OverDrive: A digital download service for libraries / Troubleshooting tips & resources


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PowerPoint slides accompanying two segments of the Introduction to eBooks & eReaders class.

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  • OverDrive market share – serve over 90% of US public libraries

    LCL – offers eBooks + audiobooks
    OPL – offers eBooks + audiobooks + streaming video
    NOL group – offers eBooks + audiobooks
  • When a library or consortium contracts with OverDrive to build a digital collection, OverDrive provides that library or consortium with a customized website through which they can showcase and provide access to their collection.

    LCL has it’s own collection and website
    OPL has it’s own collection and website
    Nebraska OverDrive Libraries group has it’s own shared collection and website.
  • Not all eBooks are available in all formats

    OverDrive Read
    Read right in your browser
    No software or downloading required
    Downloadable to computers using ADE or to a mobile device using the OverDrive app
    Most OverDrive EPUB eBooks protected by Adobe DRM (Adobe EPUB) but some offered in Open EPUB format.
    Static layout
    Downloadable to computers using ADE and protected by Adobe DRM
    Read on any Kindle device or Kindle reading app.
    Fulfilled by Amazon
    Function like any other Kindle book from Amazon except they expire at end of lending period.
    Can download to Windows and Mac computers using OverDrive Media Console, and to mobile devices using the OverDrive app
    Can be returned early (except via Mac computer)
    After download to a computer, can be transferred to iPods, MP3 players, and some eBook readers; burned to CD
    WMA (Windows Media Audio)
    Smaller file size than MP3, so download faster
    Can only be downloaded to Windows computers
    Can’t be returned early
    After download to computer WMA audiobooks can be transferred to MP3 players that support DRM-protected WMA files and, with publisher approval, to Apple devices; can burn to CD with publisher permission
  • 3 things you’ll definitely need!

    Internet access in order to browse/search for titles via the library’s OverDrive web site.

    Library card + PIN (if required) – anyone can browse a particular library’s OverDrive website, but in order the check out and download content, you need to login as an authorized user.

    Things you’ll probably need, though this varies based on device type and item format:

    Free software – type you need depends on device you have and eBook format you plan to download.
    OverDrive account or Adobe ID
    Email address – required to set up OverDrive account and Adobe ID. Also used to place holds on titles.
  • For full OverDrive Read functionality use a modern web browsers with HTML5 support:
    Firefox, Chrome, Safari, IE 10, Silk
    If you're using an older browser like IE9 , you may be prompted to install an alternative browser or to use OverDrive Read Basic – a scaled down version of OverDrive Read available for legacy browsers

    No apps / software  means nothing that needs to be authorized with an Adobe ID or an OverDrive Account
    Not all eBooks are available in the OverDrive Read format. But close – 95% of eBooks in Nebraska consortium collection.

  • Probably the most common method of reading at this point in time…

    OverDrive app – lets you download EPUB eBooks and MP3 audiobooks to tablets, smart phones, and Windows 8 computers
    Used to require Adobe ID authentication in order to download Adobe EPUB eBooks. This requirement has been eliminated. Instead all new app installs require you to create and sign in to app with an OverDrive account.
  • OverDrive accounts have been offered for some time now, but they’ve been optional. In the newest update to the app, signing in with an OverDrive account will be a mandatory step for new installs.

    If your existing users of the OverDrive app have already authorized it with an Adobe ID (which they would have been prompted to do prior to downloading and Adobe EPUB eBook) they don’t need to do anything at the moment. When they update their app, however, they will be prompted to create an OverDrive account upon install (or if they’ve already created an OverDrive account, to sign in to it).
  • As time goes by fewer devices require download/use of ADE, but you’ll still find some patrons with devices that require this.
  • Digital eBooks from the library require a paradigm shift on the part of patrons.
    To accomplish this we need to educate patrons and promote new ways of looking at things.
  • There are a number of ways in which eBooks are similar to print books, but there are also a number of differences. One of the greatest challenges we face is negotiating these similarities and differences.

    My contention: Digital eBooks from the library require a paradigm shift on the part of patrons.

    To accomplish this we need to educate patrons and promote new ways of looking at things.
  • Licensed not owned

    Metered access
    HarperCollins - 26 checkouts
    Penguin – 1 year
    Macmillan – 2 years or 52 checkouts
  • Not true, but perception is reality, so WE need to help manage perception!
  • Libraries have been investing in their print collections for years, whereas the Nebraska OverDrive Libraries Group began building their eBook collection in July 2010, yet patrons expect the same fulfillment rate from the eBook collection that they are used to from the print collection.

    HarperCollins – metered for 26 checkouts; priced comparably to print
    Hachette – significant price markup
    Simon & Schuster – metered for 1 year; must allow “buy it now” button.
    Macmillan – metered for 2 years or 52 checkouts; initially not available to consortia
    Penguin Random House
    Penguin – metered for 1 year
    Random House – 3x price of print; available indefinitely with no limit on number of lends
  • Confidence – don’t be psyched out by what you don’t know; have confidence that you can successfully work through and solve many more problems than you think you can!

    Just because you have “no clue” when the patron presents their problem to you, doesn’t mean you can’t discover clues and ultimately solve the mystery. (Think of yourself as a detective. Or a doctor trying to diagnose a patient)
  • Not every problem can be solved right away, with one exchange of information with the patron. I often tell people this up front – “this might take several back and forths between you and me and me and tech support, but if we’re patient and hang in there we should arrive at a solution.”
  • The more eReader/eBook tech support you do, the better you will get at picking up clues based on what you hear AND WHAT YOU DON’T HEAR.
    Are they talking about .acsm files? Show them how to change default file association
    Or moving files between the Digital Editions folder on their computer and a folder on their eReader?
    Do they say they see their purchased B&N books, but not their library books?

  • Type of computer and eReader or mobile device being used? Type of file being downloaded? (Maybe they are trying to download a format that won’t work on that equipment (e.g., PDF on mobile device). Or maybe there are unique problems that sometimes crop up with that equipment.
  • Even though they may sound confident about the steps they follow, I try to walk them through the process “to help me try to pinpoint where the problem happened.” (e.g. book checked out, gray download button, click open, when downloading did ADE open? Do they see book in ADE? Plug in device – do they see device? Drag and drop book from ADE to device….)

    Google error message
  • DON’T expect to memorize this information; just know where to find it on your library’s virtual branch web site!
  • There are many forums out there for eBook lovers. Some are device specific, others are broader, but users of these forums ask each other questions and help each other solve problems. You will probably find that someone else has already asked about this problem and received a solution.

    Adobe Digital Editions won’t recognize Nook OverDrive
    "protected page error" sony reader overdrive

  • OverDrive: A digital download service for libraries / Troubleshooting tips & resources

    1. 1. Introduction to eBooks & eReaders Susan Knisely Online Services Librarian Nebraska Library Commission
    2. 2. • A leading distributor of downloadable eBooks, audiobooks, and other digital content to libraries. • Service used by 160+ Nebraska public libraries to provide downloadable digital content to their patrons: – Lincoln City Libraries – Omaha Public Library – Nebraska OverDrive Libraries Group (166 members)
    3. 3. Browse, borrow, read, and download digital titles from your library’s OverDrive-powered website! nebraska.lib.overdrive.com
    4. 4. eBook Formats:  OverDrive READ (new)  EPUB  PDF  Kindle Audiobook Formats:  MP3  WMA (being phased out)
    5. 5.  Internet access  Library card + PIN from participating library  Device on which to read eBooks:  Desktop or laptop computer  Dedicated eBook reader  Smart phone or tablet  Free software (OverDrive app or Adobe Digital Editions)  OverDrive account or Adobe ID  Email address
    6. 6.  OverDrive’s browser-based eBook reading option  Works on most tablets, smart phones, and computers running modern web browser  No apps to download or software to install (see book read book)  No Adobe ID or device activation  For offline access, download eBook to browser’s cache and bookmark URL
    7. 7.  Available free from popular app marketplaces  Supports download of EPUB eBooks and MP3 audiobooks to:  Apple iPhone/iPad/iPod touch  Android phones & tablets  Kindle Fire, Fire HD/HDX  Nook Color, Tablet, HD, HD+  Windows Phone  Windows 8
    8. 8.  Sign up at www.overdrive.com or when you download and install the OverDrive app.  Syncs bookmarks, reading/listening position, libraries, and saved searches across apps and devices.  Eliminates the need to authorize the app and device with an Adobe ID.
    9. 9.  Free software that supports download of Adobe DRM-protected EPUB and PDF eBooks to a Windows or Mac computer.  Lets you read eBooks on your computer or transfer them from your computer to an eBook reader when the computer and eBook reader are authorized with the same Adobe ID or OverDrive account. Note: If you are using Adobe Digital Editions software you will need access to your OWN computer!
    10. 10.  Kindle eReaders:  Only compatible with Kindle format eBooks.  DON’T need to download software or install apps.  DO need an Amazon account + access to a computer with Internet access.  MAY want to install the Kindle app on other owned devices.  Kindle Fire tablets:  Compatible with Kindle format eBooks, OverDrive Read eBooks (via Silk web browser), and EPUB eBooks and MP3 audiobooks (with OverDrive app installed)  DON’T need access to a computer  DO need an Amazon account and access to WiFi
    11. 11.  Software for Windows & Mac computers  Download and listen to WMA/MP3 audiobooks on Windows computer, MP3 audiobooks on Mac  Transfer to portable player / burn to CD
    12. 12.  eBooks are both similar to and different than print books, which makes it difficult to manage expectations and avoid misperceptions on the part of patrons.
    13. 13.  One Book — One User  Limit on checkout period / number of titles you can checkout.  Patron can place hold on title that is checked out and get notified when title is available.
    14. 14.  OverDrive eBooks are available 24/7!  OverDrive eBooks return themselves on their due date.  No late books and no overdue fines, but…  No option to keep books out past their due dates in order to finish them in exchange for paying fines  Metered access
    15. 15.  When patrons virtually browse an OverDrive collection they see not only the books that are available to checkout, but also all the books that are not available to check out.  “Everything is checked out!”  “Every book I want to read has holds on it.”  When patrons physically browse a print collection they don’t see the books that are already checked out.
    16. 16.  Nebraska libraries have been building their print collections for years, whereas the Nebraska OverDrive Libraries group began building its eBook collection in July 2010.  Limited budget for eBooks.  Not every book is available to buy through OverDrive.
    17. 17.  Librarians need to be familiar enough with the service to counter/overcome some of these perceptions!  A few titles have a lot of holds, but the majority of titles have one or zero holds.  Don’t just look at # of holds; also look at # of copies.  Limit your search to titles that are available for immediate checkout.  Make sure patrons are aware of publisher problems.
    18. 18. http://nebraska.lib.overdrive.com
    19. 19. Introduction to eBooks & eReaders Susan Knisely Online Services Librarian Nebraska Library Commission
    20. 20. Do you need to be a Techie? No! Absolutely not!
    21. 21.  Just because you have “no clue” when the patron presents their problem to you, doesn’t mean you can’t discover clues and ultimately solve the mystery.
    22. 22.  Be prepared for multiple exchanges with the patron and multiple exchanges with tech support, and PREPARE PATRON FOR THIS!  “I have to go to work now but I will be back at 9:30 tonite and I will hope to see the latest thing I should try. It's like a treasure hunt with clues along the way. We're getting closer, I can feel it.” -- a patron I was helping with download problems
    23. 23.  The more eReader/eBook tech support you do, the better you will get at picking up clues based on what you hear AND WHAT YOU DON’T HEAR!  I checked out an Adobe EPUB book through OverDrive and it downloaded as a .acsmfile, not as an .epub file…  I located the book I downloaded in the My Digital Editions folder on my computer, and I used Windows Explorer to move it to my eBook reader.  I can see the books I purchased through B&N on my Nook, but I can’t see my OverDrive book.
    24. 24.  Have you successfully downloaded eBooks from this service before? Using the same equipment?  Have you downloaded Adobe Digital Editions (or the OverDrive Media Console app)?  Have you created an Adobe ID and authorized your computer and/or device?  What type of computer/eReader/mobile device are you using?
    25. 25.  What type of file are you trying to download?  Would you provide me with your library card number so I can login to your account?  Can I walk you step by step through the process so I can try to pinpoint at what point you begin having problems?  Can you share with me the exact text of any error message you are receiving?
    26. 26.  Are download problems related to Internet access problems?  Did a publisher send a corrupt file to OverDrive?  No identifiable reason for difficulty? Delete the files and try again…
    27. 27. OverDrive device/format questions are best answered using OverDrive online Help resources
    28. 28.  MobileRead Forums www.mobileread.com/forums  B&N Community bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com  NookBoards www.nookboards.com/forum/index.php  nookTalk nooktalk.net  Sony Reader Forum www.sonyreaderboards.com/forums/  Adobe Digital Editions Help https://forums.adobe.com/community/adobe_digital_editions /
    29. 29. Patrons can access Front Line Tech Support form by clicking on “Help”  “Support” Librarians can access a support form by logging in to Marketplace (http://marketplace.overdrive.com) and clicking on “Support”  “General support”