50 ideas for creative uses of mobile apps in library services

app-workshops-guidesLooking for ideas to use with your branch iPads?  Here are 50 ideas to use in your daily work and with patrons. Read 50 ideas for creative uses of mobile apps in library services.


Helping Patrons with eMedia? Get the Device Guides!

kindlefire getting started picOn a Kindle Fire does the user use Kindle eBooks or ePUB eBooks?

This is just one question which can be confusing to library staff and patrons alike. There is quick help available to keep you straight. Visit the Media Drop and checkout the Device Guides folder. Inside you will find guides written by Virtual Library staff as well as a folder called Device Specific Guides. These sheets are provided by OverDrive and are short and sweet guides to each type of device out there.

You may want to print some and hand them out to your staff and patrons alike so you can provide better customer service.

Remember, if your not sure contact the Virtual Library at x6300 and we will help you.

New Feature in OMC App Explained

defineWe had a patron who’s trying to use the “touch a word to get a definition” in the OMC app, on his Samsung tablet, while he is NOT connected to the Internet. He gets an error every time he tries it. It works fine (offline) on his iPad.

We checked with Overdrive. Touch to Define (offline) is ONLY a feature on the iOS App. Android devices MUST be connected to the Internet for that feature to work.

Adding “Touch to Define Offline” to the Android App is on their Wish List, but it’s not in development at this time, and there’s no ETA for that.

To learn more about how to use this feature along with taking notes see the OverDrive Help article How to take notes, highlight text, and use the dictionary in an OverDrive Read eBook

Do you know what your apps share?

sharing infoImagine this: You’re at home one evening when a sudden storm knocks out your power. You reach for that flashlight you keep in the kitchen drawer just for emergencies. You flip the switch, and the flashlight asks for your location. That would be weird, huh?

Well, that could be exactly what’s happening — on your phone… Read more >

Learn more about online security on the Hot Topic – Computers, Tablets & the Internet

New Features for eMedia Catalog

These featmobile pinch zoomures will be added Monday, July 22, 2013 to the eMedia Catalog.

  • Users will be able to renew a borrowed title by placing a hold on the title after checkout. If the user is the only person on the waiting list, he/she will be able to borrow the title again after the lending period expires. If there are other users on the waiting list, he/she will be added to the list and will receive an email when the title is available to borrow. A 4-minute demonstration of how the renew feature works is available for you to view here. Upon launch of this feature, an article will be added to OverDrive Help with information for users.
  • A fully-translated user interface can be added to your library’s Next Generation website in the following languages:  Simplified Chinese, and Spanish. Note: The website can support three (3) languages at this time (including English). Please note the following:
    • The translated user interface does not include title metadata or OverDrive Help.
    • Additional languages will be offered in the future.
    • The pinch-to-zoom functionality will be restored on mobile devices where available.
    • The ‘Borrow’ / ‘Place a Hold’ button has been moved “above the fold” on mobile devices.
  • The number of copies in the library’s digital collection of a title will be displayed on the Holds page.
  • School-specific metadata including Interest level, ATOS book level, and Lexile measures, are now available to add to your website upon request. This metadata will be added to the Advanced Search and filtered search options.

OverDrive Update May 28th – A Must Read!

eBooks – Adobe AuthorizationOverDrive Media Console v2.6.5 is coming to iOS (iPhone/iPad/iPod touch) and Android on May 28th.

This release is all about bug-fixes to improve the end user experience.  Here is what’s coming out in v2.6.5:

Enhancements made to improve the speed of the in-app browser (iOS)

Fixed a bug that causes the app to crash when working from a proxy server (iOS)

Improved bad SSL certificate error messaging (iOS)

Fixed a bug that prevents page turns beyond page 161 on some devices (Android)

Various minor bug fixes and performance improvements on both iOS and Android

eBooks – Adobe AuthorizationDue to a change in Apple’s privacy policies, we’ve had to make
changes to the way we handle licensing of EPUB eBooks and MP3
audiobooks.  As a result, the OMC for iOS v2.6.5 update will
de-authorize every users’ Adobe ID.  Upon opening OMC for the first time
after the update, users will be prompted to re-authorize.

Audiobook users that have only partially downloaded an audiobook
prior to the update will need to return to the library bookshelf to
download any missing parts.  If users try downloading missing parts
directly without first reactivating the download from their library
website bookshelf, they will receive a ‘downloadManagerErrorDomain:403’

Note: The Adobe authorization and audiobook download issues will only impact iOS users.

We’ve created two help articles to help end users through both Adobe authorization and audiobook download:

OverDrive Getting Started Bookmarks

gettingStarted-Android-300x231OverDrive has justed added device specific getting started guides. I have downloaded the guides in placed them in the Media Drop   in the Overdrive folder or click on the links below.

These are great easy handouts for patrons as well as review handouts for staff.

The Book as an iPad App

LondonThis morning ALA had a free webinar talking about how interactive books are being developed mainly for the iPad. This was a really great webinar and I’m happy to share to archive with you. I encourage you to view it as it is really fascinating.

The Book as iPad App on March 1, 2013 using WebEx.

The recording of today’s session is available at https://alapublishing.webex.com/ec0606l/eventcenter/recording/recordAction.do?theAction=poprecord&AT=pb&renewticket=0&isurlact=true&recordID=6488782&apiname=lsr.php&rKey=2c89b42c62be3f63&format=short&needFilter=false&&SP=EC&rID=6488782&siteurl=alapublishing&actappname=ec0606l&actname=%2Feventcenter%2Fframe%2Fg.do&rnd=9816443462&entappname=url0108l&entactname=%2FnbrRecordingURL.do

Today’s slides are available at http://www.slideshare.net/nic221/

Nook App for OverDrive


If you follow eRead Me Vegas, you should know by know there is now an app for Nook Color and Nook Tablets. We also have a poster which you can print out an display (click  NOOK Overdrive App  to get poster) and/or use to post on your Facebook page. For additional help on how to install the app please visit http://help.overdrive.com/article/0905/How-to-install-OverDrives-mobile-app-on-your-NOOK

ReadyTalk App Puts OD Training on iPad

ReadyTalk App Puts OD Training on iPad.  Whether you do a training session via iPad or computer, the Virtual Library highly recommends you attend one OverDrive session in September.  You will learn all about the the new interface for our eMedia Catalog and how patrons can read their ebooks in the their browser with no software required!

Sessions are limited and they are filling up fast so signup today!

The Virtual Library will be hosting a session, September 18th at Noon, if you would like to join us. Just let Lynn (507-6300) know you are coming, no need to signup with OverDrive. Otherwise, you can do it on your own by selecting a session from OverDrive’s site at http://www.overdrive.com/LearningCenter/registration.aspx#!prettyPhoto/0/


Kindle is Coming!!!

Amazon and OverDrive have quietly started rolling out Kindle ebook lending from public libraries, albeit in Beta.

Even though there hasn’t been any official announcement yet, some public libraries have already started lending ebooks for the Kindle. The image to the left hails from the Seattle Public Library; several other libraries are starting to list Kindle ebooks as well (as of noon today ours is not showing the image).

Plus the Device Resource Center over at OverDrive now lists the Amazon Kindle 3, Kindle DX, Kindle 1, and Kindle 2 as supported devices. The library ebooks will also work with Kindle apps and the Kindle Cloud Reader according to the public library books help page at Amazon.

Here are the key details from the Kindle library books help page:


Instructions on how it works once you see the above icon:

  1. Visit our eMedia Catalog
  2. Check out a Kindle book (library card required).
  3. Click on “Get for Kindle.” You will then be directed to Amazon.com to redeem your LVCCLD library loan. You may be required to login to your Amazon.com account — or create a new account — if you’re not already logged in.
  4. Choose to read the book on your Kindle device, free reading app, or Kindle Cloud Reader.

Note: Public library books require an active Wi-Fi connection for wireless delivery to a Kindle device. Library books will not be delivered via your Kindle’s 3G connection. If trying to send to a Kindle device and do not have an active Wi-Fi connection, you may instead choose to load your library book via your computer using an USB cable. Both Mac and Windows users can manage Kindle content through a USB connection.

It’s good to see that the Kindle is finally getting library ebooks. Everyone has been waiting anxiously ever since Amazon announced the Kindle would be getting access to library ebooks back in April. And it is not at all surprising that it just happens to come right before the launch of the new Sony Reader Wi-Fi in a couple of weeks that boasts on-board library ebook lending.

Mobile sites now remember your library card number on your device

The days of having to dig your library card out when you’re trying to download an eBook at the doctor’s office (or park, or airport terminal, or a bar mitzvah) are over. With the latest update to OverDrive-powered mobile sites, users will have the option for their devices to store their library card numbers.

Starting now, when customers check out a title, the device will have a box where they can check “Remember me on this device.” The device will then hold the characters in its memory for 90 days after each use. This is an optional service. If a library requires a pin, it will still be required to check out titles.

This update is a part of OverDrive WIN, a series of platform enhancements that will streamline user experience and provide access to more content. Check back to see more enhancements to your service.

Brianne Carlon Jul 21, 2011 12:02 PM