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.


Forwards and backwards

This week is the annual Consumer Electronics show or CES which showcases new and upcoming technology Earlyharddriveand gadgets.  While I’m looking forward to seeing what’s new, it's also interesting to look back at where we've been.  This is a picture looking back to 1956.  No, that’s not an early computer being loaded onto the plane.  That’s a hard drive.  Yes, just the hard drive. 

According to @HistoricalPics, which posted the picture, it’s a 5 megabyte drive and it weighed over 2,000 pounds.  Somehow my old laptop doesn't seem so heavy. 

For comparison, that’s approximately .00488 of a gigabyte.  The 8 GB flash drive I have in my pocket is about 1,638 times bigger.  It’s 1/8192nd of the smallest hard drive (40 GB) in our inventory and 1/51200th the size of the standard 250 GB hard drive we order with new PCs.  Or roughly 3 and a half of the old 3.5” floppy disks you might still have rattling around in the back of a drawer somewhere.

Renewing OverDrive Titles & Library Reads

I recently trained staff from the Belleville and Albany libraries on Wisconsin's Digital Library (OverDrive). I've been training on OverDrive for a long time and I learn something new every time. This time I found out about a new feature available in our Digital Library. Check this out - and renew it, too!

We've been waiting a long time for this feature and I'm sure your patrons will love it!

Library_reads_logo_websiteAnd, finally, a quick plug for LibraryReads: the top ten books published this month that librarians across the country love. As library staff, you can participate. Check out the "For Library Staff" tab and start nominating books!  P.S. December's list  was released today and I think you should check out the review for The Supreme Macaroni Company: a Novel by Adriana Trigiani!




OverDrive: Next Generation Basics


There have been lots of changes to Wisconsin's Digital Library over the last few months - including the recently updated OverDrive app.


OverDrive is hosting several FREE live webinars during the month of September. Here's the schedule:

All the sessions are 60 minutes long and will be recorded. More information on the sessions can be found here.  The recorded sessions and other resources can be found on OverDrive's Learning Center.               

Happy Learning!

Interesting tidbits

  • "How to Make Library eBooks More Visible"* (GoodEReader) - Simple suggestions for promoting your ebook collection.
  • "Mousercise!"*  (IFLS) - A link to Mousercise, an online exercise to increase familiarity with using a computer mouse, and an excerpt from an interview about technology training with Mousercise founder, Chris Rippel.
  • "Use Bing to find Public Domain Images"*  (Free Technology for Teachers) - Need pictures? It's easy to find public domain images using Bing. When did you last use one of these?
  • "Reference Question of the Week - 7/14/2013" (Swiss Army Librarian)  How do you answer the reference question, "Where can I find a pay phone in town?" Crowdsource it using social media!

*Thanks to IFLS and Sites and Soundbytes for pointing out these great resources!

OverDrive How-To Guides

OverDrive recently announced that new How-To Guides are now available. The device specific guides are available for Android, iOS (iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch), Kindle Fire and that more are coming soon.

In the meantime, Jim Ramsey from Middleton Public Library created instructions for use with patrons and they are available for you to use in your library. You can find the links to the documents in this previous TechBits post, Notes on OverDrive: The Next Generation



And, don't forget about BadgerLearn. In addition to OverDrive training materials, you can find many other archived webinars, tutorials, handouts, and much more.


Notes on OverDrive: The Next Generation

We're over two weeks and five training sessions into the Next Generation of OverDrive and here's what I've learned so far:

  • OverDrive is still fixing and tweaking the site and App so little things may change from day to day
  • The OverDrive Apps have all been updated - Yay!CancelHold
  • I've started referring to transferring titles from the computer to a device as the "traditional" or "old way" (it's still my way for my NOOK Tablet)
  • Patrons can now cancel holds during the 3-day period it's available to borrow
  • Able to tell at a glance if a title is available ODeBookAvailable
    Or not ODeBookUnavailable

  • Someone at your library should be subscribed to the WPLC Email List as OverDrive tips and news are shared here

Librarians are awesome! Jim Ramsey from Middleton Public Library graciously offered to share the instructions they created for use with patrons and gave me permission to post them here. They're in Word format so feel free to customize for your library. Thanks Jim!

  1. Kindle Step-by-Step 
  2. Kindle Fire with OverDrive App
  3. NOOK Color/Tablet with OverDrive App
  4. Android Tablet with OverDrive App
  5. iPad and other IOS Devices with OverDrive App

OverDrive: The Next Generation

Guest post by Jean Anderson

With apologies to Star Trek: The Next Generation

Anyone visiting Wisconsin’s Digital Library since yesterday (February 21) morning noticed some pretty big changes in the appearance of our site along with some new options when downloading titles.

Some of the cool changes include a much easier check out process.
Borrow Button 
Patrons can choose their desired format after checking out the title or can read the books immediately via their web browser. Patrons can still download the title to their ereader using the App, Adobe Digital Editions, or Amazon (for Kindle books). Reading in your browser is simply another option for reading ebooks.

One benefit of Reading in Your Browser is patrons can read the same book on multiple devices. Check out and start reading a title on your laptop then pick up where you left on on your iPad or other tablet. Log into Wisconsin’s Digital Library using the web browser on your device (not the OverDrive app if you have it installed) and go to your Bookshelf and then Read. The book will load - exactly where you left off - in another tab. Save the title as a bookmark or favorite to read the book without being online. I’ve been testing this out and it’s pretty cool!

OverDrive has updated their help pages to cover all the changes and new features. One tip for iPad/iPhone users - turn Private Browsing off in order for the title to load in Safari. I haven’t played with this on an Android tablet or phone. If anyone has tips to share, please leave a comment.

Recommend to Library

Guest post by Jean Anderson

Wisconsin’s Digital Library has grown to include over 74,000 copies of over 27,000 titles (as of 1/30/2013). While that’s a lot of options, I’m sure there are titles that you and your patrons would love to see in the collection. Recommend To Library is a new feature recently added to Wisconsin’s Digital Library that will make it easy for you and your patrons to help grow the collection.

When patrons are logged in to their account and perform a search, they’ll see a tab for Additional Titles as part of the results list. Additional Titles

Clicking on that link will show all the titles available in the OverDrive collection (titles not on this list are likely absent due to publisher restrictions). Patrons will see the Recommend button RTLfor titles that are not currently part of the Wisconsin’s Digital Library.

Patrons can recommend up to three titles per month. The selection committee receives all the requests and places monthly orders for selected titles.

Thanks for your suggestions!

And thanks to Steve Heser at MCFLS for the great instructions and letting us use them!


Guest post by Jean Anderson

No, the title of this post doesn’t refer to the flower, or the song Edelweiss or even the cheese shop in Verona. I’ll explain more shortly.

Many of you know that I’m a HUGE reader (or is that an understatement?) When you receive emails from me, you’ll see that in my signature line I always include what I’m reading (print), listening to, and reading on my NOOK.

You may have noticed that recently, many of the books I’m reading on my NOOK are books that aren’t published yet. For example, I’m currently reading Room No. 10 by Ake Edwardson which is due out in March. Up next are:

  • Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger, due out 3/26/13 
  • Tuesday’s Gone by Nicci French, due out 4/4/13 
  • Cooked by Michael Pollan, due out 4/23/13 

How, you may ask, did I get access to all those ebooks? The answer is Edelweiss. From their website, “Edelweiss is a web-based interactive publisher catalog system that enhances or replaces the use of hard copy catalogs.” In addition, through participating publishers, they offer a way for librarians to request access to Digital Advance Review Copies (ARC). In the past, I’ve come home from conferences loaded with galleys or proofs of books also known as ARCs. Now, I do the same thing - but on my NOOK.

The process is easy. Check out the debut episode of Know More with Jean & Shawn for a demo of Edelweiss, or take a look at the tutorial on the Edelweiss site. Digital ARCs can be read on most all types of e-readers and there’s help on the Edelweiss site for each kind. It’s free, easy and can be very addicting - just ask Shawn!