Posts filed under ‘conferences’

Digipalooza Roundup – Day Three!

Turning Ideas Into Action – Karen Estrovich

OverDrive Training Month – Sept 12-Oct 7 – – Register now since spaces fill fast.  Please encourage your staff to get involved in this great training opportunity.

Install the OverDrive Dashboard so you can review circulation and collection data.  See what’s working and what is not working.

Share what you’ve learned at Digipalooza with other members of your staff/consortium.

Within the next 3-6 months – OverDrive WIN program and more maximum access programs available.  More suppliers will be coming soon.

One Year from Now
Monitor & adjust budgets for demand
Users will have access to more titles and libraries will maintain control over circulation.
Potential new funds for eBooks
Shift more budget from print.
Spend for demand
Consider additional formats:  music and video

Stay connected with OverDrive:
Visit the training center –
Marketing kits –
Contact the team anytime –

Homework for OverDrive Team – from Amy Pawlowski (Cleveland Public)
Find a neater way to save searches in ordering.
Have a search for publishers in ordering
Have a breakdown for mobile with app breakdown by device
Have a download station for e-books !!
Be able to renew titles if no waiting list
Webmaster tools – xml feeds
One piece of software for ebooks and one for audiobooks
Ability to weed collection
Mobile searching could be better.
Better catalog integration
Better marketing tools in electronic format.
Librarians have access to patron’s library card number.
Sales rank for books by how many other libraries have already purchased.


photo of Steve Potash

Steve Potash Predicts the Digital Future

Steve Potash’s Crystal Ball

4 Categories of change:

1.  Streaming – now we’re known as a downloading library but with the Kindle addition, there will be more streaming for ebooks.  This is expose thousand of interactive and educational products.

2.  E-Books EVERYWHERE – we’re now very device-centric.  There are already 85 devices for ebook reading, but this is a fraction of what is coming.  (web browsers on microwaves and fridges ??)  Now working directly with Adobe to not have patrons have to authorize their device before downloading.  Perhaps OverDrive can work behind the scenes to provide this authorization seamlessly without patrons even realizing it.  (New download stations being tested are all touchscreen.)
This will also mean a higher quality of e-book.  EPUB-3 standard coming out soon.  More robust content will follow this release.

3.  Make Libraries the premium destination for copyrighted digital media.  

4.  Unknown Explosion in Web Traffic –  The spike we saw in January is but a fraction of what is coming.  This may stress out our computer systems, library support staff, demand for library cards etc.  Let’s prepare for 100x times the previous traffic !!  80% of browsers on our digital catalog never check out books – just looking.  This may change soon.  Our libraries need to prepare for this coming explosion!!


July 31, 2011 at 9:46 am Leave a comment

Educating Your User – Day 2 Digipalooza 2011

OverDrive’s new Learning Central for Staff Training :

Jasmine Posey – Greenwich Library – in Connecticut – Their experiences with Educating their users! 

Last summer she did some soul searching to find out why their digital audiobook program was not going as well as their traditional audiobooks. She decided that it was HER attitude and so she decided to embrace the digital technology.  She started with patron and staff straining.  Apple Store came into their library and they brought iPads out for patrons to demonstrate.  They also partnered with Barnes & Noble to do training.  Staff can come in ON LIBRARY TIME to get help with their e-readers, individually or in a class.  OverDrive Staff Training in September became mandatory for ALL staff members.  Patron training became seasonal rather than monthly.  Attendance improved with this new schedule.

In the winter, staff members who owned different devices brought them into the training lab ON LIBRARY TIME and demonstrated them to patrons.  These sessions are advertised in a variety of media.

By spring, staff members realized that format didn’t matter to patrons as long as they could read the book.

When the presenter changed her attitude, use of e-books began to rise dramatically.  By embracing this technology on a staff-wide level, buy-in increased and key librarians actually got their own iPad to own.  None of them have to share it – theirs to keep as long as they are employees of the library.  They will start circulating e-readers to their staff shortly.

One program – “Help, My Phone is Smarter Than Me” was established due to the popularity of mobile apps for OverDrive.   These activities, along with a positive push for staff training has made a huge difference at this Library!

July 30, 2011 at 3:19 pm Leave a comment

Innovation in OverDrive – Day 2 of Digipalooza 2011

OverDrive’s Library Advisory Council created in 2010 to allow librarians to give feedback and suggestions to OverDrive.
Members test software, websites, and content models.
New Open EPUB format – DRM free ebooks that may be used on a multitude of devices.
Boston Public Library bought this new format and had over 200 checkouts in the first month.

Ben Alcorn from OverDrive spoke on more access to content – new improvements coming in Content Reserve!

OverDrive WIN will include:

1.  Enhanced searching – better returns
2.  BISAC subject headings for collection development – better results
3.  Marketplace skins for different countries and platforms – can be regional or age levels
4.  Patron Driven Acquisitions
5.  Format Consolidation
6.  Multiple cart support – you can have more than one cart open in Marketplace.
7.  Advantage reporting – already rolled out.
8.  Advanced Download Standing Order Plans
9.  Smart List ordering

In streamlining the content selection, you’ll now choose a title rather than look at format first.
Patron Driven Acquisition – Recommend to Library – – Let your patrons tell you titles they would like to see added to the collection.  You have control over whether or not to purchase it.  Also has an option to let patron actually decide to add it to your collection if you set up a default budget.

More maximum access with ebooks from Lonely Planet and other companies.
Max access with Disney Digital Books already going.

DRM-free eBooks – 1500 titles from O’Reilly, Carina Press and other publishing companies from around the world.

Simon Miller from OverDrive  focused on the streamlined user experience in OverDrive WIN.
1.  Innovation in browsing
2.  Format Options – no more format confusion – Patrons use a simple wizard to connect them to content more quickly.  They are then asked which brand device they are using.  From there, they see the content appropriate to their device.
3.  Kindle  – Existing ebooks in your collection will be available for use on all Kindle reading apps and devices.  Will benefit from Amazon’s Whisper sync technology as far as notes and bookmarks.  When you go to download, you’ll see “Get for Kindle” an you’ll be taken to the Kindle site but it will be coming from your library website.
4.  Thousands of eBooks offer DRM-free samples (about 10% of the book) and patrons can then preview or place a hold on that title.  This helps with unwanted checkouts.
5.  Site enhancements from top to bottom.  Quicker to navigate, better presentation of content.
6.  Enhanced Quick Search .  Will correct spelling to improve search result relevancy.
7.  “Remember me on this device” option on mobile devices.  Desktop versions will be coming soon.
8.  New Help Resources – all new articles with step by step instructions, ability to share via social networks or email.
9.  Update on accessibility – Adobe Digital Editions 1.8 out in Beta – supports voice reading software and well as high contrast option.
10.  WIN Catalog – features all front, mid and backlist.  All listed with samples and supports patron driven acquisition.  If you decide to purchase a suggestion, they will then get an email and get first on the list.

What is available now?  
Remember Me feature
Enhanced Quick Search at a small number of libraries.
Disney Max Access

Coming Soon:
“Read on Kindle” support
Format consolidation – now one record with two formats, rather than two separate units listed.
Streamlined browsing
Patron driven acquisition.

July 30, 2011 at 1:39 pm Leave a comment

Going Mobile @ Digipalooza 2011

After a truly exciting and funny presentation by self-published author, J.A. Konrath, we then spent some time brushing up on Mobile Devices, past, present and future trends in OverDrive.  (By the way, Joe Konrath is giving each OverDrive library a FREE copy of one of his ebooks!!  THANK YOU, JOE !!)

Going Mobile – Device compatibility with eBook readers and other devices.

Brief history –

Mobile sites launched in 2008 when iPod compatibility came in.
EPUB books in 2010 for mobile devices

OverDrive IT still get a lot of help requests in downloading audiobooks to iPod devices, especially WMA format items.  This can be a somewhat confusing process for many of our patrons since you are dealing with both the iTunes window and the OverDrive Media Console window.  Megan did a quick, live demo for all of us.  She then demonstrated the much easier process of downloading an ebook (EPUB) to a Nook Color using Adobe Digital Editions. Other than first authorizing the ADE software, this is fast and easy.

Today’s trends in 2011 – First quarter in 2011 – smartphones: 54% of all mobile phone sales in the US.  Over 70% of the world owns a mobile phone.  This has surpassed last year’s estimate for total year already!  Average number of apps on a smartphone is 27.

Megan then demonstrated how to install the OverDrive Media Console Mobile App on her iPhone. Remember, you must also first authorize the Adobe Digital Editions software on your mobile device before you download for the first time.

One new feature on the Mobile App is the “Early Return” feature for eBooks so you can have availability to additional selections.  Other features added by popular demand include:  Remembers library card numbers, Night and sepia modes, Sleep timer, Orientation Lock, and ebook support!!

OverDrive Media Console installs in 2010 – 71% on Windows computers , 11% on Mac and 18% on Mobile devices.  In 2011, Mobile has jumped up to 46% already!

Coming Soon — Help 2.0 with revamped help pages.

For Library Staff – Check out The Learning Center which provides course materials & Handouts – print them!  Donna from King County Library System told us about the e-reader guides their library provides for staff and patrons.  They started with small print cards – one for each type of device – that briefly gives specific help, but then leads them to more detailed  online guides.  They offer both video and text help.  Web page also links to reviews of e-readers and compatibility information.

On the Horizon:  Early return of MP3 audiobooks, Nook Color App, GPS locator for “Get Books”, Dictionary support, “Renew” a title, Browse, check out, and download in app, and Auto “Activation”  All I can say is WOW!!

Kindle coming soon- works with existing collection.

July 30, 2011 at 9:41 am Leave a comment

Digipalooza, Part 2

The Second Session of Digipalooza is focused on Maximizing the Value of the “Virtual Branch” of your Library.

Deb Czarnik  from Lee County Public Library (Florida) highlighted some important steps their library staff is taking with training for ebooks and the various formats.  They have established a page on the Intranet for staff instructions regarding the various formats for downloading as well as writing articles for their staff newsletters, suggesting blogs for staff to read, and sending out monthly reports so the various branch librarians can track usage for themselves.

They also have a presence for ebooks at various public events such as the Southwest Florida Reading Festival and bringing the OverDrive Bookmobile to gatherings.

Public Promotion is enhanced through digital boards in the libraries, putting out press releases for the local papers on a regular basis, and appearing on television news shows to promote ebooks.  Ebooks get prime real estate on their Library Web Page as well as the mobile site.

Billboard signs, bus stop banners help bring the local public into the library.  They also make use of QR codes on front doors and self-check machines.  They have them go directly to their download site.  They are now working on e-newsletters to promote their ebook collection.

Christopher Baker from the Gwinnett County Public Library (Georgia) was the next speaker.

Gwinnett started with OverDrive in 2005 with WMA audio, Music and Video – and later added non-ficiton in 2008 and fiction in July in 2009.  He readily admits he did it backwards !!   There has been a 99% increase in circulation and requests in the past year alone.

GCPL is a popular materials collection library.  They base their digital collection on the physical items already in the system, such as popular authors.  They maintain a ration of 4:1 with a maximum of ten copies purchased.  They initially purchase two copies of each ebook, which works very well for them.  They use short bib records so that records appear in their catalog within 24 hours of purchase from OverDrive.

They offer ongoing training for staff and customers.  At each library event, they have someone to talk about their downloadable collection.  They find that most of their patrons had some sort of device that could be used with digital formats.  The majority of their patrons continue to find the materials through their online catalog, so it’s especially necessary to keep it as current as possible.  They also customize metadata to match the genres/subjects listed for traditional formats in the library.

Holly Carroll from Poudre River Public Library District (Colorado)

One of her first projects after coming to Poudre River two years ago was to get OverDrive in the library.  They are in the process of catching up and building the collection in both audio and ebook format.  Right now, 3% of circulation is in eformat.

They created a mobile app for their webpage and this dramatically increased usage of OverDrive.  They worked with OverDrive to modify categories for easier browsing on OverDrive.  They also created a bookmark with their QR code that linked directly to their app.

               Staff & Public Fluency at Poudre River – Recently created a Digital Literacy Librarian position to lead training efforts for staff and public.  They have purchased devices for staff to borrow, focusing mainly on the Nook.  They are now buying Nooks for public loan.  They partner with Colorado State University on an eBook study, mainly written for the staff but also accessed by the public.  Holly recently had in article on e-content in the local paper and wrote an editiorial on DRM issues for the same paper.

They have certainly come quite a way in just under two years in promoting their digital collections!


Erika Reed – Marion County Public Library (West Virginia) – Joined Overdive in 2008 as a six member consortium – soon to be 10 members.  They have formed a board composed on the directors from each of those member libraries.  So much is happening so fast that they meet monthly.  They are now reaching more people in West Virginia digitally than in traditional library settings.  The demand on their e-collection now exceeds the demand for print version.

              Lessons they learned so far:
Little dollars mean little collections and thus little circulation.  They had to spend money to meet the demand and were scrambling to do so.
Patrons seem to “squat” on those first 100 bestsellers online.
Backlisting is important as is creating a fan base.
Identify staff that own a device and get them to train others.  This ties into marketing as well.
Continuing education for staff involves training, reading blogs and journals – and even hanging out at Target, B&N and Walmart.
They meet regularly to discuss current issues on marketing and technology needs.


Kimberly Edson – Rochester Public Library (Minnesota)   Home of Mayo Clinic1

Everything at RPL driven by mission and where it fits into their strategic plan.  OverDrive was added in 2005, thanks to a foundation gift.  One of their main reasons for choosing OverDrive is that it offered e-books.  Budget for this is now part of their regular budget.
They found it very important to identify key staff and clarify rolls for this collection, including collection selectors, public relations, public training.  They also buy devices for staff to play with on staff.
Downloadable tab reveals an entire page dedicated to explaining the collection and easy links.

              Training the Patrons – by classes and by providing download stations.  They made the decision at Rochester to purchase MP3 players to circulate for patrons and make use of the download stations rather than purchase Playaways.  Right now they don’t plan to circulate e-readers.

Telling Your Story to Your Funders – They send a monthly report of circulation stats from OverDrive to show how funds are being used.  Show the worth of your digital collection to local politicians.



July 29, 2011 at 10:55 am Leave a comment

Digipalooza 2011

Our morning started out with several panels of great speakers on Managing the e-book Explosion, including Cindy Orr. 

conference logo and stage

Digipalooza Stage

Evolution or Revolution – too late for evolution, so I guess it’s Revolution!!

Sales for eBooks on track to be twice as high as last year.

Chicago Public Library – number of people checking out eBooks doubled

When will ebooks become dominant?  We don’t know for sure, but it’s coming…

2003, first OverDrive site

2007, Kindle released

July 2010 Kindles ebooks outsold regular books

How do Libraries Respond?

Build our service around our readers

What do readers want?  Overwhelmingly pleasure reading, mostly fiction

Help people be able to browse – how?  Electronic displays “If you liked…” or Staff favorites, or summer reading titles

How do we stay ahead of the curve?  Building a library of the future!

  1. Books should be always available, no matter how many others want it.
  2. Device agnostic
  3. Access from anywhere
  4. Books must be cheap (or free)
  5. Service fast and as powerful as any retailer
  6. Help in finding a good book to read
  7. Need to be better at pointing readers to midlist books.

Who are customers of the 21st century library?

Digital fugitives

Digital immigrants

Digital natives

We need to adapt or die!  We need to seek out the digital natives since they are the future.  We need to take our services to them rather than have them come to us.  Keep innovating for services they don’t even know they want.

July 29, 2011 at 9:49 am 2 comments

What Exactly IS an E-Reader?

I was privileged to be a member of a panel of librarians on Friday at a Michigan Library Association conference on “Print to Digital.”  Four out of five on the panel were public librarians, with one voice from the academic arena.  Each of us shared our experiences with patrons using digital products in our respective libraries and then answered questions from a list we were given ahead of time.  The first question was “What is an e-reader?”  That seems like a pretty straight-forward sort of question and should have an equally simple answer, right?  Well, not so fast….. The first librarian, a respected and knowledgeable speaker on e-formats defined it as a device that displays e-books using e-ink technology.  She immediately indicated to our audience that I had a differing view of this matter… and I did!

To me, it is very narrow to insist that only devices that display digital writings using e-ink technology can be a true e-reader.  I own both a Nook Color and an iPad and neither of them use e-ink.  Rather, they display book content in beautiful full color (when appropriate) as well as black text on a white page with a back-lit screen.  Are these not really e-readers?  I contend that they are – and can be used to offer not only the traditional text contained in a book, but also enhanced features such as embedded animation,  or touching an item on the page and having it pronounced out loud.  None of these “added features” take away from the original content of the book, but rather make it appealing in new ways to a variety of users.  I used my own iPad to demo the interactive book, Cat in the Hat, for other librarians during our break.  They were all very curious to see how technology worked on this traditional children’s book, and I think they were happily impressed.  Could you imagine a travel book with embedded videos of the places you wanted to visit, or a cookbook with video actually showing you how to carve a turkey?  I see these things as very realistic goals for our e-readers in the next year or so. 

So I’m curious – – How do you define e-readers?  Think about it and let me know!

March 27, 2011 at 3:02 pm Leave a comment

Older Posts Newer Posts Bookmarks

Blog Stats

  • 14,121 hits

My Twitter Tweets

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

Recent Posts


My Flickr Photos


All views expressed on these pages are mine alone and may not represent the Plymouth District Library's position or opinion.

Creative Commons License
Well Rounded Librarian by Kathy Petlewski is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.