New & Improved Wisconsin's Digital Library Coming Soon

WIDigitalLibraryIn case you missed last week's announcement, Wisconsin's Digital Library is getting an upgrade. According to OverDrive, the new site will be faster and easier to use. You can see a preview of the site here.

The process will take place over a month or so and you can preview the new site and participate in training webinars. Barring any complications, the new site is scheduled to go live on November 7.

There will be several opportunities to participate in training webinars. Register for the date and time that works best for you - or watch for the recordings on that will posted here when available.

General OverDrive Training:

OverDrive Training on Wisconsin's Digital Library Site:

Because of the upgrade to Wisconsin's Digital Library, I've rescheduled the OverDrive Support Course to begin on November 14. There are a few spots left and you can register here.

OverDrive Updates

ODReadIconsLate last week, OverDrive implemented changes to OverDrive Read, OverDrive Listen, and the OverDrive App

OverDrive Read and OverDrive Listen both have updated and more visible menu and bookmark icons to make them easier to find and use. Another update renamed the "Assistive" font to "OpenDyslexic." If you haven't seen OpenDyxlexic font, check it out. It makes the reading experience much better for those with dyslexia. I wrote about it last year when OverDrive added it to the OverDrive App.

Speaking of the App, I was prompted to update my OverDrive App today and the changes are visually appealing. The new version (v 3.5) will be faster and fix many issues that patrons have reported experiencing. You can read more about these updates on the WPLC site.

Bookshelf = Checked Out

BookshelfBA small wording change in Wisconsin's Digital Library today is making me very happy. The word Bookshelf was changed to Checked Out. Why, you ask, does this make my day?

When you're using the OverDrive app, the word Bookshelf was used in two places. First, when a patron logs into their account on Wisconsin's Digital Library, anything they have checked out would appear on this Bookshelf. Next, a patron would BookshelfAwant to read their book and go to their Bookshelf in the OverDrive app to access the books they've downloaded. Confusing, right?

Making sure that library staff and, in turn, library patrons understood the difference and how to get to each of these was something I would clarify when conducting training sessions on Wisconsin's Digital Library and the OverDrive app. When I was at Digipalooza this past summer, it was one of the things that lots of us told OverDrive staff about and they listened!

As of this morning (December 15, 2015), patrons will now see the words Checked Out when they log into their account on Wisconsin's Digital Library - through the OverDrive app or the website. Sometimes, it's the littlest things that make me the happiest. 

Happy Reading! Checkouts

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!