Overdrive, or Out of Gas?
Thursday, October 9, 2014
Posted by: Nathan Swartzendruber
After buying my dad a Kindle, I was describing to him how to check
out library ebooks from Overdrive. Go here to find his library’s
Overdrive site, sign in, find an ebook, select the Kindle version,
checkout, sign in to his Amazon account, etc. He looked at me
skeptically and asked, “They expect
people to figure all this out?”
They do. Overdrive does try to help, with an extensive support site.
But just as much,
the site highlights how complex and fragmented their system is. They’re “getting
started” article links to 13 detailed guide sections, which include
multiple sub-guides and quite a few videos.
But the videos, too, only show parts of the process. The Kindle
Fire–perhaps the e-reader most easily integrated to Overdrive–has 8
instructional videos available in its section, and none show the process
from start to finish. It’s no surprise that people drop their devices
on library reference desks in frustration.
That’s where we come in, whether we’re eager to troubleshoot
patrons’ devices or not. If Overdrive’s documentation isn’t good enough,
we can make it better. Have you created instructions or support
documents for Overdrive or other digital assets? If you’re willing to
share them, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
and we’ll post them to our website. Or share what you want at
instruction guide to include. Let’s see what we can build, together.
- Nathan Swartzendruber, Technology Educator
Overdrive Support: More Than One
No patron wants to hear, “Sorry, there’s only one person on staff
who can help you with ebooks, and she’s not here right now.” It can be a
challenge to get more staff trained, though, especially if you don’t
have devices to practice with.
Staff Training Symposium–just two weeks away–one
of our break-out sessions covers Overdrive. It’s not just an
informational session. You’ll see live demos of Overdrive and the steps
required to load ebooks onto devices.
Add some Overdrive support at your library at the Staff Training
Symposium at Boone County Public Library in Burlington (KY) on October