More to Stream…

You may have noticed that streaming video compatibility was added to our OverDrive site this week. Over 400 of our OverDrive videos are now available to stream.

overdrive streaming video

The best part about this change is that streaming video is compatible with many more devices than its predecessor, WMV. The streaming format will work in any web browser with HTML5 support (most major browsers). In addition, patrons using the latest version of the OverDrive app will see the option to stream their video within the app, making OverDrive video compatible with most mobile devices.

Browsing, searching, and borrowing will all remain the same.

The OverDrive help pages offer more information about getting started with streaming video.

It is important to remind patrons that streaming video is likely to consume a lot of data, so they may want to be connected to wifi when streaming. (And don’t forget to recommend Hoopla to anyone looking for a  larger selection of streaming – and downloadble! – video.)

The introduction of streaming video is good news for device compatibility, but it also means that the WMV format will soon be eliminated. In addition to WMV, OverDrive plans to sunset the WMA format. Starting on March 3, 2015 only streaming video and MP3 audiobooks will be available in OverDrive. The Digital Resources Committee will be discussing what this means for our patrons and our collections at our upcoming meeting on February 3rd. We’ll be sure to share important information about this topic in a future post.

Charmaine (CLP)

Continue ReadingMore to Stream…

Calling All Readers!

biglibraryreadOverDrive’s next Big Library Read event is coming up in March and OverDrive needs your help deciding on a title. This season’s title will be an adult nonfiction book. Browse through the contenders and cast your vote, then pass the survey along to all the book lovers you know!

Voting is open now and will run through February 1st.

For information about previous Big Library Read events, visit the OverDrive site, our one of our previous posts about OverDrive’sglobal eBook club.”

Happy Voting!

Susan (Coraopolis)

Continue ReadingCalling All Readers!

Educators’ Resources – SIRS Discoverer

SIRS Discoverer is a reference database for elementary and middle school students and educators covering reading, science, social studies, history, health, technology and more.

Located at the bottom of the SIRS database homepage users will find the Educators’ Resources:

  • Product Training
  • Curriculum Tools
  • Community Promotion


These include help videos, free webinars by professional trainers, games for students, and six different guides covering how to search and do citations.

One of the more unique tools is the iThink Skills Tutor, an interactive guide for helping young students write a research paper.


Another useful feature teachers will appreciate is the Spotlight of the Month, which has lesson-ready themes for the classroom.

This month’s Spotlight focuses on National Poverty in America Awareness Month.


NOTE: the following Gale databases also offer lessons plans: U.S. History in Context, World History in Context, Science in Context, and Biography in Context.

– rob (Bethel Park)

Continue ReadingEducators’ Resources – SIRS Discoverer

Data About Digital

The January/February issue of Information Today offers some interesting numbers about libraries and the digital world.

Here are some highlights that might be of particular interest to those of us working in public libraries:

  •  $3.25 – the cost of Killing Patton by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard, in ebook format on Amazon.  In contrast, the cost of Killing Patton in ebook format on OverDrive (for libraries) is $60.00
  • 95% – the percentage of US public libraries that make ebooks available to their patrons.
  • 24% – the percentage of Millennials (age 18-34) who do not subscribe to any type of pay TV.  However, 61% subscribe to a “paid digital video subscription service” such as Netflix or Amazon Prime. What does this mean for us? Let’s target those Millennials when promoting our streaming and downloadable services!
  • 43% – the percentage of “younger Americans” (age 16-29) who “report reading a book—in any format—on a daily basis.”
  • 83.8% – the percentage of U.S. households reporting computer ownership in 2013 (according to a Nov. 2014 report from the U.S. Census Bureau).  74.4% of all households reported Internet use, with 73.4% reporting a high-speed connection.  If you drill down into the report a bit, you will find that our metropolitan statistical area (which includes Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington, and Westmoreland counties) has a slightly lower percentage (by less than 5%) of individual computer ownership, but a slightly higher percentage (also by less than 5%) of individual high-speed Internet use.

All of the statistics are taken from Shirley Duglin Kennedy’s article in the January/February 2015 issue of Information Today, which you can find in MasterFILE Complete.  Here’s the citation:

DUGLIN KENNEDY, S. (2015). By the Numbers Once Again. Information Today, 32(1), 8.

Incidentally, the prices of Killing Patton were taken from the Douglas County Libraries Report Pricing Comparison as of January 5, 2015. ( On the same report, The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks cost $5.39 on Amazon, and  $81.00 on OverDrive.

Mary Lee (Northland)

Continue ReadingData About Digital