OverDrive announced that Kindle lending has been restored on all Penguin titles currently held by libraries.  New titles remain unavailable for purchase in any format, but at least this keeps the titles we already own available in all of the expected formats.  We’ll keep you updated as we hear more…

Penguin Suspends E-Book Titles

Book with mouse

For those of you following the ever-present drama surrounding OverDrive, our provider of e-books and audiobooks, a new chapter in the controversy has begun.

Without warning to library staff or users, Penguin Group (publisher) has removed their books from the OverDrive purchasing catalog, as well as voiding all current Kindle versions of their e-books. The publisher cites security concerns.  So, if you received a notice that your requested e-book is available, but you can’t download it – this may be why.

At this point, we are unsure whether this action is permanent.  We do know that previously purchased Penguin titles will still be available in non-Kindle formats, though new titles will be completely unavailable to us through OverDrive.  For more information, please see this Forbes article.

Once again, I find myself apologizing on behalf of the library.  Ordinarily, we like to give our patrons lots of notice when a big policy change is coming.  We also like to be prepared to answer your questions and addresss your concerns.  Unfortunately, changes regarding OverDrive seem to happen overnight, and we only hear about it after the fact.  We’ve been through this before when HarperCollins decided to limit each e-book purchased to 26 uses.  Or,  how about when all of our e-books were suddenly available in Kindle format (good news!), but we had no prior instruction that would have allowed us to effectively manage the deluge of support requests.  Rest assured, we will continue to do our best to pass information along as soon as we get it.  Thank you, dear patrons, for your continued patience.

New Features on OverDrive Mobile

OverDrive Logo

More good news from OverDrive, the service provider behind our downloadable e-books and audiobooks!  Based on patron feedback, they have made some improvements to their mobile interface.  Here’s the rundown:

  1. Patron-defined lending:  Choose your own lending period for each title.  Lending period options include 7, 14, or 21 days.  If you plow through your e-media quickly, a shorter lending period can help to keep you from exceeding the 10 item checkout limit.
  2. Advanced search:  In addition to keyword search, you can now search by title, author, publisher, format, and more!  This targeted approach should save you some search time.
  3. Enhanced searching:  After search results are returned, filters are available to help you narrow down further.  One helpful filter will only show titles with copies available for immediate checkout.  No more scrolling through page after page looking for a book you can download today.
  4. Page numbers:  Search results will now have page numbers so you can estimate the total number of results and keep track of your location within results.

We hope these features make your mobile downloading experience easier and faster than ever!  Enjoy!