Literary holidays to celebrate all year long (and the books to read during them)

Each year, our calendars are loaded with days earmarked for celebrating birthdays, national holidays, and anniversaries. These are all wonderful, of course, but we prefer our holidays to have a bit of a literary twist. There are countless literary holidays you can choose to celebrate at the library but to make this a manageable list, we’re going to highlight our favorites here along with some books and collections you can use to celebrate. Time to set some calendar reminders!

literary holidaysJanuary 18: Winnie the Pooh Day

Everybody’s favorite tubby little cubby all stuffed with fluff has been around for ninety years and we celebrate Winnie, Tigger and the whole gang each January 18th, author A.A. Milne’s birthday. Find a collection of stories from the Hundred Acre Wood and a nice tree to read under.

 

February 1: Harry Potter Book Night

The Boy Who Lived is always popular with readers but who doesn’t love a Hogwarts party? If you visit this website from Bloomsbury, you’ll find a downloadable event kit and lots of ideas perfect for decking out your place in the various house colors. Readers old and young alike will love getting lost in the magic of J.K. Rowling’s world.

 

February 3: Take Your Child to the Library Day

Naturally we want you to consider libraries your home away from home. There is so much goodness going on at libraries daily, and Take Your Child to the Library Day is a great time to see all those wonderful programs available.

 

March 2: Read Across America (Dr. Seuss’s Birthday)

Oh, The places you’ll go! We couldn’t make a list of literary holidays and leave out the good doctor. Schools and libraries near and far celebrate the classic books by Dr. Seuss on this day (and all year). You can do the same!

 

April 9-15: National Library Week

This is a week that’s well known in the library world but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t highlight it! This full week of celebrations feature days specifically for discussing the most frequently challenged books of last year (Monday), National Library Workers (Tuesday), and even Bookmobiles (Wednesday)! Pick a book that includes librarians or takes place in the library as a fun/informative read.

 

April 30: El Dia de los Ninos (Children’s Book Day)

El Dia de los Ninos kicks off Children’s Book Week and we can think of no better way than highlighting some of the amazing bilingual works of Pat Mora who has won countless awards for her children’s literature.

 

May 4: Star Wars Day

May the fourth be with you! The Star Wars universe continues to expand and capture the imaginations of fans around the world. Checking out the books is a perfect way to for fans, young and old, to connect with their inner Jedi.

 

June is LGBTQ+ Book Month and Audiobook Appreciation Month

The full month of June offers the opportunity to pick up some of the incredible LGBTQ+ titles out there. Plus, it also happens to be Audiobook Appreciation Month! The choices in June are nearly limitless.

 

June 19: Garfield the Cat Day

Yep, everyone’s favorite lasagna loving cat has his own holiday. Pick up a collection of the comic strip and prevent a case of the Mondays.

 

July 18-23: Hemingway Days

Ernest Hemingway loved Key West and every July, you’ll find a week-long party there in his honor. They host readings, book signings, look-alike contests and much more. You may not be able to make it to Key West, but you can still be a part of the celebration by checking out his books.

 

August 9: Book Lovers day

Technically this is every day for us but still a day worth pointing out.

 

September 18: Read an eBook Day

Join us in celebrating this special day of the year and check OMNI (Online Media of Northern Illinois), one of our largest collections of e-materials, through OverDrive.

 

October 6: Mad Hatter Day

A very mary un-birthday to you! Throw a tea party and indulge in a little nonsense. We may never know why a raven is like a writing desk, but that doesn’t make the riddle any less magical.

 

October: 9-15 Teen Read Week

Young adult novels are loved by readers in their teens and those well beyond. Spend a week celebrating your favorite heroines, trilogies, love triangles and dystopian worlds. Odds are in your favor that you’ll find an old favorite or a new obsession.

 

November: National Novel Writing Month

NANOWRIMO is the time of year when professional and aspiring authors do their best to write a full novel in one month. It’s become a way for writers to bond and test themselves and it has spawned many bestselling novels including Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Pick up some of these books or write one of your own!

These are just a few of the great literary holidays we’ll be celebrating. What are some of your favorites?

By Adam Sockel, January 4, 2018, first appearing on OverDrive Blogs
Advertisements

5 Benefits of Listening To Audiobooks on Libby (from OverDrive)

Let’s talk audiobooks – mainly because we love them, BUT ALSO because it is National Audiobook Month. We would like to introduce (and re-introduce) audiobook listeners to all the incredible benefits of using Libby as their audiobook listening App. Check out the list below to help you with the listening experience all over again:

1) All you need is a library card (It’s free!)

Audiobook lovers are well aware that it can be quite costly to build up a personal audiobook library. So why not highlight your digital collection of popular, classic, and new releases that are available in the audiobook format at your library branch? Keeping an audiobook curated collection year round is a great way to not only attract your current readers to further explore your digital library, but it will also introduce new Libby users to the diversity of your digital collection.

All_You_Need_Is_A_Library_Card.gif

2) Display Progress

The easiest way to keep readers on track with budgeting their listening time is to make them aware of our ‘Display Progress’ feature. This will ensure that readers listen at a pace that will allow them to finish the audiobook before it is automatically returned to your digital collection. In the audiobook player, readers can see the total time left in the audiobook by default. By Tapping the Time Left label (above the timeline) they can cycle through different time displays: total time elapsed in the audiobook, time left in current chapter, and total progress as a percentage.

where-am-i-gif.gif

3) Change Playback Speed

As we all know, readers read at different paces. This is the same for audiobooks. One of the moste beloved features in Libby is that the audio playback speed ranges from 0.6x-3x.

4) Return Titles Easily

The titles are automatically returned to the library. Listeners don’t have to worry about late fees and if they finish the title early, they can return the audiobook before its due daye for the next person on the wait-list.

5) Set a Timer

No one likes to lose their place while reading. Whether readers are listening to aid in falling asleep or catching up on their latest read at lunch, this feature will help them with managing their listening time and ensure they don’t miss a word. Tapping the moon icon at the top right of the audiobook player allows you to set or stop the sleep timer. This will give readers an option to select a sleep timer between 5-120 minutes or to stop at the end of the chapter. Libby also remembers sleep timer choices. That way, readers can just tap the moon icon to set the same timer again.

giphy (5).gif
Disclaimer: Reading is reading even if the reading is listening to someone else reading.

Libby_Inro.gif

For more features available with Libby visit our help page here: Meet Libby.

Not reading with Libby yet? Download our new one-tap reading app, today!

By Rickie Mascia, OverDrive Social Media Specialist, June 21, 2018, first appearing on OverDrive Blogs

3 EASY WAYS TO CELEBRATE NATIONAL POETRY MONTH AT YOUR LIBRARY

by Rickie Mascia & Jill Grunenwald, OverDrive Marketing & Communications Specialists, April 10, 2018, first appearing on OverDrive Blogs

April is National Poetry Month, a literary celebration of a genre that supports expression, encourages feelings, and challenges readers to think beyond the words on a page. Inaugurated in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets, National Poetry Month is observed by thousands of libraries, schools, and publishers around the world. Readers near and far are invited by their communities to celebrate with poetry readings, festivals, writing workshops, and so much more. Below are a few simple tips on how you can help your readers discover the beauty and wonder of poetry through your digital collection.

 

  1. Curate A Poetry Featured List

Remembering the first poem you ever read may be difficult (CC: Mother Goose), but a reader always remembers the first poem that made them think a little differently. Bring poetry to the forefront of your digital collection by featuring some of your staff’s favorite poetry ebooks and audiobooks.. Poetry is a genre that can be intimidating to some readers, curating a list with the classics or modern poetry recommendations is a great way to introduce readers to new content and help them open their mind to new concepts, cultures and understandings. (Ex: OverDrive librarians curated a list to help introduce young adult readers to the genre featuring “Our Favorite J/YA poetry”.)

 

  1. Celebrate Poem in Your Poet Day

Poem in Your Pocket Day 2018 is on April 26 and is part of National Poetry Month. On this day, select a poem, carry it with you, and share it with others at schools, bookstores, libraries, parks, workplaces, street corners, and on social media using the hashtag #pocketpoem.

 

  1. Get Social With Poem Excerpts:

Use your social media profiles to celebrate with your followers! Grab readers attention with excerpts from your staff’s favorite poems. This is a great way to use your expertise and personal recommendation to help direct readers to a title they may not have searched for, all while raising awareness of poetry. Additionally, this creates an interactive space for readers to connect with your staff outside of the library walls. For example (feel free to use):

 

YESTERDAY I WAS THE MOON:

 April is the cruellest month, breedingLilacs out of the dead land, mixingmemory and desire, stirringDull roots with spring rain. (8).png

 

THE WASTE LAND:

 April is the cruellest month, breedingLilacs out of the dead land, mixingmemory and desire, stirringDull roots with spring rain. (1).png

 

ELECTRIC ARCHES:

 April is the cruellest month, breedingLilacs out of the dead land, mixingmemory and desire, stirringDull roots with spring rain. (4).png

 

WHEN I GROW UP I WANT TO BE A LIST OF FURTHER POSSIBILITIES

 April is the cruellest month, breedingLilacs out of the dead land, mixingmemory and desire, stirringDull roots with spring rain. (9).png

 

THE SUN AND HER FLOWERS:

 April is the cruellest month, breedingLilacs out of the dead land, mixingmemory and desire, stirringDull roots with spring rain. (5).png

 

I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS:

 April is the cruellest month, breedingLilacs out of the dead land, mixingmemory and desire, stirringDull roots with spring rain. (6).png

 

For more inspiration, check out the 30 ways to celebrate national poetry month list created by The Academy of American Poets.

Learn Your Library Resources – Libby (by OverDrive)

12 TIPS FOR GETTING THE MOST OUT OF LIBBY

by , S 

Readers around the world have fallen in love with our new app Libby. The new interface, simple one-tap experience and all-in-one shelf have made finding your next great read easier and faster than ever. Libby is designed to enable our developers to continuously improve existing features and add new ones, which means there is always something new to discover in the app. Here are our favorite things you can do in Libby that you might not have known about:

Libby

Adjust the playback speed 

Switching between common playback speeds is as easy as tapping small clock icon at the top of the screen when you’re listening to an audiobook. These include standard breakdowns between 1-2 times normal playback speed. You can also adjust the playback speed by tapping and holding the clock icon and then dragging it down the screen with your finger until you find your preferred speed. Speed listeners will be excited to know that you can go all the way to 3 times normal listening speed.

Displaying book progress

Did you know you can see exactly how long you have left in the chapter you’re reading, how many pages you have left in the book and even what percentage complete with the book you’re currently at? In the reader, you’ll see your total book progress by default. Tap the page number label (above the timeline) once to show the pages left in the current chapter. Tap the label again to show your total book progress as a percentage. The same can be done with audiobooks. Tap the [Time] Left label (above the timeline) cycle through different time displays: total time elapsed in the audiobook, time left in current chapter, and total progress as a percentage.

Peek at the Page Count

You can also quickly see what page your on (and out of how many total) by swiping up and holding the screen while in reading mode. The chapter you’re on and page counts will appear. Simply remove your finger from the screen to have it disappear.

Tapping underlined texts

There are lots of great options available in Libby that you can find by tapping any text underlined with dots in the app. For example, tapping the underlined links on your Loans page will let you filter your loans (to books, audiobooks, or all loans) and sort the page (by due date, date added, or alphabetically by title or author).

Tagging titles

Tags help you organize titles you’ve read, want to read, loved, or hated. They’re for your personal use (and not shared with your library or OverDrive). You can add as many tags to each title as you like.

Tap Tag on a title’s details page and select one from the list. Create your own tags (including emoji tags) by tapping plus sign.

Find all your tags on the Tags screen of your Shelf. From there, you can tap a tag to view it, rename it, delete it, or untag titles.

Reversible Jackets

Once you borrow or place a hold on a title, it’ll be easy to spot in search results. The cover image will flip to the right side.

Also Available As

If your library has a title as both a book and an audiobook, you’ll find a handy link on its details page that will take you to the other format. This is a great tool for readers who enjoy both eBooks and audiobooks or those who don’t mind which format they use and just want the first available.

Also available as...

Sample any book in the collection in one tap

Perhaps my favorite thing in Libby is the ability to sample any title with just one tap. Simply tap the jacket cover of a book you’re curious about and hit “Read Sample”. This will allow you to read up to 10% of any book in the library collection whether there are available copies or not. This provides a similar experience to browsing the physical library and reading a few pages before deciding to borrow a book or not. You can sample titles even if you don’t have a library card which makes this a perfect marketing tool to show potential new users about your digital library.

Wait List information

Readers can get a full understanding of how long the wait may be for a certain title before and after they place a hold on an unavailable title. By clicking on the small dots on the hold, you can view the approximate wait time, your place in line, how many copies are being used, if any copies have been added and how many people are waiting per copy of the title. This helps you determine whether or not to place something else on hold, or to borrow another title while you wait.

Changing your reading settings

Want to change the size or style of your phone? Prefer reading in night mode or sepia tone? Want to enlarge your font or use our OpenDyslexic font? In the reader, go to the menu > Reading Settings and you’ll be able to adjust any and all text options you like.

Sorting and filtering your searches

To set sort and filter preferences for all searches and title lists:

  • Tap the plus sign to update preferences like availability, language, and audience. Then, tap Apply Preferences.

To sort and filter a specific search or title list, you can:

  • Tap the format and genre links above your results.
  • Tap Refine above the first result, then choose Sort by or any of the other refinements.
  • Tap the plus sign to search within results.

You can also do an advanced search by tapping the more button at the top of your library page. This will provide search options including series, pre-release titles, date added and even Read-alongs.

Change Libby’s Appearance 

You can change Libby’s appearance simply by tapping anywhere her icon shows up. Simply tap and select your preferred appearance!

Interested in learning more tips about Libby? Be to check the Tips & Secrets button in the right navigation menu frequently to see what’s new with Libby.

Books for our favorite 5 fall days and moods

by , October 13, 2017, first appearing on OverDrive Blogs

By: Sydney Kalnay, Training Specialist.

It’s not a secret to anyone who knows me that fall is my favorite season. It’s ironic that I live where fall exists only in a finite, miniscule window between SPF 9,000 and shoveling for dear lifeso I have to pack as much leaf crunching, apple spicing, and light jacket-wearing as possible into about 3 weeks.

I think what I love best about fall is its wildly vacillating moods. Fall is, in almost every way, my twin-soul season — blue skies and grey, days sun-warmed and rain-chilled. I’m a pragmatist by nature but an optimist by policy, and no other season but fall can contain that juxtaposition with as much grace and adaptability.

Because my attitudes shift from moment to moment, I am always grateful to the books that accurately mirror my moods and that follow me up sun-dappled peaks and down into the shadow valleys.

Here are some of my favorite types of fall days, and the books I lovingly turn to throughout the months of October and November:

Rainy and Gloomy

Rainy and gloomy

All summer long, I want the brightest stories – laugh-filled romps and romances whose plots tie up neatly with a shiny ribbon. But come fall, I look for every heart-wrenching, epic, excruciating adventure I can find. I want to spend my dark-at-5 o’clock evenings following characters into battle against demons, both real and metaphorical.

For this, I turn to Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke & Bone so I can squeeze my eyes shut and wish I, too, were Karou with her lapis lazuli hair, family of monsters, and otherworldly lover. While the rain batters the windows of my attic reading room, I dream of sketchbooks overflowing with fat, colorful portraits, having a string of cheap wishes around my neck, and inheriting a wishbone containing the mysteries of my past, present, and future.

(PS – I get the same supernatural adventure vibes from Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Boysand the Grisha series by Leigh Bardugo. Oh, lovely ladies of adventure, how I adore thee!)

Crunchy and Fiery

Crunchy and Fiery

The unicorn of falls days is the one that’s cool enough for tights and scarves but warm enough to frolic through pumpkin patches without hypothermia. On days like these, it’s easy to believe in true love so I like to revisit Rainbow Rowell’s Attachments where I can revel in one of the sweetest slow burn romances in fiction history while at the same time celebrating a lovely Bechdel-test-passing best friendship.

Bonus: Rowell’s clear preference for autumn is revealed in this fantastic passage:

“October, baptize me with leaves! Swaddle me in corduroy and nurse me with split pea soup. October, tuck tiny candy bars in my pockets and carve my smile into a thousand pumpkins. O autumn! O teakettle! O grace!”

(If I feel like a side of melancholy with my romance instead I will re-read The Time-Traveler’s Wife, warding off the inevitable ugly cry by jamming Milk Duds into my gaping maw.)

Spooky and Creaky

Spooky and creaky

Nothing remotely supernatural has happened to me in real life, but I love any kind of media that explores the dark underbelly of the known world. And because my own imagination produces goblins, ghosts, and ghouls more frightening than most of what I can see on TV, books are my preferred delivery method for thrills on the autumn days when I most need a scare.

I can certainly revisit books and feel some of the same joyful dread I felt during an initial read, but there’s nothing that replaces the first moment you sense something terrible and wonderful creep across the page and into your head.

Recently, I took My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix on a trip and spent three evenings figuratively huddled under the blankets with a flashlight, cringing with horror-tinged glee as the story unfolded. The author nails the perfect sense of 1980s creepy nostalgia as accurately as the Duffer Brothers did with Stranger Things – the book even has bonus, interactive features to engage all your senses! If you like stories about big hair, best friends, AND demonic possession, this is for you.

(On that same trip, I tried to stave off my claustrophobia on the World’s Tiniest Jet ™ by devouring Anya’s Ghost, a gorgeous graphic novel about misfits and murder. Unfortunately for me, the titular ghost is discovered down a well so I was perfectly aware of my surroundings at all times.)

Sleepy and Cozy

Sleepy and cozy

Mid-October, I turn hitting the snooze button (and the subsequent dash to ready myself for the workday) into an Olympic sport. If I leave my bedroom window open a crack, I can huddle under the blankets for hours upon hours, willing the coziness to dissipate just long enough to get warmer socks, more tea, and my fully charged iPad before clambering back under the covers again.

While this does nothing for my morning commute, it does everything for my autumnal state of mind. To bolster my thoughts of reading, snuggling, and general homebody-ness, I turn to books about a very fall subject: Hygge (pronounced HOO-gah), the Danish art of being cozy.

One of the best-received titles on the subject, Hygge: The Danish Art of Happiness by Marie Tourell Søderberg, welcomes you to discover a state of mind which is “like a compass, steering us towards small moments that money cannot buy you, finding magic in the ordinary.”

(If the thought of adding more blankets, cats, books, and tea to your home makes you break out in clutter-hives, however, I suggest an antidote: Make Space by Regina Wong, a lovely primer for getting rid of the excess in home and heart!)

Wintry and Windy

Wintry and windy

Speaking of decluttering, my actual dream apartment is a treehouse, I kid you not. I crave open space like some folks crave pumpkin spice lattes. I spend many weekends delightedly dividing my surplus stuff into “giveaway” and “throwaway” piles. Once the leaves have fallen, though, I start to panic that maybe I have gotten rid of too much and I start to crave the kind of protection against the onslaught of winter that only a glorious, ambitious series can give me.

Years ago, I fell hard for one of the greatest book series of all time, His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman. Now, twenty-plus years later, as the comfortable chill of October turns to the bitterness of November, I will be insulating myself with the next title in the series, The Book of Dust, set to release on October 19th and available for pre-order from OverDrive Marketplace.

I may not be ready for snow, but I am definitely ready for talking snow bears – and the brave, fierce, urchin girls who call them friends.

(Not to break tradition here but I have no other, better titles to recommend besides the original trilogy which, in my opinion, soars higher than the spires atop Hogwarts itself. – fight me, Potterians!)

Whatever fall days you love best, my crisp, spooky, gloomy, cozy, epic wish is for you to find titles that match your every mood and take you happily into the brisk days of winter. Happy reading!

The ones that really stick with you…

9 Favorites

By: Adam Sockel, co-host of the Professional Book Nerds podcast, and first appearing on OverDrive Blogs 

Books, as a whole, have the ability to shape our childhoods and help establish our literary preferences but sometimes a book scene becomes so ingrained in our minds that it becomes part of who we are.

Here are some other of Team OverDrive’s favorite book scenes (Warning: some potential spoilers for older books ahead).

It’s not over yet!

If you are a student or the parent of a student the beginning of school in late August (or, if you’re lucky, early September) can feel like the end of summer.

BUT IT’S NOT! Don’t short yourself! You still have a whole month left!

Here’s a list from OverDrive tailor made to remind you that the season isn’t over yet, a list of books about summer, for summer.  

Summer Banner