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.

Wednesday – eBooks cost Effectiveness

How do we know it was worth it?
Public Library view

The presenter of this workshop recommended looking at the following to determine the cost effectiveness of your OverDrive service:

  • Look at traditional checkouts  and holds placed – what is has the most use and holds?  This is what is  important to the patrons.

Look at eMedia in the following categories:

  • Look at how many new people signing up to use the service each month.

Last year 2009-2010 here are how many new patrons signed up to use our service:

  • Look at the number of patrons who checked out eMedia:

The presenter  noted when they stopped buying new content the use dropped off  and came back when they started purchasing again. This showed them content was a driving factor for use of eMedia.

Where are patrons coming from to find eMedia collections?

Here’s the top 20 referring websites for the past nine months (10/1/2009 – 06/30/2010):

Note the number of people using the Sony Search and the OverDrive search as well as finding it through a Google search.

For the top 50 view the emedia referrals 2009_10.

Which format is best?  In our case WMA was used the most same as the presenters.

Which format has the best turnover rate? For us it is WMA closely followed by MP3.  For the presenter it was MP3 format.  he felt it was due to the MP3 format being compatible with iPods.

What is the patrons’ interest or what are they putting on hold? Here’s our top 20 for the past 10 months:

How does it relate to the New York Times Best Sellers list?

One service which we don’t own which the presenter recommended was Tumble Books Library designed for the youth market preschool and up. Their usage of the service was $0.12 per view. Is this something we might want to look at?

How many patrons are repeat users?  Each month I look at the new of patrons who checkout eMedia and the number of  first time new users.  It averages about 32% are new users.

The second presentation was from an academic viewpoint.  Not much there for a public library to use but he did state he thinks publishers in the near future will publish books electronically first before they print them.

Read Me Vegas

As you may have noticed, Read Me Vegas has had a direction change.  With the lost of staff we had to revise what we were doing with the blogs.  Read Me Vegas will go from an Online discussion group to a blog focusing on eMedia.  Bookin Las Vegas will remain a review blog but there will be less posting of reviews unless we get additional content from Library Staff.  If you would like to post on either blog please contact Susan D. Williams, she will be happy to set you up as an author.

OverDrive Changes Their Searching On Their Main Site

Last week, OverDrive launched the new OverDrive Search website, which makes it easier for users to discover digital content from our library’s download website. How, you ask? Well, here are some of the improvements that users will encounter:

1. Keyword Searches: The new search function provides users with full-text searching, which means a search for specific content is smarter and more accurate than before.  I did a quick search for “recipes” in the new search box and BAM!—relevant search results.  (The user can also sort by “Title,” “Publisher” or “Creator” on the “Results” page.) Once a user finds a title they want to checkout, he or she can click on the “Find at a library” button, type in a zip code, and find the closest library that offers the digital title.

2. Local Library Listings: In the zip code search results, library users will now see the name of the library that they are most familiar with.  Say a user in Westerville, Ohio, is looking for “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” That user may not know the name “Ohio eBook Project,” but he or she will recognize Westerville Public Library.  The consortium name will still appear in the results, but with the closest library or branch listed alongside.

For our international partners, a user will be able to “Select a Country” right next to the zip code search. If your library offers the title, the region will appear in the “Select a Country” drop down menu.

3. Top Audiobooks & eBooks: The most popular digital books in the OverDrive catalog are now listed on the OverDrive Search homepage. The “Top Audiobooks” and “Top eBooks” slider allows users to browse the most popular titles, listen to samples of audiobooks, and then click-through to the “Title” page. There’s also a link the “Most Downloaded Books from the Library” lists, which power the “Top Audiobooks” and “Top eBooks” slider. The lists are updated on the first of every month.

4. Find at a Bookstore: Some titles are not available at a local library but are available at OverDrive-powered retail websites. With the new search, users can find and purchase digital content by clicking on “Find at a bookstore.” This will provide listings of OverDrive retail partners that offer the eBook or audiobook. And those retail partners use the same software to access the digital titles that the user needs for library downloads.

With “Find at a bookstore,” we’re making sure that users are full-time digital consumers. The more digital content that is available to them, the more likely they will be to come back to find titles available from a local library.

So there you have it—a new OverDrive Search designed with usability and discoverability in mind.

They are still making improvements and have received some helpful feedback from users on making the new OverDrive Search even easier to use. Until they have all the features integrated into the new OverDrive Search, the classic search will still be available at search.overdrive.com/classic.

Note: Our Zipcodes appear to be missing, as I did several searches for items we own and it said it was not available within a 100 miles.  I have sent OverDrive an email requesting us to be added.

What do you think of the new OverDrive Search?

Staff Training This Month

We have noticed there are a fair number of staff who can’t answer basic questions about our downloadable books so we are offering a simple basic class to give you the help you need.

E-Media

12/17 (Thursday) 2:00-4:00pm at CCL Virtual Library Training Center.

The District offers several types of e-Media from Ovedrive and Net-Library. This workshop will cover checking out e-Media from the the District’s website, the different procedures and applications required from each vendor, downloading considerations for Adobe E-book, video and audio formats, also with basic troubleshooting. (Only 9 slots left for this class!)

Many of you are starting to receive new computers with the new Office product and find yourself totally lost.  We can help with this class offering:

Microsoft Office 2007

12/23(Wednesday) 2:00-4:00pm at CCL Virtual Library Training Center.

There are major changes with the next version of Microsoft Office. The menu and drop-down dialog box is being replaced by the ribbon interface. This workshop will cover the changes with hands-on experience for Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint.

If you are interested in learning please RSVP to Jon White.  Register early as these classes are limited to 10 people.

What’s New @ OverDrive

I had a training session on Tuesday with OverDrive on What’s New and Coming Soon to OverDrive.

They reminded us that almost all audio books are now compatible with iPods. ePub and PDF formats both work on Sony Readers. They have added new publishers in all formats including Peguin Audio and Scholastic Audio.  One neat ebook publisher is Teacher Created Materials.  These ebooks contain lesson plans and activities on a number of subjects.

Most of the items have already been added to our site but there are a few new ones coming soon.

  • Social Media links – to share a title with a friend via email, Facebook or Twitter.
  • Media Console Version 4  – will have new graphic interface, rotating covers, real time updates & alerts and patrons will be able opt in to receive notices for new books by their favorite author or on their favorite subjects.

Want to know more?  Attached is the Training Month_Partner Update and the audio link.

Questions  asked during the session:

Q: Can an audiobook fit in an iPod Shuffle?

A: Yes, the audiobooks are able to be transferred to the iPod Shuffle.

Q: Are the ratings an average of ratings from our library (our consortium) or from ALL overdrive users?

A: The ratings are based on each Virtual Branch’s ratings.

Q: Can you change your loan period choice after checkout?

A: The loan choice cannot be changed once the titles have been checked out.

Q: Twitter, Face Book, email links — are these a feature we need to request?

A: Your OverDrive Project Manager will be contacting your library’s coordinator shortly.

Q: Will OverDrive iPod-compatible audiobooks work with ITunes 9?

A: Yes, OverDrive’s iPod-compatible audiobooks are compatible with iTunes 9.

Q: Are the Chinese All books in mandarin or another Chinese language?

A: The audiobook titles provided by Chinese All are in the Mandarin dialect.  The eBooks are Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese.

Mobile eBooks To Go

Our mobile eBooks To Go site is live. Just take your mobile device and go to http://ebooks.lvccld.org and it should recognize your device as being mobile.  If you want to see it on your computer use the same URL.  Once loaded on your computer look at the URL.  In the URL replace 10/224 with 40/20.  The mobile should appear in your browser.  I have not been able to test it with a mobile device since my Dell Axim doesn’t work on the Library’s wifi system.

If you have a mobile device and are successful connecting let me know.  Also how does it look on your device?

Did You Know?

In OverDrive patrons can set their own personal lending periods.  Back in April, we added the feature of allowing patrons to select their own lending – example:  7, 14, or 21 days for books.  This was added because there is no “Return” feature available. Patrons who read or listen to books quickly can choose a shorter lending period so they don’t have to wait should they reach their limited of items checked out.  When we added this feature, we also added in their “eMedia Account” the default setting feature.  Each patron can set their default lending period to what works best for them.

It’s easy to do.defaultlending

  1. Go to eMedia Catalog
  2. Click eMedia Account
  3. Login
  4. Select Lending Periods
  5. Change your defaults
  6. Click Done

eMedia Page

I have discovered some staff don’t realize what is located on this resource page so I would like to point out couple of features.

  • Remote patrons can use this page to signup for a NetLibrary/Recorded Books account.  They need to use the link near the bottom of the page in the Online eBook section.
    1. Select How to use netLibrary
    2. Select the link Create an account (need to look for it closely as it is buried)
    3. Fill in their information and they are good to go.

Please note: if patrons are using cox.net for their Internet service, when they create the account they will get a “proxy error” message.  They just need to login with their account information they supplied.  It will work.  There is something with Cox service which will not return the confirmation screen.

While checking out eMedia Page you will see the page now contains a search box for Gale Virtual Reference Library.  This neat little “widget” searches all of GVRL from this page.  A great shortcut your patrons will love!

New Features for OverDrive eMedia Catalog

The following five features are now available at our eMedia Catalog.

Patron Wish List

Imagine browsing through hundreds of great titles and trying to remember which ones you’d like to check out. Not anymore. Your patrons will be able to add titles to their ‘Wish List’. Anytime a user visits your digital library, they can access a list of titles they added to their ‘Wish List’. Titles will remain in the ‘Wish List’ until the patron removes them.

Edit Email Address on Current Holds

If a patron changes their email address during the waiting time for a title, they will have the option to update it in their Digital Library account. Patrons can edit their email address in My Account > My Holds.

Displaying ‘Also Recommended Titles’

When a patron is viewing a title details page, they will see a new section labeled ‘If you like this title, then you might also like…’. The titles chosen for display are those that have Creator(s) and/or Imprint and/or Publisher and/or Keywords in common with the title on the page the user is viewing.

Search by awards, and display of awards on title details pages

Currently, you can search Content Reserve by more than 60 awards. Soon, your patrons will be able to search on these awards from your Advanced Search page. Additionally, if a title has received an award, this is displayed on the title details page. The award is shown as a hyperlink; users can simply click this link to view a list of titles that have received the same award. Some notable awards include Newbery Medal, PEN/Faulkner Award, Audie Awards, Best Books for Young Adults, Edgar Allan Poe Award, and Nebula Award.

Full Text Searching

The quick search at your Virtual Branch will be updated to support full text searching. This increases response times, and also allows users to search more metadata fields than before. Full text searching queries the Title, Publisher, Creator, ISBN, Subject, and Publisher-supplied Keyword fields of Content Reserve, as well as some MARC record data (Control Number and Library of Congress subject headings). With full text searching, a user can search on multiple terms, and the search results will be ranked by relevance.

OverDrive Training

OverDrive is offering a variety of one hour training sessions during September  which the Virtual Library has reserved a spot.  If you or your staff are interested in attending, please RSVP to Steve Baskin baskins@lvccld.org. Seating is limited!  These training sessions will be in the Virtual Library Training room at CC.  For Public Service staff we highly recommend courses 3, 4  6 & 7.  Since most of these classes are at Noon, you are welcome to bring your lunch.

Why take a course?
To increase staff knowledge about your OverDrive download service. An excellent opportunity to refresh past training or learn something new! Also:

  1. A case of Creative MP3 players (5) will be raffled by OverDrive live at each session for all particpating libraries.
  2. Awards for highest participating libraries. (Prize is OverDrive purchase credits)

Course 1: Real-Time Reports: Size-up Success…and Stay on Track
TIME: Thursday, 9/257 at 12:00PM (PT)
For administrators, selectors, and technical support staff

How well is your OverDrive download service performing? In this session you’ll learn how to use online reports to generate data for your OverDrive ‘Virtual Branch’. We’ll showcase reports which will best assist you in tracking circulation, new patrons, site traffic, and popular titles. Your team can then use online reports to gauge how well your ‘Virtual Branch’ is doing, and track a path to future success.

COURSE 2: Collection Checklist: 10 Steps to a Successful Download Collection
TIME: Wednesday, 9/10 at 12:00PM (PT)
For selectors and staff involved in collection development

Join us as we share and demonstrate 10 steps for creating a successful download collection — many that will make purchasing faster and easier. In addition, you’ll learn about brand new formats available from OverDrive’s catalog, including OverDrive MP3 Audiobooks (compatible with iPods) and EPUB eBooks. With these tips and tricks, you can attract patrons to your OverDrive ‘Virtual Branch’ by creating the most exciting, up-to-date (and easy to maintain) collection possible.

COURSE 3: Digital Library 101: Browse, Check Out, and Download!
TIME: Tuesday, 9/16 at 12:00PM (PT)
Repeated – see below
For all staff

This session is perfect for introducing library staff to OverDrive’s download service or as a refresher course. Learn how to browse, check out, and download OverDrive media – including Audiobooks, eBooks, Music, and Video. Plus, don’t miss highlights of many new features your patrons have been asking for. At the end of this course, staff should feel comfortable answering basic questions about your library’s ‘Virtual Branch’.

COURSE 4: Patron Support:  Become an OverDrive Download Library Specialist
TIME: Wednesday, 9/17 at 4:00PM (PT) 
 For technical support, community outreach, training, and public service staffTake your understanding of OverDrive download media to the next level so you can share your knowledge. This course focuses on frequently asked questions by patrons. We’ll review quick answers, support tips, and online help resources. As a bonus, participants will have the opportunity to submit questions in advance, and our expert trainers will highlight several popular questions in class.

 

Prerequisite: This is an intermediate level course. Participants should have previously attended ‘Digital Library 101’.

COURSE 5: Community Outreach: Introduce New Patrons to Download Media
TIME: Tuesday, 9/30 at 12:00PM (PT)
Repeated – see below
For community outreach, training, marketing, and public service staff

Once a patron visits your OverDrive download library, they’re likely to return. But what can be done to help a patron take the first step? In this session we’ll share creative techniques for introducing new patrons to your OverDrive download library. We’ll showcase promotional ideas from high circulating libraries, plus you’ll have a chance to share your own examples. With these tips you can attract a whole new audience to your library’s ‘Virtual Branch’.

COURSE 6: Community Outreach: Introduce New Patrons to Download Media
 Wednesday, 10/1 at 4:00PM (PT)
Repeat of Course 5

COURSE 7: Digital Library 101: Browse, Check Out, and Download!
Thursday, 9/18 at 12:00PM (PT) Repeat of Course 3.