Monday, August 20, 2012

My Love/Hate Experience with Overdrive and Kindle...

Two weeks ago I had a patron call asking for help getting his library ebook to his Kindle.  I could tell over the phone that he was not tech-savvy at all, so I took my time explaining what to click and all.  After 15 minutes of unsuccessfully getting the ebook to his Kindle, I told him to try Overdrive support or Amazon Kindle online help.  He called back later and talked to a coworker who also tried to help him.  It didn't work, so he gave the patron the number for the closest library that has volunteer one-on-one sessions for e-readers.

Well, our patron here was very determined to get his ebook that same day, he came in the branch and lucky me was on the info desk again.  So I called someone to watch the desk for me as I walked him over to public PC to attempt to download.  I went through the steps with him, but for some reason when we tried to download it from the Amazon site it said it already was, but when I looked at the Manage my Kindle section, the book wasn't listed.... Apparently when you try to get Kindle books through Overdrive, there is the slight chance your ebook might get lost in the ether.  The only way to resolve this is by contacting Amazon support directly, so OverDrive got let off the hook--- this time.

A lady brought in her iPad and wanted to download some ebooks.  She already had the OverDrive app installed, so I showed her the process of finding the library, searching through the collection and we were able to set up an Adobe account for her and download an ebook in 10 minutes flat and the patron left with a smile.  A couple hours later, a dad came up with his 8 year old boy and the young boy's iPad, they wanted me to show them the same thing.  Sure thing, easy-peasy right?  Well, for some reason the OverDrive app would not let us select the library.  If you can't select a library, well, you can't access any of the ebooks.

Last Friday, I had a patron call who was trying to download BossyPants the audio book to her iPod.  I am not an Apple person at all, I have never owned any of their products, but that hasn't stopped me from helping patrons with their Apple devices.  She wasn't able to download the file to her Mac even though the OverDrive site says that it works for iPod.  Oh yeah, one small minor detail they don't tell you upfront, you want that audio book for your iPod huh?  The only available format is WMA, but wait, OverDrive shows that it will work for the iPod!  Oh wait, if you hover the mouse over the iPod image, it says that you can only get it to work if you use a PC.  So you can download and listen to WMA files, a PC format, on your Apple iPod, but only if you transfer it using a PC... Thanks a lot OverDrive.

Today, as I was trying to make my escape to the backroom an elderly patron came up with her Kindle Fire asking me to show her how to download ebooks.  Okay, honestly, she didn't want me to show her anything, she just wanted me to do it for her.  Hey, that's cool, she wasn't rude, she was very polite, so I browsed the catalog with her until we found an available ebook that looked interesting to her.  So I began the checkout/download progress and when I asked her to enter in her Amazon account and password, she was worried she would break the keyboard with her bad luck.  So she gave me her email account and password, I worry about these type of patrons, she's on the same level as those who get excited when those internet pop-ups tell them "They're today's lucky winner!"  And they nonchalantly enter in all their personal information for nothing.  Anyways, so after I download her Jo Nesbo book, she tells me that her 7 year old grand-daughter is visiting her soon and that she would like to download some games as well.  So I show her how to find the free game section and we ended up trying out, "Where's my Water?" (don't hate, I enjoyed the game).  She seemed to follow and remember the steps I showed her and I had her repeat it in front of me, her grand-daughter will be one happy tablet camper.

The public library ebook download experience SHOULD be as easy as the last example, if not easier.  You choose the item you want and "check out," and then you sync your device over Wi-Fi and poof --- there's your item on your device.  These numbskull publishers need to realize that pirates are not using the public library as a base for their "industry ruining" operations.  Oh, and don't get it twisted, I have still don't have any love for OverDrive, I still hate their monopolistic-[un-innovative]-greedy-lazy-antilibrary-broken-search-function-ass.

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