Win a New Reading Device this Holiday!

This Christmas holiday the learning commons is hosting a device raffle to promote our e-book and audiobook collection!  Each time you borrow a book from Overdrive eLibrary your name will be entered into a raffle, and the grand prize is a Kobo eReader!  The more books you read the more times your name will be entered!!

  • Library patrons can join in anytime between December 7th and December 31st, 2017 just by clicking on an e-book and borrowing it in Overdrive
  • Prize:  Kobo Aura eReader
  • The prize winner will be announced the first week of January 2018 on this blog!
  • For more details on using Overdrive go here.

Happy Reading!!

Blessings from the learning commons team!

Why Ebooks as a digital tool?

As we start our school year we are looking for tools which will help our students meet the new inquiry method and help transition them into the 21st century.  Did you know we had a huge collection of e books, and audiobooks for students K-12 available in our learning commons?

Overdrive recently blogged about why you should choose e books when you approach the new school year. Here are their thoughts:

How eBooks support your current curriculum: by Christina Samek, Overdrive specialist.

” We make it easy to talk to students about eBooks. OverDrive’s custom school platform allows for a quick introduction and most importantly, a quick launching pad into individualized reading. Because it’s reading, you aren’t introducing a new skill into your classroom, you are enhancing an already necessary skill.

eBooks are an excellent, approachable gateway into a lifelong relationship with technology. A tool that fosters reading—a skill essential to success in any subject—is good technology. OverDrive’s catalog provides thousands of titles to choose from, whether it’s for your beginning readers or those preparing for college. We provide service to the full K-12 space. Our eBooks are easy to use and come equipped with key features such as an exportable note-taking and highlighting tool, a built-in dictionary, and a dyslexic font. We can serve your high achievers and your struggling readers on the same, easy-to-use platform. We connect to your existing systems to ensure your students access our eBooks using the same credentials they use every day.  OverDrive helps you individualize the learning experience!

Reading is at the core of what you’ve been teaching all along. English/Language Arts, History, and yes, even Mathematics. Great reading comprehension lends itself to all facets of your curriculum. The benefit of digital reading allows your students to absorb content at their own pace. Your high achievers can push forward without worry they’ll be judged for wanting to. Your struggling readers can take their time and utilize the built-in tools to increase their comprehension, without worrying they’ll be judged for lagging behind. It’s simple, built-in differentiated instruction. Learning behind a screen creates an innate sense of privacy. It lets your students explore their learning capacity on a device like a SmartPhone or tablet, some of their first and most familiar learning tools in today’s world.

Start talking to your students about eBooks. We have audiobooks, too, because reading is reading. We have dedicated analysts to help you build a content list to match all of your curriculum needs. We have time to help.

Make eBooks the first dip into the waters of integrating technology in your classrooms. Start with reading, because, didn’t we all?”

I would also add that with the new BC Ed plan which allows for so much choice in how our students meet their learning needs, Overdrive will help equip our students with an inquiry approach, using a format that meets new technology standards.  An e or audio book can be in your hands as soon as you get those passwords :).  Please note students under the age of 13 should always be supervised when borrowing materials on Overdrive.

If you would like to get started using our Overdrive e library please contact Shandra Wiebe for your passwords and then for training/research/curriculum ideas Pippa Davies.

Blessings from your learning commons team!


Summer Reading Basics

Literacy skills are essential for student’s success, and we hope that by the end of third grade our students are understanding the written word, and reading with some fluency at grade level.  How do we make sure our students don’t fall behind?

As accountable parents and teachers we provide intervention where necessary, and try to close the gaps. Preventative factors are critically important in the early years if we want to make sure we don’t have to intervene.  Effective teaching instruction in the K-2 reading years is vital if we want to make sure our students gain the foundational skills needed for reading in the upper grades.

If we wait until our students show up in grades 4 and above, with discrepancies in their phonetic ability we are failing to prepare them for the high school years.  In grade 4 students should be reading books that have multi-syllable words.

Here are some summer reading tips for helping your younger K-2 student stay on task over the summer and beyond! Remember that for struggling students accelerating skill development to reach grade level expectations takes a high level of instructional intensity.  Offer lots of rewards and treats on a weekly basis!

1.  Log into our Overdrive E Library for some amazing picture books that now come with embedded audio content.  We have recently ordered many of the critically acclaimed Sonlight picture books.  If you have a student with reading difficulties make sure to turn on the Dyslexic font in the settings menu.  To find picture books go to our subject menu and click on Picture Books.

2.  Do daily practice with your Reading Eggs and RAZ Kids Subscription to ensure phonics, and reading comprehension is up to scratch.  Record your student reading at the beginning of the summer on RAZKids and then at the end of summer share with your teacher as a progress/assessment tool!  Contact Beth Johnson if you need to sign up for the coming year!

3.  Include multiple texts including manuals, graphs, infographics, video, and websites, signs and non-fiction to encourage your students’ wide interests.  Discover the awesome subscription Pebble Go for students K-4 to learn more about science and social studies.

4.  Play word games in the car on holiday.  Do you remember those old fashioned games like name the animal?

The Animal Name Game

Ages 6 and up: One person names an animal. Then each person in order has to name another animal (no repeating!) that starts with the last letter of the previous animal named. There are no winners or losers in this game. With older children, try the game with TV shows, or geographical categories such as cities or countries.

Twenty Questions

Ages 4 and up: One person secretly thinks of either an animal, mineral, or vegetable. The other players then take turns asking yes-or-no questions, such as “Can it fly?” or “Does it grow in the ground?” After the players have asked 20 questions, each player gets a chance to make a guess.


Ages 4 and up: A child whispers a story to someone else in the car. That person whispers the same story — as close to a word-for-word recount as possible — to a third person, and so on. The last person to hear the story repeats it out loud so everyone can hear. Invariably, some of the story will have been lost in the translation, and the resulting garbled message usually inspires a good laugh.

The Alphabet Game

Ages 5 and up: One person chooses the right-hand side of the road, and someone else the left. Each player looks for letters of the alphabet that appear on signs or license plates on their side. The object of the game is to point out all the letters of the alphabet in order, from A to Z. The first person to spot the entire alphabet wins.

Help your student P.I.C.K. out the right book for their reading and interest level using this article for guidance!

If your student still needs intervention make sure to contact your teacher who can get your student the required scaffolding with diagnostic testing.  This method of intervention will help match your student to the right materials and his or her unique style of learning.  Feel free to contact me if you need suggestions for your student’s reading materials!



Summer time and the books are calling – Summer Reading Contest!

Fish are jumping and the weather is fine:)

 YES… it is finally time to take a break from studies, head outdoors and celebrate the beauty and majesty of British Columbia and Alberta!  Before you head out on holidays please remember that the best way to read this summer is to log into your Overdrive E library, and find your e-book or audiobook of choice.  Overdrive will be open all summer long to help your students reach new reading targets, and may also to help you prepare for next year with some amazing curriculum choices.

See below for details about our Summer Reading Contest!

Pippa and Natalie would like to share their 3 favourite reads with you to invite you to enjoy Overdrive this summer!


The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak.  Middle school and up. The extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller that is now a major motion picture, Markus Zusak’s unforgettable story is about the ability of books to feed the soul. It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still. Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster-father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement. In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak, author of I Am the Messenger, has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.

Racing Home by Adele Dueck We read this book as part of our grade 6-8 book club and all agreed this was the favourite along with Catboy (Eric Walters)  from the Red Cedar awards.

My favourite for all in the early elementary has to be Winnie the Pooh by A.A Milne! Come with us to an enchanted place, a forest where Winnie-the-Pooh lived with Piglet, Rabbit, Owl, Eeyore, Kanga, and Little Roo. The stories are about Christopher Robin and these good companions having wonderful times getting in and out of trouble. It is all very exciting and, really, quite thrilling no matter how young or old you may be.


The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White A beautiful story on audiobook for your listening pleasureGrades K-3 “Louis is a Trumpeter Swan, but he has no voice. Though he is frightened when his father explains to him that he is different from the other cygnets. Louis is resourceful and determined. Leaving his wild and beautiful home, he finds a young human friend, Sam Beaver, who helps him learn to read and write. When he returns to his lake, Louis discovers his education isn’t enough: The beautiful swan he loves, Serena, can’t read his declarations of love–and he can’t trumpet them. Louis’s resolution to win the swan of his desire launches him on an adventure that will take him far from home and lead where fate–and love–have a few surprises in store. With humor and lyric beauty, E. B. White tells a timeless tale of love, courage, and freedom that will capture the imagination of every listener.”

Gone Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright This was an all-time favourite read aloud in our family! We have it in the Overdrive library in audiobook form. Wonderful for those long summer car trips! Great for grades 3-6. “Enjoy the adventures of eleven year-old Portia, who together with her younger brother, Foster, spend a summer with their cousin, Julian, engaged in more than the usual summer pastimes of sun, fun and games! The three intrepid children soon discover a fascinating abandoned summer resort, consisting of deserted, crumbling Victorian summer homes surrounding a vanished lake, which is now a swamp. But, best of all, they discover and befriend an elderly eccentric brother and sister who tell them the story of “Gone-Away Lake”!”

Summer of the Monkeys by Louis Rawls Another wonderful summer read! Grades 4-8 The last thing a fourteen-year-old boy expects to find along an old Ozark river bottom is a tree full of monkeys. Jay Berry Lee’s grandpa had an explanation, of course–as he did for most things. The monkeys had escaped from a traveling circus, and there was a handsome reward in store for anyone who could catch them. Grandpa said there wasn’t any animal that couldn’t be caught somehow, and Jay Berry started out believing him . . . But by the end of the “summer of the monkeys,” Jay Berry Lee had learned a lot more than he ever bargained for–and not just about monkeys. He learned about faith, and wishes coming true, and knowing what it is you really want. He even learned a little about growing up . . . This novel, set in rural Oklahoma around the turn of the century, is a heartwarming family story–full of rich detail and delightful characters–about a time and place when miracles were really the simplest of things…

Finally, I would also say that a great non-fiction book to enjoy over the summer would be a Thornton Burgess’ book The Burgess Seashore book for Children. Read about all of the seashore creatures in story form infused with facts about each one. “Familiar Burgess characters Danny Meadow Mouse, Jimmy Skunk, and Reddy Fox explore every nook and cranny of the shoreline and learn first hand about the habits and habitats of spider crabs, sea cucumbers, sand eels, and that strangest of little fishes—the sea horse. Veteran storyteller and nature lover Thornton W. Burgess provides fascinating information to young readers as he describes coastal areas along the Atlantic Ocean. Along the way he weaves the area’s many life forms into an entertaining tale that’s also an illustrated guide to the seashore’s natural history.”


What are your favourite reads?  We would love to hear your reviews of e or audio books which you may read over the summer:)

All summer long as you read a book from our Overdrive Library,  come back to this post and write a review in the comment section below. We will then pull a name randomly from all the reviews that we receive, and announce a winner in September. The prize will be a Kobo e- Reader, that will enable you to read more Overdrive e-books!!

We pray that the Lord will bless you and keep you this summer and offer a much-needed rest!

Blessings from the learning commons team!

Congratulations to the following winners in our Missions Based Readathon!

Highest minutes per class winners – Prize $20 Amazon Gift Certificate:

Mikayla Watson Gr. K
Zane MacDonald Gr. 1
Jaden Myles Gr. 2
Aiden Watson Gr. 3
Kinley Friesen Gr. 4
AngusTrombley Gr. 5
Chloe Urbanowski Gr. 6

Highest Reading Score for Grades 7 – 10 Winner

Kennedy MacInnis Gr. 10

Prize $100 Amazon Gift Certificate:

Kiev McDonald Gr. 6 – Highest reading score for Elementary Grades 1-6

Kona Mcdonald Gr. 7– Highest reading score for High School Grades 7- 10

Winner of the Fundraising – All schools, Prize $50 Amazon Gift Certificate

Jeremiah Cooper – HCS, he raised $205.00

Springing into March: Learning Commons Newsletter

As I share our news from my learning commons, office on this sunny but snowy day, I am reminded that Spring is just 23 days away!  Yes, time to drop a layer or two and look forward to the new buds! 😀

We are so grateful to connect with you all in this wonderful community we call HCS Blended Commons! Thank you for the awesome patronage shared by our staff and families!   We hope you will enjoy some of our team’s collaborative efforts.  We also love to hear from you!  Feel free to contact us and share your blog posts, suggestions or feedback.

Curriculum Finds!

Natalie shared more about some of the amazing fiction books related to International Friendship Month (career and health outcomes grade 1-5) we have on our E Library in this article here.  Did you know that February 20th was Love Your Pet Day?  Natalie shares some of the wonderful curriculum we have purchased in regards to novel studies and pets in this article here.   For grade seven students learning about Ancient Egypt you may discover how to use some amazing social studies curriculum in this article here.

Picture Books Celebration

If you have a student who enjoys reading, blogging or reviewing books,  please invite them to join in our Chocolate Lily Children’s book awards celebration and blogging bonanza.  Read more in this article here.  To launch this part of our book club Natalie and Pippa will be hosting a “How to Blog” webinar next week on Thursday March 6th @ 11 am.  If your students in grades 4-9 would like to attend please RSVP Pippa Davies.  Come ready with questions and Gmail address to get your Blogger going!  If you are 13 or under please ask a parent whether they are willing to share their Gmail address?

Here is the link to the virtual classroom on Blackboard Collaborate.  Please sign in 15 minutes early to check your headset and sound.

Campus News

From the campus Jessie shares about her inquiry based learning and iBuddies program in this article.

March Happenings

Missions Read-A-Thon winners will be announced in March.  Don’t forget to add up your reading and donate your monies to our worthy charity! Thank you for participating with us!!  Read more at this website.

PRIZE for the E Reader competition on Overdrive will be shared on the blog next week.  Stay tuned for more information:)

Innovator of the Year Competition on the Ning.   If your student has a science project, computer skill set, video producer, virtual world innovator, or entrepreneur please encourage them to enter this competition.  Students in grades 4-12 may enter.  D Day is March 15th for all entries!  If you would like an invite to the Ning to find out more please contact Pippa Davies.

Current Awareness

Find some great lesson plans, and educational resources related to Plants, Nutrition and St Patricks Day, Martin Luther, Carol Barnier, Science and Math, Art, and apps,  in our Scoopit Newsletter.

Blessings from our learning commons team!

Give thanks to the Lord, because he is good. His faithful love continues forever. Psalm 136:1 (NIrV)

Cultivating Reading With Book Clubs @HCS!

Heritage Christian Schools Learning Commons strives to put literacy on the front line for all its students.

Statistics show that:  role modelling reading as parents ;  encouraging trips to libraries ; sharing great audiobooks or telling stories ; reading to your students more than once a day ; and encouraging literacy participation in Read-A-Thons  will really help your student flourish in their literacy skills!

Our HCS distance learning and campus students in grades  4-9 may be found collaborating in virtual classrooms, and in the campus commons sharing about their reading, and blogging book reviews.

During the fall of 2013 the grades 4-8 students have read books nominated for the Red Cedar Awards.  All book clubs including our campus book club are collaborating on the  HCS NDG blog.  The most popular reads were CatBoy by Eric Walters and Racing Home by Adele Dueck (both books may be found on our E Library).  We are very excited to follow up this collaboration with an Author event starring Adele Dueck sharing from her award winning book in May.  More details of this classroom will be made available closer to May!  Stay tuned if you have a student in these age groups, and would like to hear more about how an author writes a children’s book and some of the challenges.

Our next event in our book clubs for this spring involves critiquing children’s books,  in regards to their pictures and their themes.  Our book clubs, including the distance learning students,  and our campus book club are teaming up with a British school,  Notre Dame Catholic School in New Guernsey England,  to contribute to the BC Chocolate Lily Picture  Book awards, and possibly the Kate Greenaway Awards (British awards) which take place late in June.


Some of the questions we will be examining include the following:

1.  Does the story have rhythm?  Is it a pleasure to read aloud or do you stumble with the words?

2.  Did you enjoy the story?  Would a small child enjoy the story?  Why or why not?

3.  Do the images match the theme of the story?  Could the images tell the story on their own?

4.  Is it a circular story? Does it bring you back to the end or does the ending take you somewhere else?

5.  Does the character grow or change in some way by the end of the book?

6.  How much of the text is telling you the story?  Do you feel like things are being explained to you a lot?  Can you see the images in your head when you read?

7.  Is the language suited to the story?  Does it start off well?  Are there any sensory details that add to the text?  Are the nouns and verbs strong?

8.  If there is a rhyming text does the rhyme add to the story? Is it a strong story without the rhyme?  Does the story have substance or is the author relying on the rhyme to get through?  Is the rhyme innovative?

9.  Is this book unique in some way?  What makes it special?

After our blogging all book clubs hope to participate in a collaborative classroom event on Blackboard where we will vote on the winners! We might even post our library staff sharing the books via video to our blog!   Join us in our blogging adventure and encourage literacy:)!

 Blessings from the learning commons team!

Overdrive E Library Statistics

Library successes in 2013 help drive record eBook sales

Library successes in 2013 help drive record eBook salesPosted: 14 Jan 2014 07:21 AM PST

2014 to feature enhanced eBooks and new technology to further drive digital reader engagement

2013 was a banner year for libraries and schools with record numbers in digital engagement driving eBook sales and revenue for OverDrive publishers and authors. Available eBook and audiobook titles, website visitors, eBook discovery and digital checkouts all increased substantially over 2012. A surge in mobile device usage highlights the demand for on-the-go access, with more than half of all digital checkouts coming from mobile platforms.

The trend in digital reading continues to grow rapidly. Readers borrowed more than 102 million digital titles across the OverDrive network in 2013, up 44% over 2012. For comparison, it took 10 years to reach the first 100 million digital checkouts from 2003-2012, and the next 100 million was surpassed within one year. Other major milestones in 2013 include:

  • A 46% increase over 2012 in eBook checkouts (79 million)
  • A 37% increase over 2012 in audiobook checkouts (22.9 million)
  • A 147% increase over 2012 in mobile checkouts (49.5 million)
  • More than 4.3 billion page views on OverDrive-powered library and school websites
  • Mobile platforms now account for nearly 1/2 of all checkouts and 2/3 of all traffic
  • Six of OverDrive’s standalone libraries facilitated more than one million digital checkouts from their individual collections
  • Library and school websites had 193 million visits to their OverDrive digital catalog, an increase of 107% over 2012
  • Discoverability increased to 1.8 billion in 2013, up from over 1 billion cover image impressions in 2012, giving readers countless options for “what to read next”

“This past year was a breakthrough year for OverDrive,” said Shannon Lichty, Director of Partner Services at OverDrive. “Through innovation and exemplary partner performance, digital reading is now more accessible and more prolific than ever. We are looking forward to additional enhancements in 2014 to create the ultimate streamlined experience and enhanced interactivity for users.”

Technology and support for enhanced eBooks will roll out in 2014, including features such as synched audio and text, fixed layouts, interactivity and multimedia. Demonstrations of these innovations will take place at the OverDrive booth at Digital Book World this week in New York City, as well as at ALA Midwinter in Philadelphia January 24-28.

OverDrive released several new products, services and features to help libraries and schools increase digital circulation in 2013. The launches of OverDrive Media StationCirculation APIs and multilingual website support helps to introduce readers to the digital catalog and easily navigate the library’s website. In addition, children can now safely explore libraries’ digital catalogs through the new eReading Room, a dedicated segment of a library’s website free of mature content. Also in 2013, OverDrive announced the availability of its new Netflix-like Streaming Video service with widespread compatibility and instant viewing of thousands of digital video titles.

Further enhancing the user experience, OverDrive increased its catalog to 1.8 million digital titles from more than 5,000 publishers, including all of the major publishers such as Penguin, Random House, Hachette, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, McGraw-Hill, Macmillan and many more. Libraries and schools can now purchase licenses for eBooks and audiobooks from an additional 250 publishers added in 2013. Titles come in a multitude of formats compatible with any major device, including iPhone®, iPad®, Nook®, Android™ phones and tablets, and Kindle® (U.S. only).

Based on various statistics including downloads, sales, holds, samples, ratings and page views, top titles in OverDrive’s collection for 2013 included Inferno by Dan Brown, The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling), The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin, Fast Forward by Juliet Madison, Allegiant by Veronica Roth, and The House of Hades (audiobook) by Rick Riordan.

OverDrive has been named to the EContent 100 list as a company that matters most in the digital content industry for 2013, its fifth year in a row to earn that honor. OverDrive Media Console was named one of PC Magazine’s 100 Best Android Apps of 2013, and one of TechRadar’s Best Free Android Apps of 2014. Now partnering with more than 28,000 libraries and schools in 42 countries, including 90 percent of the U.S. public libraries, OverDrive is the largest distributor of eBooks and audiobooks for lending platforms worldwide.

Heather Tunstall is Public Relations Specialist at OverDrive.


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New E Books and e Reader Promotion!

Hello learning commons friends,

Image representing Overdrive as depicted in Cr...

Our HCS e library on Overdrive is really a happening place,  and statistics over the past few months show that many more of our patrons are reading via e reader, laptop or device of their choice!  With instant access and a growing fiction and non-fiction collection,  Overdrive has a lot to offer our patrons both young and old.  Find a book to complement a project, book club, online course or just leisurely reading. 🙂

The recent student request option has seen several items purchased for our learning commons.  Please check to see many of these books now in the e library.

To see the latest purchases click here. If you do not have your passwords please read on.

Other new collections to the e library include Bible Studies and Devotionals and Missions.  For instant access to our e library don’t forget the Overdrive image widget on the home page which takes you directly to our site.

Device Raffle_Facebook graphic

For the month of January and February we will be offering this raffle promotion, with a prize of a Kobo E reader, and black protective leather case.

What is required ?  Read an E book during the month of January and February 2014.  The winner’s name  will be shared on the blog in March, and your prize will be shipped to you.

If you are unsure how to borrow e books,  and do not know your username and password, please contact Shandra and she will email you your passwords.  Pippa will help you with getting the technical aspects and downloading of software,

Happy Reading in the New Year!


The learning commons team.

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Increasing literacy with your E or Audio books!

Never has literacy been so immediate and gratifying!  Never has an iPad, Sony, Nexus e reader or even your laptop seemed so inviting!!  Oh wonders to have the blessings of e reading/listening at your fingertips.  So the purpose of this post (as you may have realized) is to encourage you to try out some of our audio books;)  Now you might say well isn’t that a bit like cheating?  Horrors!!  Reading and/or listening critically to the content, and then making connections with the heart, is the reason we enjoy books.

If you have not enjoyed the advantages of audio books, here are a few reasons why you need to partake…

  • Audiobooks can take students to the next reading level, introducing advanced vocabulary, whilst modelling higher level reading.  Statistics have shown that students who listen to more advanced literature will have an improved vocabulary as a result, and will recognize the words on the page faster if they have heard it before.
  • They may introduce new genres, and help Dyslexic students understand the nuance of humour.
  • They may help students understand in-congruencies in dialects/language like works on Shakespeare.
  • Provide a space for multi-age students and family to bond together over the joy of reading classics like Charlotte’s Web, or Oliver Twist.
  • Audiobooks provide a bridge not only for struggling readers, but also for gifted readers.
  • Audiobooks are a wonderful tool for listening pleasure in the car, on the way to a soccer game, or on a family holiday.

So please check out some of these amazing audio books on our e library with HCS E learning commons. We will even loan you an e reader.  If you don’t know how to access e books in our e library please contact me and I will lead you to the best pickings!  Blessings on your reading/listening journey!

Here are a few of my favourites taken from our e library,  (images derived from HCS Overdrive library):

Click here to view Audiobook details for Stuart Little by E.B. WhiteClick here to view Audiobook details for How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas RockwellClick here to view Audiobook details for Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. MilneClick here to view Audiobook details for The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan

Click here to view Audiobook details for The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks

Changes to Overdrive E Library with New Apps

OverDrive Media Console 3.0 is Live! 

OverDrive is proud to announce the release of OverDrive Media Console 3.0, which is now live for iOS and Android users. Once you update your OMC app on your smartphone or tablet you will see a number of new features including:

  • A redesigned user interface with an all-new look, streamlined navigation and a one-stop reorganized menu. App functions are just a swipe and tap away.
  • Users will be able to sync bookmarks and reading progress across multiple devices using a free, opt-in registration service called OverDrive One.
  • Variable speed playback for iOS: audiobook users’ most requested feature.
  • Guidance for first time users: The app now prompts users to add libraries and get books.
  • System Requirements: OMC v3.0 for Android requires Android OS v4.0 (or newer). OMC for Android v2.6.6 will remain available for download. OMC for iOS requires iOS 6 (or newer).

The app can be downloaded from, the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. You can also view help videos for both iOS and Android devices here which will walk you through all of the apps new features. OverDrive Media Console v2.6.6 is still the current version for all other compatible devices.

Adam Sockel is a Marketing Communications Specialist at OverDrive. 

New Nexus 7 (2013) reviewPosted: 20 Aug 2013 06:07 AM PDT

The new Nexus 7 has the highest ppi screen (323) on the market. It’s easier to hold than a paper-back book, and it’s responsive as heck. Put all that together, and you’ve got one killer device.

For reading, it’s nigh impossible to beat the new Nexus 7. Seriously, the screen and features are just that good, and it starts at just $229. Even Engadget says, “The display is the best we’ve seen on a small tablet . . .”

The only potential weakness I’ve found with the new Nexus 7 is that the battery life isn’t amazing (though it isn’t horrible). On average, you can expect a day and a half to two days use.

Oh, that screen

Did I mention the screen is gorgeous? The color reproduction isn’t perfect, but it’s close, and the clarity is unsurpassed. I defy you to find a pixel with your naked eye. At 323 ppi and1920 x 1200, you’d have to have some insanely good vision.

There are 323 tiny pixels crammed into each square inch of that screen. The iPad with Retina Display, for comparison’s sake, boasts 264 (which is still high). The iPad has a very, very good display, but the Nexus 7′s is just a bit better.

Will Apple beat 323 ppi with their next set of tablets? Maybe, but it won’t change the fact that the Nexus 7′s screen is downright awesome. The sharpness and clarity aren’t just pretty, they’re also better for your eyes. Here’s an article from when the Retina iPad came out that explains more, but basically, sharper screens equal less eye strain.

Build and form factor

The new Nexus 7 also feels pretty sleek. The Corning glass feels awesome, and the back has a nice, and somewhat grippy rubberized texture. The buttons aren’t up on the very edge of the device (near the screen), but down a bit on the curve (you’ll know what I mean when you pick one up) which takes a little getting used to, but it’s easy after a few presses.

There’s still no SD card slot (booo), but the micro USB port supports USB OTG, which means you can get a little USB adapter for less than $4.00 and plug in external storage if you want. In short, if you’re low on space, just move some audiobooks and comics to an external USB drive.

The bezels on the top and bottom are pretty large, whilst the ones on either side are very, very narrow. Holding it in landscape is thumb-friendly, and the narrow form factor allows for a one-handed grip in portrait even if you have relatively small hands.  Oh, and it’s apparently very durable.


This thing runs Android 4.3, which is pretty sweet. As you may know, the operating system is extremely customizable and has a wealth of apps to choose from.

Yes, iOS has a higher quantity of tablet-optimized apps, but, essentially, I think the app race between these two giants has become something of a wash in most cases. If not, it will be soon with Android’s recent surge in tablet popularity.

So what’s the verdict?

This thing is awesome. I work with, test, and use a whole lot of devices every day here at OverDrive. I get to play with all of the major new tablets as they launch, and have a good idea of what each can do.

If battery life is the most important consideration for you, you might want to pick a different tablet (like an iPad with Retina display). But the battery life isn’t horrid–it won’t keep you tethered to a wall socket all day long, and it can charge extra fast with a Qi wireless charger.

I read a ton of eBooks, and I’ve done so on a ton of different screens. It makes me extra sensitive to display quality, and let me tell you, ASUS and Google have knocked it out of the park on the new Nexus 7.

So if you surf the web a lot, read a lot of eBooks, or play a lot of HD games, this is the tablet for you. At $229 (16 GB), you get oodles of bang for your buck–one of the best deals on the market.

For anyone who is interested, the Nexus 7 (32 GB) would look beautiful in my Christmas stocking (I’m subtle).

If they stepped up the game this much on the Nexus 7, I can’t wait to see the next iteration of the Nexus 10.

Quinton Lawman is a Technical Writer with OverDrive

New On Overdrive this Week!

Forget Pay Per View… Overdrive Library has some awesome video content!  To keep your little and bigger ones entertained we have ordered video, and lots of new e books, specifically on Canada for your enjoyment!  Here is the list of our latest videos and some of our books.  To see a complete list of what is new check here on our Overdrive library.  If you do not have an e library account please check on Encom,  under your user profile for your passwords or contact Shandra Wiebe, or myself

Blessings to you for a happy and spirit blessed Easter from the learning commons team:)


Animal Kingdom  

Moody Institute of Science


Questar Inc  TV Series  Video 
The Apostles Bill Kowalchuk Gaiam, Inc.  

Children’s Video


The Bad Dream Nelvana  

Visual Education Centre Limited



Children’s Video, Juvenile Literature


The Boy in the Drawer Cookie Jar Visual Education Centre Limited  

Juvenile Fiction, Juvenile Literature


Communities World Vision Canada Visual Education Centre Limited  

Multi-Cultural, Nonfiction


Dive Into Diversity Annie Crawley  

Dive Into Your Imagination, LLC



Education, Juvenile Nonfiction, Science


The Earth Sunburst Visual Media Sunburst Visual Media  

Nonfiction, Science


Earth’s Heart of Fire  

Reader’s Digest


Questar Inc  

TV Series


Easy Sign Language Selectmedia Entertainment Selectmedia Entertainment  


Foreign Language Study, Instructional


Electricity Sunburst Visual Media Sunburst Visual Media  

Nonfiction, Science


The Garden Of Eden Bill Kowalchuk Gaiam, Inc.  

Children’s Video



Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site

Sherri Duskey Rinker, Tom Lichtenheld Chronicle Books  

Juvenile Literature, Picture Book Fiction


Kid Science: Amazing Human Body Selectmedia Entertainment MPS Multimedia,  

Children’s Video, Crafts, Science


Kid Science: Chemistry Experiments Selectmedia Entertainment  

MPS Multimedia, Inc. dda Selectmedia Entertainment



Chemistry, Juvenile Nonfiction, Science


Kid Science: Gross Science Selectmedia Entertainment MPS Multimedia,  

Children’s Video, Juvenile Nonfiction Science

Kid Science: Physics Experiments Selectmedia Entertainment MPS Multimedia,  


Juvenile Nonfiction, Physics, Science


Life With Jesus Eyecircus Studio Pvt Ltd Gaiam, Inc.  

Children’s Video


The Moon Sunburst Visual Media Sunburst Visual Media  

Nonfiction, Science


Our Solar System Sunburst Visual Media Sunburst Visual Media Nonfiction, Science  Video
Samson And Delilah Jean Rogers Gaiam, Inc.  

Children’s Video


Stormbreaker Anthony Horowitz Walker Books Ltd  

Thriller, Young Adult Fiction


What Makes a Fish, a Fish? Annie Crawley Dive Into Your Imagination, LLC  

Education, Juvenile Nonfiction, Science


Yoga for Families Gerardo Diego Diva Video Access AG  

Fiction, Health & Fitness, Instructional


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