eBooks and eAudiobooks: What the Vendors Didn’t Tell Us

By Colleen B. Eggett

What should librarians teach their customers about the eBooks and eAudiobooks iphonethat they provide through various vendors such as OverDrive, OneClick Digital, 3M Cloud Library, Axis 360, and others?

I recommend that you teach

  • That you have the eBooks
  • The details of your library’s program:
    • How many items can be checked out at a time
    • How many holds can one have / no holds needed
    • How long is the checkout period
    • How they get in from your library. Does it take a library card #? An access code?
  • What’s included:
    • Genres/ types of books (Romance, Mystery, Biographies, Nonfiction, Children’s books, YA)
    • Software that’s needed (EX: Media Manager, Adobe Digital Editions)
  • Demonstrate how it works
    • Start at your own website
    • Download the media manager
    • Browse
    • Check out
    • Download
  • What help is available
  • Tips for success
  • Common Questions

The audience may be different for reading eBooks and listening to eAudiobooks


  • E-book readers may be younger readers, who need to physically read with their eyes for school
  • Also tech savvy people with an iPhone, Nook, Kindle, or iPad


  • Audiobook readers may be older and don’t want to use their eyes—the print is becoming small
  • They may be on the road a lot for work or play, or they live in rural areas and it’s all spread out

What you need to know:

  • If one person is logged into a computer then logs out, then another person logs in immediately after, they may get an error message: “unable to log into this account.” If so, use a different browser (EX: Firefox rather than IE, or Safari, etc.)
  • Make sure the last person’s browser isn’t still open on the computer
  • Turn the device off then on
  • Clear the cookies
  • Find answers to problems by looking on the vendors’ websites, emailing the support desk, Googling the question

What your public needs to know:

  • Don’t plug in your portable device to your computer until you’re ready to transfer. If it’s plugged in while you’re downloading you’ll get tripped up
  • Make sure your portable device is adequately charged to transfer. If you’re out of battery you’ll be unsuccessful
  • If something doesn’t download, your computer freezes, you run out of battery, you lose internet connection, or whatever, delete the part that got stuck and download that part again. Then download all the rest

How can we be successful in offering downloadable books?

  • Shift more of our budgets to buy more digital content. Library Journal reported in 2014 that eBook integration into the library world is just about complete, with nine in ten libraries now loaning eBooks.
  • James LaRue, former Director of the Douglas County Library in Colorado, said that in the next year, 20% of public libraries’ budgets will go to eBooks and audiobooks, and by 5 years from now, it will be 50%. From which budget will we shift funds? Reference and nonfiction are possibilities
  • Promote your eBooks and audiobooks
    • Talk, talk, talk
    • Make sure your staff knows about them
    • Get the word out on your website
    • Get the word out in your building. Put up:
      • A sign in your audiobook area
      • A banner outside your library
      • Signs / flyers at the your checkout area
      • Put it on your website
      • Marc records for the titles in your library catalog
    • Be proactive. If you’ not happy with your eBook or audiobook service, talk to the vendor. Your voice is important as the eBook industry evolves
    • Try something new and let people know how it worked: sharing knowledge is a library value

Top 3 trends in public libraries today

There’s always so much to think about in public libraries today, but if I could consider the top three trends, I would say:

1. Collaboration is huge. We are busy meeting the public’s information needs in different, more dynamic, more effective ways now, and it’s all about collaboration. Ask yourself, what does the fire department and the library have in common? Then decide: both are involved in public awareness of fire prevention. Then decide together on a booth, a display, a night where the fire chief comes and speaks at the library, on safety in the home, or whatever else may come into play. People can have fun with this one, it can be sort of like solving a riddle. Better yet, use your long range plan to decide with whom to collaborate (first choice, actually).

2. We are retooling our library spaces to be much more customer oriented. We enjoy style, adequate space for people to meet or work or just relax, ample lighting, views of the outdoors, maybe even something to nibble on while we’re there. Though I only have a couple of grievances with Melvil Dewey, he is now old school in favor of bisac (bookstore model) cataloging.

Continue reading Top 3 trends in public libraries today

Kindle and OverDrive

People have been asking for instructions on using a kindle to check out eBooks from their public library through OverDrive, courtesy of Pioneer: Utah’s Online Library.  Well, here you go.


  1. Visit your Utah public library’s website and click on the link to Overdrive. Or, go to http://pioneer.utah.gov and click on OverDrive.
  2. Check out a Kindle book (library card required).
  3. Click on “Get for Kindle.” You will then be directed to Amazon.com to redeem your public library loan. You may be required to login to your Amazon.com account — or create a new account — if you’re not already logged in.
  4. Choose to read the book on your Kindle device, free reading app, or Kindle Cloud Reader.

Continue reading Kindle and OverDrive

OverDrive and the rest of the modern world as we know it

Here I am. Using OverDrive with my new iPod which I got fairly recently. There are other sources of ebook and audiobooks as well such as NetLibrary (free from your public library in Utah), Google Books (older classics free, $ for newer titles), Kobo (free, $),  Audible ($) , iTunes (some free, most $), Project Gutenberg (free, mostly ebooks), the list goes on. Right now I’m transferring War and Peace to my iPod hoping for the latter not the former.

There’s gotta be some way to get organized. I’m seeking nirvana: combining an iPad with a knockout interface where everything comes at me in one place, put into categories like shelves in a bookcase.

Something to dream of, plan for, investigate.

iPod audiobooks for free through Pioneer: Utah’s Online Library

I’m so excited! I got a new iPod the other day and it’s pretty sweet if I must say so myself. I wanted to listen to a book while doing other stuff, so I went to Pioneer: Utah’s Online Library and jumped on the Overdrive link. I logged in and found a book I’ve been hankering to read for some time: Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder.

It would have cost:

$8.89 on Kindle

$21.00 on Audible.com

$23.95 on iTunes

But I got it for free, compliments of Pioneer: Utah’s Online Library, which is partnered by Utah State Library and the Public Libraries in Utah. That’s why a person in any part of Utah can go to Pioneer, compliments of their local public library, and get downloadable audiobooks and ebooks at no cost to them.

It was painless to use, easier than ever before due to recent changes in the Overdrive platform. Utah State Library will be having training soon on how to use this service. Check our website to register.