The Big Buzz
Right before ALA 2014, we had two big game-changing launches: the OverDrive embedded reader and the Comics Plus: Library Edition subscription.
The OverDrive Embedded Reader, which was launched in 6 libraries for the conference, allows patrons and students to access their OverDrive EPUB eBooks, without leaving the app. App users will no longer have to generate an Adobe ID, nor do they have to download the OverDrive Media Console app in order to access their eBooks. When I was presenting the embedded reader to the librarians, they’d often stop me and ask, “wait, so let me get this straight, no more Adobe IDs?” Exactly! The Adobe ID added one more step to the eBook check-out, and caused a lot of commotion among patrons.
Comics Plus: Library Edition is a personal favorite of mine. With a subscription, libraries have an instantly expanded collection of digital graphic novels and comic books. There are around 10,000 titles available and provide simultaneous checkouts, which allow libraries to offer reading clubs, without running into the problem that too many people have the title checked out.
In fact, one of our booth neighbors wrote Shadowbinders, which is featured in the Comics Plus: Library Edition subscription. I purchased a copy (that Thom was kind enough to sketch Winston in) and was able to show the quality of the images available in the embedded Comics Plus: Library Edition integration as compared to the “real deal” graphic novel.
The Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grant Celebration
Jane and I were able to attend the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grant Celebration, which was a mixing of both publishers, graphic novel & comic book authors/artists, as well as librarians.
There are two Will Eisner Graphic Novel Grants that are awarded to libraries: the Growth Grant and an Innovation Grant.
The Ypsilanti District Library in Ypsilanti, MI won this year’s Innovative Grant for their “Graphic Novels in Healthcare: An Opportunity for Growth”. The project helps expand their medical graphic novel collection and provides information to healthcare professionals to learn how they can use graphic novel so help with patient treatment and recovery.
The Growth Grant recipient was the Lewis & Clark Library in Helena, MT. Their project, “Graphically Yours”, included the development of a graphic novel collection and a list of month-long programs revolving around graphic novels and comic books to help engage their patrons.
Speaking of graphic novels, we were located in the Artist Alley, and got to see so many awesome examples of talent! Below is just two examples of the booths we got to see on a regular basis.
What’s New in the Academic Field?
There was a surprisingly large number of academic librarians who stopped by the booth, wanting to know more about our mobile app service. They were very helpful and provided some valuable feedback to help us learn more about the industry. For instance, it seems that a lot of academic libraries are using Canvas as their learning management system (and mobile campus app provider) and many libraries that offer libguides choose Springshare.
Some Photos from the Conference
Apparently there was an unprecedented amount of registrants queuing up on the 27th! Crazy lines, but it seemed like they moved quickly!
There were so many booths at the conference! I’m a huge fan of the Neapolitan ice-cream sandwich-styled bench that was on display (I can’t remember who was showing it off though).
I was really only able to snap some photos when the booth died down (which was pretty much the beginning and end of the days). But let me tell you, if you are in charge of getting a booth, try to slip in the Artist Alley! There are so many people who come and stop by, plus you get to see lots of cool artwork and graphic novels/comics!
ALA 2014 was so cool that even Elvis came back to party with the librarians!
I’ve never seen the pack-down side of pretty much everything, and I was surprised by how seamless and quick the clean-up of the convention hall was! Jane and I managed to pack the Boopsie booth up in about 30 minutes; in that time, the carpets used for the aisles were all rolled up and several banners were already removed from the ceiling! They are a very efficient crew!
ALA’s Midwinter Conference for 2015 will be hosted in Chicago (I’m from Michigan and love the Great Lakes states!) and next year’s annual conference will be hosted in San Francisco; hopefully we’ll see you there!