28 June 2010

Survey for Recorded Books participants

The main contact person for the Recorded Books project should have received an email this morning, June 28, with a survey link.

Our subscription with Recorded Books is up for renewal in September, and we are looking for feedback from member libraries on the program. Please be sure to locate the email and fill out the survey, which should take less than 10 minutes if you have downloaded a title from Recorded Books before (the survey asks you to do so if you have not, so that we can get a good feel for the experience with everyone's answers).


23 June 2010

New Additions to Listen Up!

While we've been reshuffling the buying duties for Listen Up! Vermont, I've been remiss at posting our newest additions to the collection. Here's what was added for May and June:

A Question of Belief Donna Leon
Beautiful Maria of My Soul Oscar Hijuelos
Between Two Worlds Roxana Saberi
Broken Karin Slaughter
Caught Harlan Coben
Dead Lie Down Sophie Hannah
Deliver Us from Evil David Baldacci
Executive Intent Dale Brown
Family Ties Danielle Steel
Fantasy in Death J.D. Robb
For the Win Cory Doctorow
Gimme A Call Sarah Mlynowski
Gourmet Rhapsody Muriel Barbery
Heart of the Matter Emily Giffin
High Society Donald Spoto
Innocent Scott Turow
Instructions Neil Gaiman
Love in the Afternoon Lisa Kleypas
Married by Morning Lisa Kleypas
Murder in the High Himalayas Jonathan Green
Pray for Silence Linda Castillo
Sizzling Sixteen Janet Evanovich
Something Like Fate Susane Colasanti
Split Image Robert B. Parker
Still Missing Chevy Stevens
That Perfect Someone Johanna Lindsey
The Brazen Bride Stephanie Laurens
The Cardturner Louis Sachar
The Carrie Diaries Candace Bushnell
The Case of the Case of Mistaken Identity Mac Barnett
The Devil Amongst the Lawyers Sharyn McCrumb
The Last Child John Hart
The Light D. J. MacHale
The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death Charlie Huston
The Postmistress Sarah Blake
The Red Pyramid Rick Riordan
The Ring of Rocamadour Michael D. Beil
The Rule of Nine Steve Martini
The Search Nora Roberts
The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner Stephenie Meyer
The Spy Clive Cussler
Theodore Boone, Kid Lawyer John Grisham
To Desire a Devil Elizabeth Hoyt
Turtle in Paradise Jennifer L. Holm
Vanished Smile R.A. Scotti
War Sebastian Junger
White Cat Holly Black
Wicked Lovely Melissa Marr
Worst Case James Patterson

We've also been trying to keep up with the holds: the Steig Larsson books all have large holds lists, as do other popular new titles, such as Lee Child's 61 Hours. While we do purchase additional copies to meet holds and try to maintain about a 5:1 ratio of requests to holds, occasionally these very popular titles have higher ratios, since we generally will not purchase more than 3 additional copies (for a total of four copies).

Please advise your patrons to place themselves on the holds list and use the advanced search feature to find titles that are currently available or, if you are a Recorded Books One Click subscriber, to check out that collection, so they can download something today.

16 June 2010

OverDrive: The Three Steps to Solve Almost Any DRM Problem

The support questions we receive for Listen Up! Vermont, powered by OverDrive, almost always fall into the category of problems related to Digital Rights Management, or DRM. You can help your patrons be successful in resolving their issue by suggesting they try these three steps first:

  1. Talk to your patron. Are they trying to download a format that works on their computer? A format that will work on their player? WMA and mp3 formatted titles will work on an iPod if transferred through a PC. Mac users can only access mp3 formatted titles. Users with iPod Touches and iPhones and Andriod phones using the OverDrive Media Console app need to first find an item to download in the browser on their phone, and the item must be in mp3 format (it will download directly to the device when using the app, light years easier than downloading to your computer and transferring).

  2. Open up the OverDrive Media Console and click on the Tools menu. Choose "Windows Media Player Security Upgrade." This will automatically open Windows Media Player and update the DRM permissions; more often than not, this will solve the issue. Sometimes, the upgrade needs to be initiated manually; go to (in Internet Explorer only): http://drmlicense.one.microsoft.com/Indivsite

  3. Still not working? We all know Windows can be a little cranky. OverDrive then recommends resetting the DRM folder:

    1. Open the '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.
    (You can find the folder most often under C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\ DRM)
    9. Close this window and open OverDrive Media Console.
    10. Go to “Tools > Windows Media Player Security Upgrade” (as above).
As in the past, if you have tried these steps and looked through the "troubleshooting" posts on the Listen Up! blog, send the GMLC an email at vtaudiobooks[at]gmail.com for further tech support.

The downloadable media process is full of places where things can go wrong, because there are so many steps. It may help to understand that DRM is a requirement of the publisher; the format an item is released in is also determined by the publisher. The industry as a whole needs to decide to move to a unified format, as most eBook publishers have done by choosing EPUB.

Right now, in this relatively new circulating format, the model we have is the best we've got, where OverDrive is attempting to please both the wishes of publishers (to prevent piracy) and librarians (to be able to make available and circulate materials without draining the budget). Our patrons, the majority of which are not as tech savvy as their librarian, unfortunately are stuck in the middle.

As with anything in technology, don't forget the old standby of turning off the machine, counting to ten, and turning it back on. A reboot can do wonders. Don't forget to take advantage of the training sessions when they are offered.

And, as with anything in customer service, empathizing with your patron, apologizing ("I am sorry you had such as frustrating experience."), and offering to help walk them through the process does wonders.

01 June 2010

Recorded Books One Click Additions for June

Added to the Recorded Books collection:


Apothecary’s Daughter, The* Klassen, Julie
Blood Detective* Waddell, Dan
Blood on the Gallows* Compton, Ralph
Confession, The (Heritage of Lancaster County Bk #2)* Lewis, Beverly
Diamond Star* Asaro, Catherine
Every Man Dies Alone* Fallada, Hans
Firefight* Ryan, Chris
Halting State* Stross, Charles
Heaven’s Reach (Uplift Trilogy Bk #3) Brin, David
In Love With a Younger Man* Robinson, Cheryl
Little Black Girl Lost #5* Johnson, Keith Lee
Moloka’I* Brennert, Alan
Murder in the Marais* Black, Cara
Naming of the Dead Rankin, Ian
Night Music* Moyes, Jojo
Preacher’s Passion, A* Lovely, Lutishia
Promise for Spring, A* Sawyer, Kim Vogel
Rich Man’s Baby* Poole, Daaimah
Say It Ain’t So* Hunt, La Jill
Second Husband, The* Candish, Louise
Showdown at Hole-in-the Wall* Cotton, Ralph
Silent Spirit, The Coel, Margaret
State Fair Fowler, Earlene
Tale of Briar Bank, The* Albert, Susan Wittig
Too Long a Stranger* Oke, Janette
Underground (Greywalker Bk #3)* Richardson, Kat
Where the Line Bleeds* Ward, Jesmyn
Whiter Than Snow* Dallas, Sandra
Widow and the Tree, The* Brewer, Sonny
Zen in the Art of Vampires* MacAlister, Katie

Children & YA:

Annie & Snowball: The Prettiest House Lasky, Kathryn
Lockdown* Rylant, Cynthia
Night Fairy, The* Myers, Walter Dean
One Beetle Too Many Schlitz, Laura Amy
Phineas Gage Fleischman, John
Sisters Club, The* McDonald, Megan
Wild Things* Carmichael, Clay

Titles marked with a * are iPod compatible.