H-APP-y Reading!

Guest post by Jean Anderson

Do you need to have a dedicated e-reader like a NOOK, Kobo, or Kindle to enjoy books from the Wisconsin's Digital Library (powered by OverDrive)? What if I have an iPad - regular or mini, a Nexus 7 or the new Microsoft Surface tablet. Does that mean I can’t check out library ebooks?

Woohoo! The answer is no! You can enjoy ebooks and audiobooks from the Wisconsin's Digital Library by downloading and installing the OverDrive app from the app store for your device. The OverDrive app is available for lots of different mobile devices as well as your desktop PC or Mac.

If you have a NOOK Color, NOOK Tablet, or the new NOOK HD or HD+, there’s finally an OverDrive app for Nook. This means no more connecting your NOOK to your PC to transfer an ebook. Turn on your wireless, find and check out an ebook, download it directly to your NOOK, and read!

The same is true for the Kindle Fire. Check out the Amazon App Store for the Android OverDrive app to make it easier to get books from the Wisconsin's Digital Library onto your Kindle Fire.

Check out the Device Resource Center to make sure the device on your wish list is compatible with OverDrive and H-APP-Y Reading!

Device update-- interested in hearing more about the "hot eBook devices for the holidays"? OverDrive has some webinars scheduled on this topic this Wed and Thurs (12/12 and 12/13).

OverDrive's Holiday Gadget Guide

iPadI know you've all been thinking, "Will TechBits write the 12 Days of OverDrive again this year? That was awesome!" (I hope that's what you're thinking, anyway!)

Well, it won't be 12 days of posts, but we will hit some highlights between now and Christmas, starting with... "OverDrive's Holiday Gadget Guide." OverDrive's blog post offers a nice overview of some of this season's hottest devices for library ebooks. They'll also be spotlighting some devices throughout the holiday season with posts like this one on the iPad mini.

Wondering how you'll use Wisconsin's Digital Library (powered by OverDrive) on these devices? Watch for our post next week about the OverDrive Media Console and apps.


OverDrive Media Console app update for Android & iOS

KindleFireB[1]From OverDrive's Digital Library Blog:

Earlier this week, we released new versions of the OverDrive Media Console apps for Android and iOS (iPhone/ iPad/ iPod touch). For the first time, OMC is available to Kindle Fire users in the Amazon App Store for Android, making it easier to access eBooks and audiobooks from OverDrive-powered libraries. (Previously, Kindle Fire users could side-load the OMC app).

More info about what to expect from the updated app.

Bonus: Promo materials for the Nook OMC app are available too.

OverDrive app comes to Nook; new Adobe Digital Editions 2.0

NookTwo bits of welcome news from OverDrive:

The OverDrive Media Console app is now available for the NOOK HD, NOOK HD+, NOOK Tablet and NOOK Color. The app will allow users to browse Wisconsin's Digital Library, check out and download ebooks and MP3 audiobooks wirelessly.

Ade2.0Adobe has released a new version of Adobe Digital Editions (2.0). The UI has been completely redesigned to be screen-reader friendly, and activating compatible eBook readers is simpler. Simply plug in an eBook reader, open Adobe Digital Editions (ADE), then drag a library title over to the device. The software automatically registers and authorizes your device with your computer's Adobe ID.

Get more details from WPLC about the Nook app, Adobe Digital Editions 2.0, and the 2 millionth checkout for Wisconsin's Digital Library.

Training opportunities during OverDrive Training Month

Od-training-2012Get ready to polish your OverDrive skills and learn about new developments for 2012 -- September is OverDrive Training Month for library staff.

Learning the basics: Pre-recorded webinars provide the basic training, and you can work through them at your own pace. Recommended: Just the Basics, Going Mobile, Patron Assistance, Kindle Demo, and Real-Time Reports. (Also check out the new pdf tip sheet explaining some mysteries of the search engine.)

If you have questions: OverDrive will have staff available for live-chat to answer your training questions.

New developments: To find out about the changes coming to OverDrive service, register for one of the live "Next Generation Digital Library" webinars. "Browser-based eReading" is on the list of topics, so you will not want to miss this. (And, like last year, acing a short quiz after the webinar will get you entered in a prize drawing.)

Database stats for Jan-Jun 2012

ChartEver wonder how much your patrons are using online resources like Ancestry Library, EBSCO, OverDrive, and the rest? 

SCLS gathers some usage statistics by way of our authentication scripts. These database statistics aren't perfect (they're really more of a "ballpark" count), but they can give your library an idea of which resources your patrons use and which may need more training and promotion. OverDrive statistics come straight from OverDrive and should provide an accurate count of checkouts.

Both database and OverDrive statistics are found on the SCLS website on the "Reference Database Statistics by Library" page. Database statistics by library are on the left, and OverDrive statistics by library are on the right.

If you have any questions, need custom reports (database or OverDrive), or would like reports in a different file format, please contact Kerri.

Interested in running your own OverDrive stats for your library? Sign up for an OverDrive support account and you'll have access to OverDrive reports and also the OverDrive support form.

Future features from OverDrive

OverDrive logoEvery year, around ALA's Annual Conference, vendors announce new products and services they plan to demo at the conference and offer in the coming year. This year, OverDrive is promoting features to streamline the process for accessing ebooks and audiobooks. Watch for these features "later this year":

In case you missed it, here's a new feature that's available today: MP3 audiobooks can now be returned early using the latest version of any of the OverDrive Media Console apps.

OverDrive Support Form Clarification

Guest post by Jean Anderson, SCLS Continuing Education/Multitype Coordinator

HelpIn a recent OverDrive Update webinar, I talked about two support forms. A couple of questions came up after the program that made me think I need to make a better distinction between the two.

First, there is the WPLC Support Form. You can find this form through the Help page of Wisconsin’s Digital Library (OverDrive). Anyone can fill out this form - patrons or library staff - and staff from WiLS (WiLS is the project manager for WPLC) will respond to their question.

Second, there is the OverDrive Support Request Form. This is for library staff only, and you (or your library) have to request an account from WiLS to be able to use this form (SCLS libraries can request an account here.)  Once the account is set up, library staff can contact OverDrive directly for support. This form is not for patron use. In fact, the WPLC support agreement with OverDrive prohibits this. A library staff member needs to be the intermediary between the patron and OverDrive support.

Bonus: if you have an account to access the OverDrive Support Request form, you can also access usage statistics for your library.

New look & name for the Digital Download Center

Screen shot of new design for Wisconsin's Digital LibraryYesterday our WPLC OverDrive site, the Digital Download Center, got an updated look and a new name: Wisconsin's Digital Library. The main page has a much cleaner appearance, and the left sidebar has been simplified. There is also a brand-new login process: the patron starts typing in their library name and the form continually autofills until the library is listed. It's not left-anchored—all letters are fair game. The library is clearly linked with its system, and systems are still listed, but are no longer needed for the log in.

Want to know more? Join Jean Anderson for an OverDrive Update webinar at 1:00 pm on May 1. Register here.

Many thanks to the WPLC/OverDrive Web Site Redesign Team:

  • Evan Bend, Outagamie Waupaca Library System (and the OWLS graphic artist, Bradd)
  • Melody Clair, Arrowhead Library System
  • Jean Anderson, South Central Library System
  • Inese Christman, Wisconsin Valley Library System

Sign up for an OverDrive Support account

OverDrive Support Request Form previewOverDrive now offers a Support Request Form that empowers library staff to contact OverDrive's Support Services team directly. We strongly encourage staff at SCLS member libraries to sign up for an account to use the form.

What's in it for you?

  • Advice and troubleshooting tips directly from OverDrive staff
  • Quick turnaround to assist patrons
  • Complete and accurate information

How does the support form work?
The form for obtaining technical support is part of Content Reserve, a staff-only website provided by OverDrive. Support requests are submitted by logging in to the Content Reserve website and filling out
the form. OverDrive assigns a case number to each request and responds to library staff via email. Detailed information about using the support form (pdf).

What kind of requests can you make via the support form?

  • Move holds and checkouts from an old barcode to a new barcode
  • Adjust the hold list for a patron who missed their hold due to technology issues
  • Provide steps to resolve a specific error message
  • Answer "how to" and device/format compatibility questions
  • And more!

How can you use responses you receive via the support form?

  • Copy suggested steps into an email to the patron who needs assistance
  • Use the suggested steps as your "script" for phoning the patron

What about the WPLC Support Request Form?
The WPLC Support Request Form is still available for patrons and librarians. If WPLC Support doesn't know the answer to the question, they also use OverDrive's support form to get help. Bypassing the WPLC form and using OverDrive's support form yourself may eliminate that extra step.

What about calling someone at SCLS?
We can't beat OverDrive Support at having all the answers! (Like WPLC Support, I turn to OverDrive’s support form when I can’t solve an issue on my own.) And we can’t always be at our desks when you call. OverDrive Support has multiple people dedicated to providing timely, reliable answers to your questions.

Sign up!
Request an account for your library, your branch, or yourself. SCLS will coordinate getting the accounts and provide training.