Digital vs. Physical Items in Catalog

One of our avid patrons regularly checks her account for items currently checked out, and the addition of Overdrive digital items is great, but potentially confusing.  The catalog now allows people to sort physical vs. digital items — and gives a subtotal of each type of item.


The default setting lists all items intermingled in a list, but you can choose to sort this list.   

It’s nice that digital items are now listed, but it can be maddening if you only want to know your physical items.  For example, sometimes you just need to know if you have to search all of the crevices in your car, look behind the bed again, or dig through your child’s sticky backpack!  And you know you can safely ignore the Overdrive titles that will automatically be returned, so you definitely don’t want to take time to mistakenly look for those.

 To change the setting to sort physical vs. digital items 

  • Log in to your account in the Catalog. 
  • Choose Account in the upper right (it might be the menu icon with the three horizontal bars). 
  • Choose Profile. 
  • Choose About Me. 
  • Choose the option labeled “E-Content Checkouts and Holds“. 

 Choose either:  

  • Show With Physical Items (this intermingles all of your items and is the default)
    … or …  
  • Separated from Physical Items (this sorts physical vs. digital – the sections are marked with gray boxes). 

digital vs physical items screenshots

Christy Barowich

Carnegie Library of McKeesport


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Why I Like Libby!


I was reluctant to try Overdrive’s new app, Libby, for two reasons. First of all, I thought the Overdrive app was pretty good, and secondly, I don’t like change! But now that I’ve tried it out, I note several improvements which give it an edge over the classic app.

  1. Easy toggle between “Library” and “Shelf.” This is NUMBER ONE for sure. I don’t know how many patrons I have assisted who can’t figure out how to find their library or their checkouts in the classic app, and I have to explain about the “hamburger menu” and toggling back and forth. This easy, instant tap makes it worth it for me in and of itself.
  2. Multiple library card option. For families sharing one device, this is a really nice feature. Johnny can look at his books, and then switch to Mary’s checkouts when she’s using it without having to log out & in again. Brilliant.
  3. Quick click on current read. That audiobook I was listening to is front and center, no matter where I am in the app. AND I might mention, it’ll keep playing in the background while I look for & check out the next title in the series.
  4. Speedy Gonzales! I don’t know if it’s just me, but the response and refresh speeds seem much improved with Libby.
  5. Automatic downloads. Yes. This feature makes me wonder – why did they make us go to our checkouts to download stuff in the first place? If I’m checking it out on this device, I probably want to read it on this device. And now. Note that this feature can be turned off for larger downloads or be reserved for Wi-Fi connection only, for those who are out & about and don’t want to use up their mobile data.

All these features I found on my own within a few minutes of using the app. I’m sure there is even more shiny to be discovered with use, and I encourage all those who, like me, don’t like change – give Libby a chance!

Heather Auman
Western Allegheny Community Library

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Kindle Enhancements on OverDrive

This week’s post is a message from OverDrive about upcoming Kindle Book format improvements:

“We are excited to preview upcoming updates to your OverDrive-powered website related to the Kindle® Book format. Working closely with Amazon, OverDrive identified opportunities to improve the discovery and borrowing experience for Kindle users. Below is a summary of the changes scheduled to launch on Monday, October 30.

  • The Kindle Book will be the first format option presented to users on the Loans page.


  • A new option will be added to the Settings page enabling users to select Kindle Book as their preferred format. If a user selects Kindle as their preference, the Kindle Book will be the presented format for titles where it is available (with the exception of OverDrive Read-along titles). Note: Users can change or reset this preference at any time.

content preferences

  • When a user filters a search to Kindle Book or borrows a Kindle Book, we will present them an option to select Kindle as their preferred format going forward (unless they already have Kindle set as their preference or have declined this selection previously).

kindle preferences

  • A new Kindle Books link will appear in the navigation menu, which will generate a search for all Kindle Books in your library’s collection, sorted by date added.

kindle books

  • We will add a new message at your OverDrive-powered website to promote the convenient options that are now available for Kindle users.
  • A Kindle link and icon will be added to your website’s footer as an additional way for users to discover Kindle.

kindle footer

We expect that the thousands of users in your community who prefer Kindle as their eBook format—whether they read on the popular Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Fire, or in the Kindle reading app on their tablet or phone—will enjoy this streamlined experience to connect them to their next great read faster.”

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eResources for Children

Below is a highlight of some great eResources available for kids.


AR BookFinder

With AR BookFinder, you can search for book titles based on authors, topics, titles of books, IR Levels, ATOS levels, and more!



With BookFlix, you can enjoy classic video storybooks with related nonfiction eBooks from Scholastic to build a love of reading and learning.


Little Pim

With Little Pim, you can enjoy the #1 interactive early language learning program.

Languages include: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish.


NoveList K-8 Plus

With NoveList K-8 Plus, you can find books that are just right for your reading level and interests.Parents, teachers, and librarians can also find tools to teach with books and engage young readers.


Overdrive Kids Edition

With OverDrive, you can borrow and enjoy free eBooks, audiobooks, and more from your library’s digital collection.



With POWER Kids, you search PA’s digital resources for kids including databases, photos, magazine articles and more!


TrueFlix – Scholastic

With TrueFlix, you can search for topics in science and social studies for highly-engaging multimedia resources!


Tumble Book Library

With Tumble Book Library, you can enjoy animated talking storybooks, ebooks, read-alongs, graphic novels, music, games, and more!

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