Fantastic beasts and record breakers: highlights of RNIB Overdrive in 2016, by Sarah Bailey - Reading Services Digital Assistant.
RNIB Overdrive is our free digital download service for Talking Books. The service went from strength to strength in 2016, with children and young adults under 16 able to join for the first time, and record numbers of checkouts over the course of the year.
Sarah Bailey, our Reading Services Digital Assistant, is the first point of call for customers joining and using the service. Here she tells us more about her highlights from last year, as well as the most downloaded books for both adults and children.
“In 2016, the RNIB Overdrive service hit record numbers of checkouts for individual titles. 100,000 books were checked out over the course of the year!
“We also made the service available to under 16s, giving children and young adults the opportunity to access our library on their favourite device. Children can now immerse themselves in books that encourage them to be imaginative, learn and enjoy reading independently or with family and at school."
“Popular genres amongst the most downloaded titles include fantasy, crime, thriller and historical fiction which we know many of our readers continue to enjoy.
“In fact, there weren’t many surprises in our top 10 lists for adults and children, as many of the books there were released as films in 2016 so people were keen to read the books behind the movies. The first episode of Belgravia by Julian Fellowes has also made it to the adult list – we simultaneously released this through RNIB Overdrive when it was on television and it was very popular with our readers!
“However, the most memorable moment for me was when last year’s most popular title, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by Jack Thorne, was checked out by three times as many people as the previous most popular Harry Potter title (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) in just four months! It’s even more impressive when you consider that Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban has been in our library since the service launched in September 2014.
“Of course, one of the titles to make it into the children and young people’s top 10 is Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling, which we added to the collection not long after the film was released in cinemas last November. It seems the world of Harry Potter and Hogwarts will remain popular with our readers for a long time to come.
“This year, we’ll be adding further titles from publisher HarperCollins to RNIB Overdrive, and our money is on the title A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness becoming one of the most downloaded books when the film adaptation is released later in 2017.
“We’ll also continue to add magazines from RNIB Newsagent to our collection, including BBC Good Food, F1 Racing, Reader’s Digest and National Geographic for kids, as well as RNIB Connect Radio podcasts, all of which RNIB Overdrive customers can download and enjoy alongside Talking Books.”