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Wisconsin's Holiday OverDrive Traffic

Following nationwide OverDrive outages over the holidays, the Digital Library Blog posted a little chart showing a big jump in traffic to libraries' OverDrive websites (in addition to an apology for the problems). Here's their chart, showing the nationwide trend:

Traffic at 'Virtual Branch' websites - Nov. 26-Dec. 27

Wisconsin's Digital Download Center website experienced its share of the outages and slowness, too. Wonder how our traffic looked?



Website traffic statistics are famous for being inexact, but it's clear that the Digital Download Center was very much a part of the trend!

OverDrive also reported, "For the first time ever, eBooks out-circulated audiobooks at libraries’ ‘Virtual Branch’ websites." That wasn't true for Wisconsin (audiobooks are still the highest-circulating format); however, in comparing usage from Nov. 26-28 to Dec. 25-27, ebook checkouts increased by 180%. Ebooks are becoming more mainstream, but the increase in our ebook use may also have something to do with the fact that the collection received an infusion of over 600 new ebook titles before Christmas, thanks to the generosity of WPLC Partners and Members.

For any number-crunchers out there, here's the data I used: Download 2010-holiday-traffic (XLS)

It's cold outside... but ebook readers are HOT!

Whew! The holidays are over! The food is gone, your in-laws are on their way home and the presents have been opened. That means it's time to play with your new ebook reader. The device is ready, you've   read the manual, and you're trembling with the anticipation of downloading your first ebook from OverDrive.  Wait, oh no, the OverDrive website is down? What? How can this be....

Over Christmas there was an "unprecedented spike in traffic" on the OverDrive website. This means two things. First, OverDrive wasn't working. Second, more people than ever received ebook readers for Christmas. 

Ebook readers are more popular than ever.  It's important to know how they work and where people find content for the various devices.  SCLS has the most popular ebook readers available for checkout by member libraries. This gives you a chance to get your hands on an ebook reader to see what it can do. As the ebook world grows, free content will be harder and harder to find. That's where OverDrive comes in. Depending on the device, people can download free ebooks using their library card and free software.

During the OverDrive outage, SCLS received a number of calls regarding the status of the OverDrive service. Since it was during a holiday, most people were out of the office. In situations like this remember that you should always check the SCLS Status Wiki for up to the minute support information. In the case of the OverDrive outage, all the information you needed to know was listed on the SCLS Status Wiki.

Here are some useful links:



Twitter while you shovel?


The snow’s stopped and it’s time to dig out from the latest major storm.  A familiar situation for most of us in Wisconsin, right?  Grab your shovel, coat, gloves and…Twitter? 

The mayor of Newark, Cory Booker, added Twitter to the usual list of tools for cleaning up after the major snowstorm that hit the east coast, personally responding to tweets from citizens, promising to send road crews to areas still not cleared and even showing up in person to help dig people out.  This personal touch has gained him quite a bit of attention and praise from the media, bloggers and the rest of the “Twitterverse”.