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Overdrive Ends Magazine Partnership with B&N Nook

5877563125_68ec35de73_bIn February 2015 Overdrive announced that it had struck a deal with B&N to provide the current issues of 1,000 different magazine titles. Libraries could pay a subscription fee and their patrons could read whatever had been published in the past month.

That partnership came to an end in July 2016, but the news only crossed my desk today.

There’s been no formal announcement from Overdrive or B&N, but the Wisconsin Public Library Consortium did issue a statement last month which confirmed the news:

We regret to announce that, effective October 1st, magazines will no longer be available in Wisconsin’s Digital Library.

In July, OverDrive terminated its partnership with Barnes and Noble, which provides NOOK Periodicals for Wisconsin’s Digital Library.  The WPLC, the managing body for Wisconsin’s Digital Library, is exploring other potential digital magazine products to replace this valuable service to library users.

We appreciate your patronage of Wisconsin’s Digital Library, and we are very sorry for this inconvenience.

I can’t say that I ever used the service; as a rule I find e-magazines cumbersome and psychically painful.

But I doubt it was very popular. The periodicals were only available through the Nook app, and that detail probably tripped up most patrons.

It is annoying enough just to borrow library ebooks, even when you use the OD app and website. (This is why I borrow paper books.) Adding an extra layer of complication would discourage all but the most intrepid and tech savvy.

Did you try the service? What did you think?

image by ellen forsyth

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Jan October 6, 2016 um 4:20 pm

Our library system, Great River Regional Library in Minnesota, is still offering magazines, Overdrive to the Library to the Nook app. My husband and I have used it, he on his iPad and I on my phone, and it has worked just fine. But if the partnership has ended, I guess it will disappear.

I borrow library books frequently and send them to my Kindle paperwhite. Easy, convenient, and free. Audiobooks are great, too, and they recently extended the checkout period to 21 days for those.

As taxpayers, we are certainly getting our money’s worth from the library.

1 October 6, 2016 um 11:21 pm

"It is annoying enough just to borrow library ebooks, even when you use the OD app and website. "
Why do you say that? I find it extremely easy to borrow ebooks. I don’t bother with the Overdrive App, I just press borrow and then the Read button on the website.

Sarah October 7, 2016 um 5:25 pm

As a librarian who spends a great deal of time helping patrons access our e-resources, I can say that having to use the B&N app was indeed a stumbling block. The last thing people want to do is download yet another app and sign up for yet another account. It worked well for people who already had a B&N account/Nook app, but we also subscribe to Zinio and Flipster and those services are more accessible to a greater number of people. None of us–at my library at least–were surprised by this news, and it’s a bit of a relief to no longer have to support three digital magazine platforms (we are a WPLC library so have known since July).

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