The morning began with a moving keynote speech from 16 time bestselling author Jane Green. Jane shared her life story ranging from her early days spent hidden away in libraries all the way through her most recent title, Summer Secrets. Jane discussed some of her favorite “Hollywood” moments when she got to cook a meal for Hugh Grant and how she has ridden in a helicopter with Harrison Ford. Jane shared the source of inspiration for many of her books, how she overcame cancer and engaged in a wonderful question and answer session where she provided insight on her writing process and her love of escaping in her local libraries.


The OverDrive innovation roadmap


After the keynote, Ryan Fish, Director of Product Management at OverDrive, opened a session everyone has been waiting for, OverDrive’s innovation roadmap. Ryan’s message was about the three pillars upon which the new OverDrive is being built. Those pillars revolve around simplifying the onboarding process so first time users can get started more quickly; providing users the ability to be more deeply engaged with titles available from the library; and making sure we’re reaching your entire community. Moving forward libraries will be empowered to easily and regularly promote your brand and your collections.


OverDrive’s Chief Technology Officer, Jeff Sterling, took the stage next to discuss “Project Thunder”, the basis for the new OverDrive. The next version of your OverDrive services come from the feedback we get from our library partners and the desire to re-imagine our platforms. Jeff shared the story of how the new OverDrive prototypes came from OverDrive hackathons and teased the process of where our new vision came from before Michael Haren provided a demo.


Michael walked through the website that will be coming later this year for our library partners showing off the new speed and capabilities by instantly searching and borrowing various titles by using the powerful facets and filters available in the library. We will be offering a number of updates in the near future but the crowd was excited with what was previewed as well as the promises of what more is to come.


Publisher Prospective


The morning conference ended with a spirited and informational publisher round table where representatives from Baker Publishing Group, HarperCollins and Blackstone Audio all spoke about the state of the publishing industry and the ever growing digital library market. These types of forums provide valuable opportunities for librarians to share their thoughts and ideas with publishing partners and to engage with one another.