Welcome to Week 1 of the San Jose Public Library eBranch Excitement staff training program! Congratulations on deciding to participate in this self-paced online learning opportunity. Not only will you come away more familiar with SJPL’s online services, you’ll get a chance to win a grand prize pack and help your location win a Pizza Party! Most importantly, we hope that you’ll learn some new and interesting resources in the process.
First, let’s start with an overview. SJPL’s ebooks, eaudiobooks, emagazines, and databases are available 24-7. The library offers fiction, non-fiction, academic journals, popular magazines, and music as well as materials for teens and children, which you can read or listen to, on either your computer or a tablet or SmartPhone or other device.
Compared to the spring of 2011 when we presented the eBooks Excitement training program, SJPL offers a much wider, larger collection of ebooks, including Books24x7, an online collection of computer, IT, and wellness ebooks; OneClickDigital from Recorded Books; and Axis 360 from Baker&Taylor. (Be sure to look over the older training if you’d like to see how far we’ve come!)
We’ll go into each collection specifically in the upcoming weeks but please look around each service and be sure you are familiar with these newer collections. All of the titles from these three new collections are also found in the catalog.
Now, two years later, many of the issues we discussed around Digital Rights Management (DRM) are still relevant (you still need separate software for each vendor, and there’s no way you can look at your electronic checkouts with your physical items in your online library account, and you still will probably have to wait for popular titles) but in terms of content availability, things are much brighter. After a pilot program (involving SJPL among other libraries), the Hachette Book Group announced it will sell its full catalog of ebooks to libraries, instead of just their backlist (titles published prior to 2010; this publisher represents authors such as James Patterson and David Sedaris.) This is great news ~ it means access to more content and there’s more momentum on this front!
Also, SJPL is doing much more in terms of delivering cutting edge library services. For example, the new Educational Park Branch will feature laptop, tablet, and Chrome notebook checkouts, as well as spaces to share screens and collaborate. The Bascom Branch will feature large digital art display screens for teens to customize in its Teen area. All very exciting!
Now, let’s dive into OverDrive!
OverDrive is our largest and oldest collection of downloadable ebooks. It includes eaudiobooks in MP3 and WMA format, and ebooks in Kindle, ePUB, and PDF formats. The site was recently updated so if you have not yet viewed the introductory video, please do so – most importantly, you can now listen to eaudiobook samples, and also read ebooks directly in the browser.
Also, an OverDrive app is available for most popular devices so that’s the easiest way for customers to get content directly on their device.
With OverDrive, you can choose to check out these items for 7, 14, or 21 days. Customers may check out ten OverDrive titles at a time. No, there are no renewals – but that will hopefully change soon.
You can search the OverDrive collection from the catalog or go to their page directly. But, if you search from the catalog, you don’t get an idea if the material you found is actually available or not until you click through to OverDrive. If you search from OverDrive directly, you can search for available items only. We’re hoping that all this will change soon as OverDrive will support integration with My Account and other features!
Also, OverDrive has a large selection of help files and videos.
Please note that OverDrive is the ONLY ebook collection where if you have a block on your account, you won’t be able to check out any ebooks, either.
So what can go wrong? Here are some common error messages and issues, and what to do.
“There are unresolved issues with your account”: The most main issue that we hear about from customers are account related issues. Because OverDrive does check your customer account, if there are fines over $10 or a block or an incomplete item or an expired card, you won’t be able to check out with OverDrive. (You can check out with the other ebook vendors, though.) So please check for these issues when a customer has problems!
“Media file is corrupted”: Secondly, if you want to download something in WMA format to your Apple device, you have to first download to a PC and then transfer the content – you can’t use a Mac first.
“I got an email that the book I put a hold on is available but it’s not there”: Holds are only available for 72 hours, so if you wait too long, the hold will expire. Also, customers may have used a different library card/same email for the hold. Most annoyingly, once a hold item is added to the bookbag it must be checked out within 30 minutes or it will be automatically returned to the collection and must be requested gain.
When customers have a problem with OverDrive, please have them email firstname.lastname@example.org for the fastest resolution!
For this week’s exercise, first, try out OverDrive. You can download a title using the app to a personal device, or download a title to your work computer.
Then, look through sjpl.org, and YouTube, which has a large number of OverDrive and other ebook help content, and OverDrive’s Help section.
Then, here’s the part where you participate – please leave a comment with your responses, full name, and assigned locations to earn a raffle entry, by Tuesday, May 28 – that’s right, you get an extra week for this first week!
Here are the questions:
1. What online help resource did you find? Please share the link and summarize the contents.
2. What’s the one piece of advice you would share with someone new to OverDrive? Do you have any tips and tricks you use with customers that you can share?