|Weekly News Digest
January 19, 2009 — In addition to this week's NewsBreak(s), the editors have compiled the Weekly News Digest, featuring stories from the week just past that you should know about. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today.
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Cleveland Public Library First to Offer EPUB Ebook Downloads
Cleveland Public Library (http://emedia.clevnet.org) became the first public library to offer ebook downloads in the industry standard EPUB format. Readers at both Cleveland Public Library and CLEVNET member libraries can check out and download EPUB eBooks from the library’s download website. The EPUB files are optimized for the Sony Reader and can also be read on a PC or Mac with free Adobe Digital Editions software. More than 8,500 libraries powered by OverDrive (www.overdrive.com) will soon be able to offer ebooks in the EPUB format, along with more than 150,000 titles in audiobook, ebook, music, and video formats, many of which are compatible with both Mac and iPod.
Patron-defined lending periods are also available for the first time at http://emedia.clevnet.org. The new feature allows libraries to offer a variety of borrowing options, such as 7-day, 14-day, or 21-day lending periods. Fast readers can now select a shorter checkout time, allowing them to borrow more titles from their libraries. Patron-defined lending periods, EPUB ebooks, and other upcoming enhancements will be demonstrated by OverDrive at the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting 2009 (www.ala.org/ala/conferencesevents/upcoming/midwinter/home.cfm), Jan. 23–26.
EPUB is a reflowable, XML-based format for ebooks and other digital publications developed by the International Digital Publishing Forum (www.idpf.org) and adopted by leading publishers and technology firms as the industry standard for ebooks. OverDrive, an IDPF member company, claims to be the only library-download service that supports EPUB, and it integrates the format into a single platform for delivering digital audiobooks, ebooks, music, and video to library customers. More information on the EPUB format is available at http://overdrive.com/resources/mediaformats/ebooks.asp.
All EPUB ebook downloads from the OverDrive-powered library-download website are borrowed just like a print book. A library customer can browse a library’s digital catalog for titles, check out a title with a library card, and download the ebook to a home computer. The titles can be transferred from the library customer’s home computer to a Sony Reader PRS-505 (with proper firmware installed) or PRS-700 using the Adobe Digital Editions software. At the end of the lending period, the file automatically expires and Adobe Digital Editions prompts the user to delete the title from his or her computer.
OverDrive powers download media catalogs at thousands of libraries worldwide. To see if your library is a member of the OverDrive network, visit http://search.overdrive.com. OverDrive also operates the Digital Bookmobile (www.digitalbookmobile.com), a high-tech 18-wheeler that travels coast-to-coast raising awareness about free library downloads.
Source: OverDrive, Inc.
Paula J. Hane
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