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Old 05-14-2010, 09:20 PM   #1
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I wonder how libraries choose Overdrive books

I wonder how our local public library decides what books to get from Overdrive each month. Our library seems to have a very schizophrenic buying personality. Awhile ago, ALL the Grishams showed up in one go. Lately there has been a lot of young adult vampire stuff (and I have held off on buying the new Sookie Stackhouse book because I am sure they will get it). And today I checked again, there are three new books and all of them are about Provence. I sent them an email asking for Stephen King and Terry Pratchett; we'll see. But right now it seems like aside from a fixation for all books vampire (they are fairly consistent about stocking that sort of book) it seems very eclectic. Vampires, Grisham and Provence? That just seems so random. At every place I have ever worked, most people didn't 'get' the techie stuff and the people in charge of it were pretty much in their own little world. It amuses me to picture some random guy in a little cubicle in the basement somewhere going 'yes, we need MORE VAMPIRE BOOKS! Mwa ha ha!' And clicking 'buy now' with glee.

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Old 05-14-2010, 09:40 PM   #2
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The thing I've noticed (and wondered about) at my library is that they seem to have an aversion to carrying all books in a series. Either they'll start with book three or four (when the first one or two are available) or they'll have the first few, skip a couple, then pick it up again. Wouldn't you think that once they start a series, they'd want to complete it?
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Old 05-14-2010, 10:32 PM   #3
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They have a fancy algorithm based on randomly buying best sellers for teen girls. Either that, or they have a random teen girl volunteer making their selections (thought bubble: let's see, I already read the first two Richelle Mead books, my friend has the fourth, let's buy three and five).
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Old 05-14-2010, 10:42 PM   #4
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Romance is very popular with eBook buyers for libraries. That does me no good at all.
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Old 05-14-2010, 11:19 PM   #5
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Romance is very popular with eBook buyers for libraries. That does me no good at all.
I am moving to a place where the used bookstores seemingly stock nothing but formula romance novels. Thank heaven for ebooks!
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Old 05-15-2010, 01:17 AM   #6
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I keep wishing there was a way to donate eBooks to the library...but I can't find a thing about it. Anyone know?
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Old 05-15-2010, 03:31 AM   #7
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You're lucky to be in the US, Nikkie. My wee house is registered in Canada and we're being made to jump through hoops like circus poodles to get our catalogue onto ContentReserve Overdrive. Should be relatively easy for you. And to give them their due, the obstacles aren't put in place by ContentReserve themselves (it's mostly down to US govt red tape), and their staff really do pull out the stops to advise and help. Good luck. Neil
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Old 05-15-2010, 04:35 AM   #8
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I keep wishing there was a way to donate eBooks to the library...but I can't find a thing about it. Anyone know?
There is. Check it out here http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=83551
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Old 05-15-2010, 04:57 AM   #9
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That's great, thanks!
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Old 05-15-2010, 08:56 AM   #10
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When I look at overdrive.com and search for titles, it's as randomly mish-mash as Ficbot says in the OP. Does anyone know if a library can use the Overdrive system to manage DRM and lending, but but their own books and put them into the system? Some well-meaning buyer in Ohio is hardly going to have the pulse on what's important to readers in Winnipeg, Halifax or Toronto.
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Old 05-15-2010, 10:41 AM   #11
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I have found the Chicago Public Library very responsive. One month they "forgot" to order some romance bundles they had typically ordered every month - I emailed them, they apologized, and the books showed up in a few days. Last month, the three romance bundles were only ordered in epub (used to be pdf and mobi). This month, the mobi is back. It is obvious that they are trying to introduce more YA titles - sometimes a whole slew of them show up mid-month. I'm sure this is in response to requests.

I would say the mix is about 50% romance, 30% fiction bestsellers and 20% nonfiction bestsellers, with an Ann Rand thrown in here and there. This month I got Richard Clarke's new book, Cyber War, Carol Burnett and Sara Silverman, Orange is the New Black, plus a mystery about a murder on the red line in Chicago. I will totally enjoy these books while I am waiting for my guilty pleasures!
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Old 05-15-2010, 11:04 AM   #12
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I live in a small county that participates in a statewide digital library.

When I asked about input into the books selected, my library contact advised that we are relegated (due to our small size and probably financial contribution) to being subscribers with no input into the selection process.

The selection is far from ideal but I have found several books worth borrowing.
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Old 05-15-2010, 02:51 PM   #13
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Yep, for the system available here the selection is not that large and as a general, but not invariant, statement it is dominated by __ for Dummies, 3 Steps to ___, and such non-fiction titles as well as currently very popular titles for young adults; with some adult bestsellers in the mix.

This selection also sure has the vampires covered as well. In addition to all of Stephanie Meyer's books, we have Blood Sucking Fiends series, the Vampire Academy series, the Dark Guardian series, the Vampire Diaries series, as well as many vampire and/or werewolf books not yet of series status. Yikes I'm afraid to go out at night!

Tolkien where are you?

I'm hoping that offers to donate e-books to the system will be well received in order to broaden the selection.
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Old 05-15-2010, 11:23 PM   #14
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My Library does have Lord of the Rings. The eBook isn't bad, but for me, 14 days is too short. Sure, I can read 300 pages a day, but I don't want to read Tolkien that fast.... so of course I bought it.
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Old 05-15-2010, 11:39 PM   #15
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Our 2 libraries have a very good selection of the books on Overdrive, but unfortunately for me i was not able to download a book due to some security update error which i could not overcome...
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