It’s Easy to Help!

Did you know that it’s possible to email OverDrive help pages to people?  It’s an easy way to provide the information they need to answer their questions or resolve their issues.

Once you click through to a specific help page you will find a “MailTo” link in the upper right corner.  An email message will open with a link to the document you are viewing.  Just add their email address and your comments and hit send.  Voilà, your patron has easy access to what they need, and you don’t have to worry about losing them when you try to walk them through the process of getting there.

Take a closer look at that image up there.  I used it specifically because it’s all about loading the OverDrive Media Console (OMC) App on a Nook.  This is a recent development, so be sure to check out the steps here.

It was also recently announced that the OMC App is now available in the Amazon App Store, making it easy to load it onto a Kindle Fire.  Why would a patron want to do that, you might ask?  Two reasons: the option to browse for titles within the app rather than going through the library’s website, and, perhaps more importantly, the ability to bypass transferring Penguin books via USB by downloading the ePub version in the OMC app.

Sarah (CLP)

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The “State of the ebook union” –or maybe disunion

For a concise summary of  the world (or ocean) of “e”, read this blog post about the Ebook tipping point  by Tracey Thompson in Library 020—Musing about public libraries and library technologies where yes, there are still librarians!

Tracey summarizes a Pew Internet report from April 4 on the rise of e-reading, followed by various publishing houses and their current positions relating to ebooks. She blogs about ALA’s talks with publishers, Amazon and self-publishing through their site, OverDrive’s relationship with Amazon and Kindle, and Apple and the Department of Justice lawsuit against them and  five of the big publishers.

Tracy concludes with libraries and the tipping point of new business models for publishers. She predicts that the next few years will be exciting in the world of ebooks.

How do you feel? Would “excited” be your description? Maybe cautiously optimistic?



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Help Is Always Good

I probably shouldn’t admit this, but when it comes to just about anything computer-related I can use all the assistance, explication and insight I can find. So you can imagine how happy I was (and how happy your customers will be) to see that the folks at OverDrive have significantly improved their help pages.

Just to be clear, I’m not talking about the equally useful help page we’ve created that you can get to by clicking on Need Help??  (Though it is great to know that there’s all kinds of help available, up to and including a friendly voice on the phone.)

To get to the updated OverDrive Help you’ll need to go to click on Digital Media Help which appears in two places on the OverDrive page, under “Getting Started” on the left and as one of the tabs in the upper right quadrant of the screen.

The six buttons on the help page offer a variety of avenues to users looking for assistance in downloading e-resources. Breaking the information into these six categories makes it much easier to focus in on a specific problem.  And the pages that open up are easier to search which means that finding help is easier too.

The first option, OverDrive Help  provides a wide overview from relevant topics to particular devices to most popular articles.   The second link, MyHelp, takes users to the customized information about how to read, listen to or watch each specific format.

From button number three, Device Resource Center users are taken to an almost dizzying array of the devices on which e-resources can be accessed.  The option of narrowing one’s quest for information by both device and format makes it much easier to sort through all the information and arrive at a better understanding of how things work.

Digital Books Tour the next option on the list, is perfect for aural and visual learners.  Brief video tutorials review basics like how to install the necessary software as well as explanations of how to search for titles and place holds.

Next comes Library Lending Policies which links back to our guidelines on how many items can be borrowed at one time, how to cancel holds in our system, and what to do if you get a new library card.

And last but not least comes Support which offers the opportunity to pose specific questions to our staff via email.

So even if you don’t need help yourself, take a tour of the new and improved help offered by OverDrive.  Your patrons are going to love it—which means you’re going to love it too.

Lisa, Coordinator of Children’s Collection (CLP)

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Words on a Nook Tablet

Late last year I decided it was time to join the eReader/Tablet crowd.  I decided on a Tablet because I liked the idea of being able to check email, look up a quick fact on the Internet, or spend a few minutes playing a game.  Another key factor was being able to download library eBooks directly to the device.  After that, it was a question of which Tablet to get.

In the end, I chose the Nook Tablet.  The size made it more portable than an iPad.  The price point was also more attractive because I got a good deal which included some accessories and this became the deciding factor in getting a Nook Tablet over the Kindle Fire.  While I have enjoyed the Nook for many reasons, I was bitterly disappointed because currently, it isn’t possible to download library eBooks directly to the Nook Tablet.*  The Nook Tablet is an Android device sold by Barnes and Noble, a book store that has used library eBook compatibility as a selling point for their other devices.  Why wouldn’t their tablet allow direct downloads?!? 

The good news is that both OverDrive and Barnes and Noble have confirmed that an OverDrive app for the Nook Color and Nook Tablet is in the works.  In the meantime, library eBooks have to be side-loaded onto both devices.**  It’s still worth it for the benefit of reading lengthy tomes such as the titles in  George R R Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series without having to manipulate a thick, heavy book.  I also like being able to adjust the text size and background colors on the screen to make reading easier.

Stay tuned. Hopefully my next post will be a success story about downloading directly to my Nook Tablet. 

Charmaine (CLP)

*There are ways to “root” the Nook so that it allows apps that aren’t a part of the pre-selected market.  You can find out how by doing a search in your favorite search engine.  Doing this, however, voids the warranty.   

** Another option with the Nook Color is to purchase an SD card that turns the device into an Android tablet.  At this time these don’t seem to be available for the Nook Tablet.

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