Friday, September 30, 2011

OverDrive Training Month 2011

September 12 to October 7 is OverDrive Training Month. For this month, OverDrive has offered a few online sessions for those who work closely with the collection to better familiarize them with upcoming changes. During this timeframe, I have taken both seminars, the 2011 OverDrive Experience and eBook Explosion, and would like to share with you some of what I have learned.

OverDrive has recently begun to combine formats into single records within their online collection. Previously, users often had to choose between multiple records that offered differing formats: EPUB or PDF for eBooks, MP3 or WMA for audiobooks. Because readers found these multiple formats confusing, OverDrive has combined them into a single record. Now users can select the record and then select the format of their choice. This also had made purchasing easier in that buyers need only select one record of an an eBook or audiobook, instead of having buy multiple formats.

To give users a better sense of what a book is like before downloading it, OverDrive will soon be offering thousands of DRM-free sample files. By giving patrons a “sneak-peak” they are hoping to decrease the amount of downloaded and unread titles and to mimic the real life, borrowing experience. Soon, you will be able to look inside before checking out a title.

Another feature that I am very excited about is the incorporation of a “Recommend to Library” button. By adding this button to a library’s OverDrive site, a patron can click into a list of potential titles that their library could purchase for them and make recommendations to their library. The Chinook Arch librarians have been talking about adding such a feature to the site in the last month or so, so this addition could not be timelier.

OverDrive has also added better searching, with the ability to offer alternate options for incorrect spelling, is working on a more effective help system, and has added free titles from Project Gutenberg to our site. Many of the features that I have listed here will appear on our website over time, with some of them already available.

Besides these two courses, OverDrive has a number of online tutorials that can be watch whenever you have 15 to 50 minutes. You can access them at: If you are interested in either of the above sessions, you can sign up for them here:

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