30 September 2010

Registered Borrowers Reminder

Please remember: any significant changes to your DOL-submitted registered borrowers number needs to be submitted to Stephanie at schase[at]stowelibrary.org by tomorrow, Friday, October 1. If you have submitted your number and received confirmation from Stephanie, your new data has been put in our files.

2011 Membership Agreements will be emailed on Monday, October 4 in order to incorporate these changes, and will be due back by Wednesday, December 1.

28 September 2010

Recorded Books Collection

Participating member libraries: please remember that our downloadable audio book service with Recorded Books ends this Friday, October 1. Patrons will not be able to access the collection following that date.

Please remember to remove the MARC records for the Recorded Books content from your catalogs, if necessary.

Member libraries should have received an email earlier today with more information about the end of our Recorded Books service. Please let us know at vtaudiobooks[at]gmail.com if you have any further questions.

22 September 2010

Notes from the Community Outreach Training

I have been participating in OverDrive's Open Training Month; today I attended the Community Outreach training. Here are my notes:

#1 Referrer – your library’s homepage. Be sure it is easy to locate (above the fold/not needing to scroll), and directly links to your virtual branch. Try to minimize the number of clicks a patron has to make. You could also use a text link or a “spotlight banner.”

Also an access point from your catalog – not just having the MARC records, but having a link that says something like “downloadable audio” or a graphic.

Be where your patrons are – Facebook, Twitter (what about a fan page for patrons?) – send through new posts with noteworthy titles, for example.

Consider reviewing downloadable media.

Techniques for promoting in the library

· Have promotional materials – bookmarks, posters, etc

· Put business card size promotional cards in your books on cd

· Try to have your own “gadget gallery”

· Have your screen savers and/or digital message boards promote downloadable services

· Do you have a bookmobile? Promote downloadables

· Don’t forget the bottom of your circulation slips or your email signature

· OverDrive materials (bookmark, etc) in the books on your holds shelf

Have a training for patrons

· Try for monthly, but at least quarterly

· Promote on website

· Flyers in library

· Media coverage – reach out and include pictures

· Have a raffle

Techniques for promoting outside the library

· In many libraries, the majority of users are not regular library users

· Use your local media

· Community events

· Local schools and colleges

· Gyms are a great choice – remind people they can download audio to listen to while they work out

· Catch the eye of your travelers with posters at bus & train stations, etc.


· Use the referrer report – how are people finding you?

· Use new patrons per month to judge your marketing efforts

OverDrive's Digital Bookmobile!

The Digital Bookmobile made a stop at the Pierson Library in Shelburne, VT on Tuesday, August 31, 2010. Here is a look inside of the bookmobile brought to you from a Flip video camera and a librarian still learning the ins and outs of editing.

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.

03 September 2010

A Note on Borrowers

We have received a few questions regarding the borrowers number to report to the GMLC in order to have your fee for 2011 calculated.

The GMLC will be taking the number you have reported to the Vermont Department of Libraries for "registered borrowers." Last year, this number was reported on line H04 of your Vermont Public Library Report. For our purposes, active borrowers and registered borrowers are one and the same: they are your patrons eligible to check out materials.

This number reflects not the number of people you feel use the library, but the number of people you have registered for library cards in your system. Each library may have different policies regarding how long inactive patrons are kept on file before having their records purged; this decision is a local decision.

Any extreme deviations from the number reported to the state for your Library in 2009 will require documentation on your 2011 membership agreement.

An Update on Recorded Books

The main contact for each member library using the Recorded Books One Click service should have received a letter by email on Wednesday regarding the GMLC Board of Directors' decision to stop the service.

Our current contract with Recorded Books runs out on October 1, and we would appreciate member library feedback as to whether you would like the service to continue through the end of 2010 or terminate at that time.

This decision was a difficult one, and we anticipate revisiting working with Recorded Books to provide their downloadable product in the future. If your library would be interested in continuing with the Recorded Books service in addition to your Listen Up! Vermont service, the GMLC is willing to work on negotiating a discount on behalf of our members. Please contact Stephanie Chase at schase[at]stowelibrary.org if you are interested.

Once our contract with Recorded Books is finished, we will be focusing our budget efforts on Listen Up! Vermont, including significantly increasing the Always Available collection, continuing to reduce the holds ratio and increase the availability of new materials, and also add ebooks in ePUB format to the collection.

02 September 2010

Don't forget the bookmarks

Just a reminder: we still have lots of our wonderful Listen Up! Vermont bookmarks and posters with the cows that need loving library homes. If you would like a box of bookmarks, simply send $4.95 in postage (the cost of a small flat-rate envelope), and I will fill it with bookmarks and send them on their merry way.

You may also send postage to Kip Roberson at the Pierson Library in Shelburne, as he also has bookmarks to send along.

01 September 2010

Digital Bookmobile a HIT!

Kip Roberson, Nancy Tusinski, and I had a great time in the heat yesterday with OverDrive's Digital Bookmobile. We had 86 people stop and receive excellent training from Lisa and R.E., as well as information about Listen Up! Vermont. It was a fun time!

As soon as the Digital Bookmobile photos are up on their website, we'll be sure to link to them and share some favorites. Nancy also took some video, and we hope to see that soon as well.

Thank you to all of our member libraries who shared the event with their patrons, and thanks to OverDrive for planning all the details, right down to having a trash can by the steps up to the bookmobile.

One Click Additions for September

Prince of a Fellow Hearon, Shelby
Golden Mean, The Lyon, Annabel iPod-compatible
Sunset Limited, The McCarthy, Cormac iPod-compatible
Devil’s Dream Bell, Madison Smartt iPod-compatible
Buster Midnight's Cafe Dallas, Sandra iPod-compatible
Six Graves to Munich Puzo, Mario iPod-compatible
Expensive Education, An McDonell, Nick iPod-compatible
Trouble Down the Road Griffin, Bettye iPod-compatible
Be Careful What you Pray For Roby, Kimberla Lawson iPod-compatible
Voodoo Dreams Rhodes, Jewell Parker
Beguiled Gist, Deanne iPod-compatible
She Walks in Beauty Mitchell, Siri iPod-compatible
Watch Over Me Parrish, Christa iPod-compatible
Tall, Dark and Texan Thomas, Jodi iPod-compatible
Any Known Blood Hill, Laurence
Singer’s Gun, The Mandel, Emily St. John
Cimmaron Rose Burke, James Lee
Kidnapped Burke, Jan
Blacklands Bauer, Belinda iPod-compatible
Blood Moon Disher, Garry
Poison King, The Mayor, Adrienne iPod-compatible
Crouching Vampire, Hidden Fang MacAlister, Katie iPod-compatible
Everlasting Kiss Ashley, Amanda iPod-compatible
Rapids, The Neggers, Carla iPod-compatible
Gods of Riverworld, The Farmer, Philip Jose
Halting State Stross, Charles iPod-compatible
From Hell With Love Green, Simon iPod-compatible
Sudden Fury Johnstone, William W. iPod-compatible
Canyon Diablo McCoy, Max iPod-compatible
Crossing Fire River Cotton, Ralph iPod-compatible