Help redesign the BadgerLink website

[ BadgerLink logo ]Give a little of your time before July 15 for a better BadgerLink website later. The BadgerLink Team is in the process of redesigning the BadgerLink website and seeking feedback from public librarians. All you have to do is complete a survey to offer your feedback on a set of mockups of the new design.

Don't answer the survey questions based off the existing BadgerLink website—they want to hear your thoughts and suggestions on the mockups to help find flaws in the new design's layout and navigation. The survey will remain open until July 15th, so now is the time to weigh in!

Not sure what BadgerLink is? BadgerLink provides access to credible online information resources for Wisconsin residents.

One link for desktop + mobile access to EBSCOhost

EBSCOhost MobileWhen you want to direct patrons' attention to EBSCOhost databases* in email or on the web, you no longer need to provide separate links for mobile and desktop users. EBSCO has announced that they will be phasing out the separate mobile version of the EBSCOhost search interface. Instead, they are offering a new Mobile 2.0 platform that can be accessed with the same link used for desktop access. EBSCOhost now recognizes whether or not users are connecting from a mobile device, and sends them to the appropriate version of the interface automatically.

If you are currently providing links to the old EBSCOhost Mobile interface, now is the time to get rid of those links. The old interface will be dead sometime in the future (EBSCO has not specified when). Replace it with your link to the main EBSCOhost interface (for SCLS libraries, use the same URL as this link: EBSCOhost).

More info about the new interface:

* EBSCOhost is available for Wisconsin residents through the BadgerLink project.

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.

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.

All about Online Resources

With all the database subscription changes for 2012, I have the Online Resources at the front of my brain. Here are some things to keep in mind about them:

Not all libraries subscribe to all resources
Beginning in 2010, not all SCLS libraries subscribe to all online resources. What does this mean?

We use scripts for access
When a user wants to access an Online Resource, they click on a link. This link takes the user to one of our authentication scripts. The script:

  • checks if the patron is in a subscribing library. If so, we pass them right through to the resource. If the patron isn't in a subscribing library, the script...
  • prompts the patron for their barcode. If the patron's barcode has a "home library" that is a library that subscribes to the resource, we pass them through to the resource.

If we get to the 2nd step where we check the patron's barcode, we pull this information from a custom patron database. Because of this...

Updates/Changes to patron information sometimes take an overnight
How do we get this custom patron database? Scripts build the database early each morning using yesterday's patron data. For LINKcat libraries, this means that if a patron just got a new card, renewed a card, replaced a card, or changed their home library, it will take an overnight before their "new" card information is available for authentication (be it for Library Online, OverDrive, or other Online Resources). For non-LINKcat libraries,the amount to time may vary from "overnight" to "a week or more," depending on the library's schedule for updating patron records. 

Who has access to what? -- Reciprocal cards.
We already know that access is based on Home Library. What should we know about "reciprocal cards"?

  • For regular Online Resources (SCLS Resources and Locally-Subscribed Resources), if a patron lives outside of SCLS but has a barcode from an SCLS library, they may use their home library's resources.  Example: If I live in Rock County and have an SCLS barcode with a home library of STO, I will have access to any Online Resources to which Stoughton Public Library subscribes.
  • For OverDrive, if a patron lives outside of SCLS, they must access OverDrive through their library system.  Example: If I live in Rock County and have an SCLS barcode with a home library of STO, I still must access OverDrive through the Arrowhead Library System's account using my Rock County library's card number. 

Why must OverDrive users access OverDrive through the library system where they live?QuestionMark
Because OverDrive is available statewide and costs are determined in part based on usage, SCLS libraries have opted to provide access to SCLS's OverDrive account only to SCLS residents. 

Whew! That's a lot of information!
Have questions?  Please contact Kerri!

Database and OverDrive stats

Counting db statsIt's that time of year again!

2011 Usage statistics by library for SCLS online resources  and many "Locally-Subscribed Resources" are now available: There is a short page of info about the statistics.

OverDrive checkout statistics for 2011 are also available.  There are monthly listings here (in .xls format, underneath the table): This year, we also ran monthly usage stats for 2009-2011 for each of the SCLS libraries.  I put these reports in 2 Excel workbooks --- 1 for libraries A-M, and 1 for libraries N-W and counties (Columbia, Green, Sauk, and Wood). Once you have the workbook open, check the tabs at the bottom to find your library's information.

Why are these numbers interesting?

  • They can give you a pretty good picture of which online resources your patrons and staff know about, like best, and are using the most.
  • They might also give you a better idea of which resources need some extra mention and/or extra training.
  • And with the OverDrive monthly statistics, you may see when patrons are using the service most (summer when they go on vacation? January when they're trying out their new devices?) and find good opportunities to promote the service.

 Please contact Kerri with any questions.

Day 12 - Authentication, stats, and "Home Library"

It sometimes takes an overnight
When users want to check out items from OverDrive, they must log in with their card number.  This card number is compared against Santa's list our custom patron database, and if we find their card in good status they are logged in by OverDrive. While you're sleeping, little elves...

How do we get this custom patron database?  Little elves scripts build the database early each morning using yesterday's patron data. For LINKcat libraries, this means that if a patron just got a new card, renewed a card, or replaced a card, it will take an overnight before their card information is available to OverDrive. For non-LINKcat libraries, the amount to time may vary from "overnight" to "a week or more", depending on the library's schedule for updating Santa's patron records.

OverDrive Statistics
OverDrive statistics for 2011 can be found here and include stats for the system as a whole (in the table) as well as spreadsheets showing checkouts by library (linked just below the table). This year in January, I'm also planning to run additional reports for each library which show each library's OverDrive checkouts over time.

The switch to Ho-Ho-Home Library
Right now, OverDrive usage stats are based on a patron's PSTAT (statistical code based on their residential address). If they live in a municipality with a library, their OverDrive use is attributed to their municipality's library. If they live outside of a municipality with a library, that use is attributed to the county in which they reside.

Beginning in January 2012, stats will be based on "Home Library" instead of PSTAT. By making this switch:

  • every use of OverDrive will be attributed to a SCLS library (much nicer!)
  • usage stats for all of the SCLS Online Resources (EBSCO, Heritage Quest, etc) will be determined the same way --- by the user's "Home Library"

Santa's Ho-Ho-Home LibraryBecause OverDrive is available to all SCLS residents, the switch to Home Library will not change access, only how the usage is counted. For more information about "Home Library" in LINKcat, please see the "What is Home Library?" page.

EBSCO Auto Repair Reference Center has been updated!

BadgerLink has let us know that the EBSCO Auto Repair Reference Center interface has been updated!EBSCOarrc

From the BadgerLink announcement...

"Key features of the updated interface include:

  • Intuitive, user-friendly navigation
  • Enhanced searching within content collections
  • Ability to print/email/save high-quality PDF records
  • Increased repair coverage – more than 37,000 vehicles covered
  • Expanded, in-depth repair information from the major original equipment manufacturers, including Ford, Honda, and GMC
  • On-Board Diagnostics (OBD II) codes with description and troubleshooting information

To learn more about the new Auto Repair Reference Center, you can attend one of EBSCO’s free online training sessions at

If you have questions, please contact BadgerLink technical support by using this web form:"

NetLibrary is now eBooks on EBSCOhost

eBooks on EBSCOhost The NetLibrary ebook website has been retired, and the ebooks from this collection are now available through the eBooks on EBSCOhost  platform. The collection can be accessed from an SCLS authentication link (such as the one on the Online Resources page) or via LINKcat (search by Library Catalog for NetLibrary).

Viewing Online: All eBooks on EBSCOhost can be viewed online using the title's "eBook Full Text" link. The ebook will be automatically checked out while you are viewing it and will be unavailable to others. It will automatically check itself back in after 15 minutes of inactivity.

Downloading: Most, but not all, eBooks on EBSCOhost can be downloaded to Windows and Mac computers. Downloading requires a free My EBSCOhost account (click the "Sign In" link to create one), and you must have Adobe Digital Editions installed to complete the download. Tips:

  • If you click a title's "Download (Offline)" link, it will be automatically checked out to you (as if you had clicked the "eBook Full Text" link) and will be unavailable to others. Clicking the "Cancel" button and not downloading the title will return it to the collection after 15 minutes.
  • You can select your own checkout period (typically 1-7 or 1-14 days—the maximum checkout period varies by title). The title will be unavailable to others during the checkout period.
  • Downloaded ebooks cannot be returned early at this time.

E-readers and Devices: Downloadable titles can be used with devices that are compatible with Adobe Digital Editions. You must download the title via Adobe Digital Editions and then transfer it to your device using Adobe Digital Editions (i.e. you cannot copy the ebook file to your device using your computer's file system).