Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Peninsula Library System Digital Book Library

Title: Peninsula Library System Digital Book Library

Publishing Company: OverDrive

Summary: The Peninsula Library System Digital Book Library, powered by OverDrive, provides a wide range of eBooks and audio books for library users to download onto their computers, eBook readers or smart phones (through the use of an OverDrive application). The homepage provides multiple categories of books available for the online viewer's perusal, ranging from Fiction, Nonfiction and audiobooks in a variety of formats. It also lists the newest additions to each section as well as including a division of new Children's and Young Adult literature, as well as recently returned eBooks and audio books. Each category is broken down into multiple genres, allowing for easy browsing. In order to access this database, users must first sign into their SMCL account which is created through the ownership of having a library card. Next, after location an item they wish to read, the user must place a hold on the item by typing in their library card number and email address. Once the user receives the confirmation email, they must add it to their cart and download it in the format that their browser supports.

Critical Evaluation: Unfortunately, this database is relatively new to the San Mateo County Library System and thus the collection of books available for checkout and download is subsequently quite slim. However, like everything else in the library, it is for free and is currently expanding despite issues from publishing companies like Harper Collins that is attempting to limit the number of check-outs each eBook can have before it needs to be renewed. Also, the check-out system is rather confusing, especially for the average user who has not had the system explained or demonstrated to them. If the number of steps could be reduced or limited to only the Digital Book Library without requiring the need to access the user's email account, it would make it easier for users to check out books as well as improve the circulation. Another issue with the eBook database is that each eBook is treated like a physical print copy and can only be checked out to one patron at a time. On the positive side, the database allows teens who do not have access to an eBook reader or smart phone to read books on the computer, which could be helpful for school projects when all other physical copies are checked out.

Reader's Annotation: The Peninsula Library System's Digital Book Library allows users to download eBooks and audio books for free onto their computer, eBook reader, or smart phone all for no cost.

Information About the Company: OverDrive is a digital distributor of eBooks and audio books. Founded in 1986, OverDrive currently hosts more than 500,000 titles.
OverDrive deals with both publishers and libraries as well as schools and retailers. Read more about this company at its website.

Genre: EBook database

Curriculum Ties N/A

Booktalking Ideas:
  • Need to read the Scarlet Letter by tomorrow and your classmates have checked out all the library copies? The Peninsula Library System's Digital Book Library has a copy available to check out and read onto your computer or smart phone. While our collection is currently expanding, there are many titles that may catch your eye and allow you to test our newest database.
Reading Level: All ages; Teen items 15+

Challenge Issues:
  • Unlike common thought, you do not need an eBook reader like the Kindle or the Nook to read eBooks. The Peninsula Library System Digital Book Library allows users to download eBooks and audio books onto their computers and read them right off the screen.
Why This Database?: System-wide eBook database

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