Merging Barcodes in OverDrive Support is Here!

OverDriveMergeYes, you read that right. We've been asking for and waiting a long time for this option in OverDrive Support. Now, instead of filling out a support request and waiting for OverDrive Support staff to merge library cards, you can do it on your own.

And, it's pretty easy. Library staff can log into OverDrive Marketplace* with their credentials and then select Support. You'll see the Merge Barcode Activity option. You'll need both of the patron barcodes - the old one and the new one - to merge the accounts. Be sure to search and review the barcodes before merging as any activity merged with the new barcode cannot be removed afterwards.

OverDriveMerge2As you can see by the screenshot, it's a pretty simple process. And, our patrons won't have to wait to be able to use their new library cards - woo hoo! Enjoy!

Updated 7/30/15

OverDriveMerge3A question came in about searching and reviewing the barcodes before merging that I want to address. Here's what you'll see when you enter barcodes in both fields. Any activity on the original barcode - the checkouts and holds - will be merged with the new barcode.You'll need to select each barcode before the Merge button becomes active. Then click Merge and you're all done.

Note - the authentication name is "south" for all South Central Library System patrons.

I'm sure there will be more new things coming from OverDrive soon. Next week is Digipalooza 2015, OverDrive's International  User Group meeting. Sara Gold from WiLS and I will be attending and will bring back news, updates, and more for you. Join us on August 25 at 10 a.m. for our Digipalooza 2015 Highlights webinar.

*Each library should have credentials to access OverDrive Support in OverDrive's Marketplace. Contact me if you need help accessing it or need an account.

OverDrive App with Dyslexic Font Option

OverDrive recently introduced a couple of new font options for readers with dyslexia: OpenDyslexic and OpenDyxlesic Bold. I took a couple of screenshots from a book I'm currently reading in my OverDrive app on my iPad mini so you can see the difference. The first one is in Palatino font:









The second image is in OpenDyslexic font:









It's good to see that the e-reading experience is becoming more accessible for everyone.

Bonus image from Tech Day:

IMG_4359I recently got a standing desk from Varidesk and shared some of it photos at Tech Day. Here's an photo of how I use it every day. Next time you're in the SCLS offices, stop by and I'll show you how it works.


OverDrive by the Numbers

In preparation for the Annual Report, we've been gathering lots of numbers to pre-populate the report for you. I'm most interested in the Wisconsin's Digital Library (OverDrive) collection and circulation numbers and wanted to share them with you.

Collection Size - Statewide (excluding Advantage titles) 

  • 122,613 ebooks 
  • 28,375 digital audio books  
  • 1,403 videos PieChart

Circulation - SCLS (includes our Advantage Titles)               

  • Total = 591,575
  • Ebooks = 427,846
  • Audio = 161,484
  • Video = 2,245

Circulation - Statewide

  • 2,942,039

Wow - those are some big numbers! If I figured it out correctly, SCLS's circulation is 20% of the statewide total. Awesome - I love that our patrons are using Wisconsin's Digital Library! OverDrive even made mention of Wisconsin achieving the Million Checkout milestone in a recent blog post.

You can see your library's circulation in this spreadsheet updated January 8, 2015 (thanks, Kerri!) The pie chart above was created from that spreadsheet. Isn't it colorful?

All this use may mean that your library patrons are asking you lots of questions. Here's a link to "OverDrive's 10 Most Frequently Asked Questions." Want to know more? I'll be running a 5-week OverDrive Support Course starting on February 9 and you can register here.

Happy Reading, Listening, & Watching!

Browser-Based Audiobooks - Coming Soon!

First there was OverDrive READ - browser-based books and then streaming video in Wisconsin's Digital Library. Now, there's browser-based audiobooks!

What does that mean for you or your patrons? They no longer have to download the OverDrive app for audiobooks, they can listen instantly in their browser. Check out their blog post for a movie-like trailer about this coming feature. This is the first I've heard of this new feature so after I try it out, I'll let you know more.

And, here's a special treat for you. Jane Henze from DeForest Area Public Library sent me this fun, slightly dizzying, video of the New York Public Library sorting center as filmed by Nate Bolt with a Drone. Thanks Jane!


Enjoy and have a great holiday season!


OverDrive Updates - Fall 2014 Edition

There has been lots of announcements and activity surrounding OverDrive and Wisconsin's Digital Library recently. I thought I'd collect the information in one place for you.

The Big Library Read featuring Anatomy of a Misfit by Andrea Portes is going on through next Tuesday, October 28.

The Teen and Kids Reading Rooms are now live and can be found here:  

KidsReadingRoom TeensReadingRoom

Back in January, I wrote about some audiobook changes that were expected this year. After November 1, 2014, WMA format for most audiobooks and all music will no longer be available for WPLC to purchase. Also after November 1, only MP3 formats for audiobooks and music will be shown in Wisconsin's Digital Library (with the exception of a small number of titles only available in WMA format). This move will simplify the downloading process for patrons.

Happy Reading!



Suspend Holds Now Available

One of the most common complaints that I hear about Wisconsin's Digital Library is that patrons can't suspend their holds. And, it never fails that all their holds become available at the same time or while they're on vacation. The wait is over - patrons can now suspend their holds!

SuspendHoldsWhen a patron clicks on the drop-down menu next to Options, they'll see four options: Edit email address; Suspend hold; Auto checkout; and Remove hold.


Patrons can suspend their holds for 7, 14, 21, 28, 60 or 90 days. During the suspension, the patron's position in the hold queue will continue to advance.

Another cool feature is Auto Checkout. If a patron uses this feature, when a title on hold becomes available it will automatically be checked out to them. No more missing the 72 hour window for checking out your holds! When a patron places a hold, the option to auto-checkout the title can be set. Patrons can also change this setting by accessing their holds list.

You can read more about these and other features released this past Monday on the WPLC blog.

OverDrive Settings & Samples

OverDriveSettings2If you've logged into Wisconsin's Digital Library recently, you may have noticed two additional items in your Settings tab: Maturity Levels and Cover Images. As our collection continues to grow, you can decide what results you want to see. By using the drop down menus, you can change your settings to limit your results to what you want. In the image above, the limits are set to view everything from Juvenile to Adult.

The other setting you can now change relates to the cover images. The default setting is "No" so adult cover images are replaced with a basic cover. If you're not logged into Wisconsin's Digital Library, adult titles are displayed with the basic cover. 

If you change setting, be sure to click save before leaving the page!

OverDrive announced at this year's ALA Conference (and in a recent blog post) that librares can embed samples of ebook and audiobook titles into their websites. As an example, I embedded a sample of a book that I'll be reading & reviewing for this year's Notable Books Marathon at the WLA Conference. Happy Reading!


New OverDrive Account

OverDriveAccountIn late April, OverDrive released the latest version of the OverDrive App which includes a new feature - the OverDrive Account.

Why, you may ask, would I want another account? If your patrons want to sync their progress and bookmarks across multiple devices, this is the way to do it in OverDrive. I tested this out last week and here's what I found out.

In order for this to work, the title needs to be downloaded onto all devices and you need to be signed into your account. In my example, I used my iPhone and iPad mini. I downloaded and started reading on my iPad. Then, I opened the OverDrive app on my phone, signed into my account, downloaded the title and this is the message I received. When I tapped Yes, I was taken to the page I left off at on my iPad.

In addition to syncing, having an account will save you time in a few ways. Patrons are continually getting a new device or phone. If they have an OverDrive account, all they need to do after they download the OverDrive App is to sign in and any libraries and saved searches will be there. In addition, OverDrive will automatically activate your new device with Adobe Digital Editions. That, in itself, is quite the timesaver. Patrons can have up to six devices synced with their account and activated with the same Adobe ID.

You can find more information about this new feature on the OverDrive Help page. And, this account doesn't replace the need for a library card to check out titles from Wisconsin's Digital Library.


OverDrive News & Training

OverDriveIconBruce Smith at WiLS reported on Monday about some changes that happened to Wisconsin's Digital Library yesterday. First, OverDrive Help has been updated and is very streamlined. Take a couple minutes to check it out. It's very easy to use! Second, you'll  notice that Featured Collections has moved to the left hand column to better highlight these collections. 

For those of you who use Reports in OverDrive's Marketplace, you'll be pleased to know that there is new training available. OverDrive reported yesterday that there are four new training modules that will cover Collection Usage, Website & User Statistics, Purchases & Subscriptions and Exporting Reports. The ones most applicable to most SCLS libraries will be Collection Usage & Website & User Statistics. You can find the training at OverDrive's Learning Center

In last week's Online Update, there is an article about OverDrive Support training. For those of you who are on the front lines in providing OverDrive support to your patrons, I'll be starting a 5 week online course on April 21 (register here). The course, created by WiLS, is designed to help the transition from WiLS providing direct patron support via email to libraries providing that support. The transition will take place on June 2.

OverDrive Audio Updates & Changes

If you're a regular audiobook listener through Wisconsin's Digital Library like me, there are some changes you should Listeningknow about.

There have always been two audio formats available: WMA (Windows Media Audio) and MP3. There are more WMA titles than MP3 (over 12,400 and 8,500 respectively). OverDrive recently announced they will be discontinuing the sale of WMA titles and at some point in the future, the only audio format will be MP3. For people like me, who regulary use the OverDrive Media Console on my home computer to transfer and convert WMA titles onto my iPhone, the transfer process should be easier.

Speaking of OverDrive Media Console, OverDrive recently released Version 3.3 for Windows. It includes a few design changes, but no major changes for us regular users.

Also updated was OMC 3 for Windows 8. This is available in the Windows Store. OverDrive created a training module to help library staff with the changes in OMC for Windows 8. You can view it here on the Learning Center. You'll find it under Products and Services.

Image from MorgueFile.