OverDrive by the numbers

2017 was a record year for the SOLS shared collection: the consortium was one of only 5 systems to reach over 2 million checkouts. This puts us in the top 14 for all OverDrive libraries and systems worldwide!

Here’s a quick rundown of 2017 by the numbers:

We had 2,337,854 checkouts in 2017 76% of checkouts were ebooks 24% percent were audiobooks Since inception, we’ve had 10,842,372 checkouts Per-circulation costs are now less than 40 cents (anything under $1 is great!) The shared collection is worth $2.7 million USD The collection has 196 member libraries, about half have Advantage accounts Holdings are at 78,657 unique titles and 127,641 copies 6 member libraries now share their own titles via the Advantage Plus plan

Patrons can now see live checkouts from the Dashboard that has been posted on the Download Centre site. In 2018, SOLS staff will work to further promote Ontario authors and literature by curating several collections that highlight these works.

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And the "Together We Read: Ontario" title is....

SOLS and the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) are pleased to announce that the open access title for Together We Read: Ontario will be the 2017 winner of the Trillium Book Award: The Sweetest One by Melanie Mah.  The Sweetest One, published by Cormorant Books, will be open to all participating libraries in simultaneous use format from Oct. 16 – 30.

In total, 236 public libraries in Ontario are participating - The Ontario Library Service Download Centre (all 197 member libraries) +

Toronto Hamilton Ottawa Vaughan Richmond Hill Brampton Windsor Ajax Burlington Kingston Frontenac Libraries on the Go Consortium (Barrie, Innisfil, Middlessex, Milton, Oakville) Simcoe County Library Cooperative The downloadLibrary Consortium (Stratford, Cambridge, Kitchener, Perth County, Region Of Waterloo, Waterloo)

For libraries also participating in OverDrive’s upcoming Big Library Read (Oct. 12 – 26), please note that OverDrive cannot display both titles on your site at the same time. However,  after Oct. 16 the BLR title can continue to be promoted via a curated list, or on your Teens page since it’s a YA title.

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Free Access to Frontier Life for Public Libraries

SOLS has been a long-time member of Consortia Canada, and we are pleased to announce that through negotiations led by Carol Stephenson at the Council of Prairie and Pacific University Libraries (COPPUL), all libraries in Canada now have no-cost access to Frontier Life from Adam Matthew Digital.

Frontier Life is a digital collection of primary sources including material from the Hudson Bay Archives and the Glenbow Archives. It is designed to enrich teaching and research, examining settlement, existence and interactions at the edge of the Anglophone world from 1650-1920.How to Access: Please complete the form at http://www.amdigital.co.uk/frontier-life-canada/ to receive the Canadian-specific URL. There is no charge for access to this product.

Because of the licensing restrictions with the content providers for this collection, the link to Frontier Life should be placed behind the proxy server for off-site users.

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What’s New With OverDrive?

The SOLS shared OverDrive collection saw record growth in many ways last year. Here’s an update + what to expect in 2017:

2016 saw the highest number of checkouts to date, at 2,207,426. This was one of the highest annual checkout totals for any system in North America, and daily usage averages 21,000+ visits per day to the Ontario Download Centre website. We commend all member libraries for promoting the collection and making it a well-used service!

A recent collections review and patron survey revealed:

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3 Reading Apps to Explore

Kaya Thomas
Litsy logo

At BookNet Canada’s recent Tech Forum conference here in Toronto, several developers presented on apps created to enrich the online reading experience. Here are three to watch:

We Read Too: Developed by the amazing Kaya Thomas, We Read Too features over 500 children’s and YA books written by authors of colour that feature characters of colour.  This app is free and is currently for iOS only, but an Android version is expected later this year. Follow @WeReadTooApp on Twitter for updates.   Litsy: Described as “a place to share and discover your favorite books with your favorite people”, Litsy is a social media platform just for readers. Users can create entries (all must be 300 characters or less) in the form of a blurb, a quote, or a review. All are linked back to a book’s title, allowing users to read what everyone has said about a specific book and add it to their to-read list if it appeals to them. Like We Read Too, this app is free, currently iOS only with an Android version in development.   Shelfie: Free for iOS and Android (yay!) Shelfie from BitLit Media provides readers with e-versions of the print books they already own. To get started, use your smartphone or tablet to snap a Shelfie: a pic of your personal bookshelf. Shelfie will then analyze your pic, and compare your titles with its database of over 45 million titles for ones that match. For titles that are a match, Shelfie will offer them to you for purchase (often at a discount) or in some cases for free (depending on the arrangement that BitLit has with the publisher). Once you’re built your library, you also have the option to connect with other users that own the same titles.   
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The Southern Ontario Library Service  is working to make our website accessible to all. We welcome comments and suggestions on access improvements and encourage you to take a look at our updated Accessibility Policy. If you require a particular PDF or word document in an accessible format, please do not hesitate to contact us. We also offer BrowseAloud reading support - click on the orange graphic to the right to launch.  Learn more about BrowseAloud.

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