31 March 2008

New titles for the end of March

Here are the titles we added for the end of March/beginning of April -- including all the available titles off the 2008/2009 DCF and Green Mountain Book Award lists. The 2008/2009 DCF and GMBA titles were generously purchased for Listen Up! by the Vermont Department of Libraries and our State Librarian, Sybil McShane:

A Crooked Kind of Perfect Linda Urban, Tai Alexandra Ricci DCF
An Incomplete Revenge Jacqueline Winspear, Orlagh Cassidy
Bucking the Sarge Christopher Paul Curtis, Michael Boatman GMBA
Cracker! Cynthia Kadohata, Kimberly Farr DCF
Dairy Queen Catherine Gilbert Murdock, Natalie Moore GMBA
Elijah of Buxton Christopher Paul Curtis, Mirron Willis DCF
His Majesty's Dragon Naomi Novik, Simon Vance GMBA
Home of the Brave Katherine Applegate, Dominic Hoffman DCF
In Defense of Food Michael Pollan, Scott Brick
Jack Plank Tells Tales Natalie Babbitt, John H. Mayer DCF
Learn In Your Car German Level One Henry N. Raymond
Miracle in the Andes Nando Parrado, Arthur Morey GMBA
The Spiderwick Chronicles, Vol I Holly Black, Mark Hamill
The Spiderwick Chronicles, Vol II Holly Black, Mark Hamill
The Spiderwick Chronicles, Vol III Holly Black, Mark Hamill
Three Cups of Tea Greg Mortenson, David Oliver Relin, Patrick Lawlor
TravelTalk German Penton Overseas, Inc.
Who Was First? Russell Freedman, L.J. Ganser DCF

We also already owned three GMBA titles: An abundance of Katherines by Green, The book thief by Zuzak, and The astonishing life of Octavian Nothing by Anderson.

We also purchased additional copies of Water for Elephants and Grisham's The appeal.

4/2/08: Please note that An abundance of Katherines has been removed from the GMBA list by the committee. You can still find the title in our collection, although it will no longer appear under the DCF/GMBA tab.

mp3 winners & a map

I've been remiss in posting the names of our two winners in the mp3 player giveway:

West Hartford Public Library
Peacham Library


I've also taken advantage of my post-surgery "vacation" to make a Google Map of Listen Up! Vermont participants:


Handy to see the distribution of participants, where in the state holes in coverage exist (have a good friend or colleague in one of those towns? Call 'em and get them interested in Round Two!), and to scale down and provide to groups in your community or county.

28 March 2008

FAQ: troubleshooting -- getting emails

Worried that your spam filter might be weeding out your email that an audiobook or e-books you have reserved is ready? Set your email to accept messages from noreply@listenupvermont.org and never miss a message again!

26 March 2008

More on iPods, and other notes

I thought everyone might like to read this article from Library Journal on OverDrive and iPods:


Also, a press release about our service went out over MarketWire -- perhaps some of you may be contacted about it by your local papers:


And a note from OverDrive, which will be good to know, in case you get questions from your patrons:

Rescheduled Maintenance Window:  April 5, 2008 from 6:00 am - 4:00 pm EDT

Please be advised that, due to inclement weather, the maintenance window
previously scheduled for March 22 (described below) has been rescheduled for
Saturday, April 5, 2008 from 6:00 am - 4:00 pm EDT.

Thank you,
The OverDrive Support Team
Don't forget to send me postage and let me know the number of bookmarks you should receive, if you'd like them, and let me know if you do not want to be in the raffle for the two mp3 players. We'll be drawing the winner on Friday.

24 March 2008

Promotional materials and more

60,000 custom bookmarks from OverDrive have landed on my doorstep, and every consortium member will receive some for free, divided up this way:
  • $100 subscription level = 250 bookmarks ($4.60)
  • $250 subscription level = 500 bookmarks ($4.60)
  • $500 subscription level = 1,000 bookmarks ($6.85)
  • $1000 subscription level = 2,250 bookmarks ($8.95)
Now, I won't be counting these out exactly, but measuring and estimating. So no complaints that you received 457 bookmarks instead of 500!

Here's what you have to do: email me and let me know you would like bookmarks, and then send me the
postage listed above next to the subscription level and number of bookmarks you are set to receive. It's probably easiest if you sent me the actual stamps in the mail, and I can just stick them on. I will be mailing everything Priority Mail -- it is the cheapest way to go.

Of course, you are more than welcome to stop by the library in Stowe and pick yours up in person. Just let me know!

Please note: I will be out of the Library between 3/25 and 4/3. I will still be checking my email, but I won't be packing up any bookmarks to ship!

In addition, you can order custom materials directly from OverDrive, as well as standard materials. Let me know at schase[at]stowelibrary.org if you need contact information. For example, they've made us a nice custom poster, which you can order direct. I've put the file up in the Box widget, too -- if you can edit PDFs, you can change the Library name on the poster and print.

Speaking of our Box widget, you'll find a great introductory handout created by Amy Grasmick at Randolph (intro handout.doc or .pdf), a generic press release by David Clark from Middlebury (downloadables march 2008.doc), and a generic press release put together by OverDrive (Green Mountain Digital Library Consortium.doc). You'll still find our logos, small business cards, and some standard materials from OverDrive in the widget -- OverDrive has a great handout with instructions, too, called "trifold.pdf" Look too for their "Best Practices" handout -- on page 4, there is a great photo showing how one library circulates their mp3 players. I never thought of nestling it in foam!

21 March 2008

marc records

We have just received marc records for audio books in our collection. As they become available, we will post them here on the blog.

20 March 2008

FAQ: Troubleshooting -- error OxCOOD2779

Here's a question we've come across, about an error file:

Unable to transfer selected title because (Insert 3) returned OxCOOD2779.

If you get this message, which deals with a DRM issue, head over the NH Downloadable Audiobook blog for the answer:


mp3 player giveaway!

OverDrive has generously donated us two Creative MuVo V100 mp3 players (about $55 on Amazon) to raffle off to our consortium members. Unless we hear back that you do not want your library to be included in the raffle (maybe you've bought yours already, you don't want to circulate them, etc), we will be including all our member libraries in the raffle.

If you win, you can feel free to choose whether to circulate the player or raffle it off yourself to your patrons, as a way to gain interest in Listen Up! Vermont. And no, you can't pocket it yourself!

We'll raffle the players off on March 28.

Troubleshooting trainings scheduled

OverDrive has scheduled our next round of trainings, Troubleshooting, for April. We'll be using ReadyTalk again, as we did for our first round. I picked the two most popular dates, and then, by request, moved two of the trainings to the next week, with the best times I could get. You do not need to sign up for a training; just dial in at the appropriate time. Here are the dates:

Monday April 14th at 10am EST

Tuesday April 15th at 10am EST

Monday April 21st at 10am and 2pm EST

You should have received an email with instructions; let me know if you need that email re-sent.

19 March 2008

BIG news from OverDrive

Here's fantastic news about OverDrive's compatibility with iPods -- it is coming this summer! Here's a blurb, courtesy Brian Herzog ("the Swiss Army Librarian"):

"OverDrive just announced (at PLA, anyway) that they, too, are finally moving in the right direction. In June they’ll start offering mp3 files - which, best of all, will be iPod-compatible. And they’ll finally come out with a Mac interface, too. Read the entire announcement [pdf, 70kb]."

I am sure we will be hearing soon what exactly this means for us, but, having read the announcement, we will need to be looking at raising more funds if we want to purchase in this new format, and that in the future, we will have to make a collection development decision about what to purchase in what format and when. It also means that those of us with Macs will be able to use the service, as the OverDrive Media Console will now be Mac-compatible.

17 March 2008

FAQ: tech support, part I -- DRM, burning to cd, downloads

As our patrons start using the Listen Up! Vermont service, we will all run into tech support questions. But what to do? Here's the order for contact:
  1. Your patrons will contact you -- the tech support person and email you gave the GMLC are on the help pages in the consortium's site
  2. If you can't figure it out, email us at vtaudiobooks[at]gmail.com. We'll look into it.
  3. If we can't figure it out, we'll contact the folks at OverDrive, or give you (NOT your patron) the contact info for OverDrive.
The most common issue is that your patron has attempted to download the title more than 3 times. You will remember from the trainings that this is a DRM and publisher protection, to prevent people from downloading the title for everyone they know. If this is the case, send us an email, and as quickly as possible, we'll take care of it.

(Here's a link to a blog post on this issue: http://vtaudiobooks.blogspot.com/2008/03/troubleshooting.html)

Here are some other issues we've come across:
  1. You get a funky error message, with the "Parameter is Incorrect" in the message.

    This often means there is a problem with the DRM (Digital
    Rights Management) component of Windows Media Player. Usually, resetting the DRM will solve this problem. Please follow these steps to
    accomplish that: ** Please note: We apologize, but this is a very involved process. Please make sure you take the time to follow each step carefully. **
    1. Open "Control Panel".
    2. Open "Folder Options" and select the "View" tab.
    3. Select "Show hidden files and folders".
    4. Uncheck "Hide protected operating system files".
    5. In the warning message you receive, click "Yes".
    6. Click "OK".
    7. Close the Control Panel

    8. Rename the DRM folder to DRM.old.
    Depending on your OS, it can be found in different locations:
    Windows 2000 and XP: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\DRM
    Windows 98: C:\Windows\All Users\DRM
    Windows Millennium Edition: C:\Windows\DRM
    9. Close this window and open OverDrive Media Console.
    10. Go to "Tools > Windows Media Player Security Upgrade".
    11. Once the upgrade is complete, try downloading a book.
  2. You were unable to burn a title to cd.
    This is probably because you tried to burn a cd that cannot be burned. Be sure to look for the "flaming cd" picture. Also be sure you have a cd-r in the drive (some people have had trouble re-using the cd-rws).

  3. Your download seems to skip over a part.

    You may have a corrupted part. First, clear out your temporary Internet files (usually under Tools > Internet Options or Tools > Options. Next, in your My Documents/My Media folder (where your downloads default -- if you changed where your audiobooks download, check that folder), find the folder for the title you are having trouble with. Delete the WMA files for the part you are having trouble with, and then open your OverDrive Media Console.

    Select the parts you just deleted of the problem title, and download again. Try to play that part ASAP, and contact your library if you have more trouble.

11 March 2008

More new members

I've saved this post, welcoming our final group of new members, until I was sure I caught everyone:
  • Charlotte Central School
  • Greensboro Free Library
  • Jeudevine Memorial Library, Hardwick
  • Joslin Memorial Library, Waitsfield
  • Wilder Club & Library
We've lost a few along the way, but this brings our total to 81 members, of which 24 are schools and 57 are public and community libraries. Our smallest school is the Fletcher Elementary School, with 130 students, and our largest is the North Country Union High School, with 1,150 students. Our smallest public library is the Hancock Free Library, serving 344 residents, and our largest, the Rutland Free Library, serving 23,316 residents. Wow!

Some numbers, and Round Two


In our first two days, we had 176 items checked out. Wow! The Kellogg-Hubbard Library in Montpelier wins for most checkouts on our first day, with 15.

Remember: each library will be able to access their own statistics in the future -- that's why we needed to have a unique prefix for every library. We will be running trainings, most likely in May, on how to access the reports, and you'll be able to look at your past data.

We've also had interest in libraries about joining up. Unfortunately, right now, we are unable to enroll any additional libraries. We will be able to add new libraries on July 1 -- so be sure to contact us if you are interested. Libraries will have to pay an enrollment fee to OverDrive in addition to their subscription fee to the Consortium. Contact Stephanie Chase at schase[at]stowelibrary.org if you are interested in participating in Round Two, or if you need more information on pricing.

10 March 2008

A quirk

Thank you to Jen from the Windsor Public Library for alerting me to a quirk in the system. In the transition from test to go-live, every audio book that was "checked out" was checked back in, and all reserves seem to have been reset. I knew this was set to happen, and Annie mentioned it briefly in the trainings. This is to ensure that from this point forward, our statistics represent our actual patron usage, and not just all of us librarians having fun!

If you gave me your actual library card number to use for testing purposes, you might notice too that an audio book has been checked out to you. This too is just part of the final test.

We're Live!

Word on the street is that, as of 11am or so this morning, the Listen Up! Vermont site will be live and fully accessible to our patrons.

Thank you to our OverDrive Project Manager, Simon, our OverDrive trainer, Annie, and our very own Chris Kirby from Ilsley in Middlebury for getting us up, trained, and running.

If you have not sent Chris Kirby your actual patron barcode, you may still be having trouble logging in, because your account has not been tested. Be sure to look at your barcode range (from the spreadsheet Stephanie mailed around) and test your account too!

You may like to take a look at this article, from Sunday's Barre Times-Argus and the Rutland Herald:


Start promoting!

05 March 2008

FAQ: Troubleshooting -- no download button

Have you gotten this message while testing out the site?

"This download has been disabled. Please contact support"

Here's the deal, straight from our project manager at OverDrive:

"This messaging displays when a patron has tried to download an item directly from the website 3 times. Typically 3 downloads is going to be more than enough for a patron to download and access their title, but sometimes if a patron hasn't yet installed the OverDrive Media Console or has other technical issues, they might keep hitting the Download button and hit the download limit. When resetting the download link, it's always worth asking if it's the patrons first time trying to download a title and asking them to confirm that they have the OverDrive Media Console (and security upgrade) installed."

Maybe you're getting this message too as you try out your barcode or patron number.

Once we go live, if your patrons get this message, you should let Chris or I know.

04 March 2008

Logos and more

Per Deborah's request, find the little cards I sent out the other day for you to download, as well as, per Jill's request, the two Listen Up! logos (since they continually tied in the poll). We on the selection committee and OverDrive chose the Listen Up! logo with the state outline to use as the main option. Stick these on posters, in the paper, on your web site...

Get your own Box.net widget and share anywhere!

The Box widget stores all of the files I've put up to download -- just scroll down and you can still access the standard materials from OverDrive, our policies, etc.

03 March 2008

"But my barcode isn't working...."

Hello folks,

please remember that we estimated our start date with OverDrive for March 1. Until you get a message on the blog that OverDrive has said Listen Up! Vermont is all set, don't push it publicly with a promised date. Hand out the cards, help educate people about how they will log in (some of you will have to give your patrons really good instructions), check your barcode to see if it is working, download the software on your computers for your staff to try (or your patrons to use, if the downloaded files can be wiped clean after each use)... as I tell my pre-schooler, patience is a virtue!

We've got 80+ libraries for OverDrive to test, and we all want a service that is working great for our patrons before we publicize it. So please, hang tight. I promise the service won't officially go live without a really excited post about it here on the site.

Libraries have requested files of our logos, etc. I'll put those up in our Box widget for you to download as soon as I can.