08 September 2010

Notes from Patron Assistance

Yesterday I sat in on one of the sessions from OverDrive's Training Month, "Patron Assistance." This is the perfect training for librarians needing a refresher, as well as to have solutions for the most common issues that come up. If you haven't registered for a session, I strongly encourage you to do so -- there are lots of sessions still listed at the Training Month page.

Here are some tips I gathered from yesterday's session:
  • Be sure you are familiar with the Device Resource Center -- your patron's device may not be compatible
  • Know how to perform the Windows Media Player Security Upgrade, available from the Tools menu of the OverDrive Media Console
  • Pay attention to the download limits -- patrons can try to download a title three times per checkout period
  • Digital Rights errors will pop up a message box, and often have an error message beginning with 0x/say "parameter incorrect." DRM issues can usually be fixed by following step two of the "Three Steps to Solve Almost Any DRM Problem" post I made back in June, or, failing that, step 3 listed in that post
  • If a patron has trouble downloading a part, go to My Documents > My Media and look in either the WMA or mp3 folders (depending on the format of the title). Locate the problem part, which will be shown as incomplete, and delete it. Clear out the Temporary Internet Files, and then try to re-download from the OverDrive Media Console
  • If a patron gets a new library card, OverDrive can merge their old account with the new account, provided they have both library card numbers, and save the patron's holds, wait list, and ratings
  • The presentation has great, detailed info about the process of transferring to an iPod (the reason it is so slow? It's converting the file for you as it transfers!), as well as on what common error messages you will see and the information to have patrons send when they need help
  • If the device is not recognized, it is usually an issue with the software the device needs (you need to install the software, such as iTunes for the iPod, or update your device's software)
My other troubleshooting tip? Be sure your iPod Touch and iPhone users know about the mobile version of the OverDrive Media Console, available for free in the App Store. Patrons can then browse the site right on their device using Safari, and when the download is initiated, the mobile OMC will open up and download the title directly to the device.

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