Simon & Schuster eBooks and ‘Buy it Now’

East Central Regional Library is excited to announce that we are now able to offer eBooks published by Simon & Schuster Inc. to our patrons.  This includes popular Minnesota authors like Vince Flynn and William Kent Krueger! 

In order to purchase Simon & Schuster titles and make them available on our OverDrive powered Digital Library website, libraries are required to offer the 
‘Buy It Now’ (BIN) feature.  

What is BIN?

BIN is a retail program that connects library users to a network of online booksellers to purchase a personal copy of an eBook title. When a user clicks on the ‘Buy It Now’ link, they will be sent to a retail website where they can purchase the title for their personal eBook collection from a WIN Affiliate Retailer (listed below).

In return, ECRL will earn a percent of proceeds from retail sales made through those online booksellers.  With those proceeds, we can buy more eBooks & eAudiobooks to add to our Digital Library.  When a user follows a ‘Buy It Now’ link, the referring library receives a content credit for the user’s entire purchase, not just eBooks!

How does this affect you?
BIN may not affect you at all, except that you can now checkout and read Simon & Schuster eBooks from ECRL’s Digital Library.  ECRL does not want you to feel pressure to buy eBooks, but we weighed our options and decided providing access to such high-demand titles was our priority.  You do not have to use the ‘Buy It Now’ feature, we just have to offer it.  However, this option may be of interest if any of the following apply:

  • You just can’t wait a second longer on the Holds List for a popular new title.
  • You read an eBook in our Digital Library that you then decide to add to your personal eBook collection.
  • You shop at these online retailers anyway, and would like to support ECRL financially while doing so.
Where will I see ‘Buy It Now’?
There are two places you will see ‘Buy It Now.’  The first is next to the ‘Borrow’ or ‘Place a Hold’ buttons on all titles that are available to purchase from a WIN affiliate retailer.

The second place you will see ‘Buy it Now’ is an image like this, located on the ECRL Digital Library homepage. 

I still have questions…

Check out these FAQ’s! 

Check out the newly added William Kent Krueger, Vince Flynn, and other popular eBook titles now!

Sarah Hawkins, Resource Librarian

Big Library Read: 5th ed.

OverDrive asked, you answered!  Thousands of readers across the globe cast their vote to choose the titles for this fall’s Big Library Read. The title that topped them all? Anatomy of a Misfit by Andrea Portes! 
Subjects: Teen Fiction, Romance
Description: In this Mean Girls meets The Perks of Being a Wallflower tale, narrator Anika Dragomir is the third most popular girl at Pound High School. But inside, she knows she’s a freak; she can’t stop thinking about former loner Logan McDonough, who showed up on the first day of tenth grade hotter, bolder, and more mysterious than ever. Logan is fascinating, troubled and off-limits. The Pound High queen bee will make Anika’s life hell if she’s seen with him. So Anika must choose–ignore her feelings and keep her social status? Or follow her heart and risk becoming a pariah. Which will she pick? And what will she think of her choice when an unimaginable tragedy strikes, changing her forever? An absolutely original new voice in YA in a story that will start important conversations–and tear at your heart.
What is Big Library Read?
A worldwide digital version of a local book club, and an opportunity for us to introduce (or maybe re-introduce) our digital library to users just like yourself! Libraries, including East Central Regional Library, have already enjoyed great success engaging thousands of new and current users with Big Library Read. 
This time Big Library Read is even MORE exciting, because you can be among the first to read a title JUST released on September 2!  Check it out.
When is the next Big Library Read?
October 13 – October 28, 2014.
How can I participate?
For the duration of the program, the eBook & eAudiobook will be available at East Central Regional Library’s Digital Library, available for all users at the same time.  No holds list! Read the title in your browser immediately through OverDrive Read, or download the EPUB, Kindle, or MP3 format to your favorite device.
PLUS, connect with the author during the Big Library Read:
Sarah Hawkins, Resource Librarian

New Digital Library Features!

Yesterday, OverDrive launched two new features for managing your holds on ECRL’s Digital Library that we think you’ll enjoy!

Suspend a Hold

Many of our patrons already rely on this first feature to manage their holds list ECRL’s Evergreen catalog, now take advantage of it for your eBooks and eAudiobooks as well: suspending your holds!  

Why: Suspending a hold lets you choose a window of time where you’ll make progress on a title’s waiting list without having the title become available for you to borrow. For example, you might want to suspend a hold for a popular eBook if you’re on a long waiting list for it, but know you’ll be unable to read it because you’re in the middle of another title.  Or you may already be at your maximum checkout number.  If you make it to the first place in the waiting list while your hold is suspended, the title will go to the next user in line until your suspension period is over.  
  1. Log into your Account on your library’s digital collection website.
  2. Select your Holds page.
  3. Select Suspend hold from the Options drop-down menu next to the hold you’d like to suspend.
    Screenshot of the options drop-down menu for a title on hold
  4. Choose the number of days you’d like to suspend your hold (options are 7, 14, 21, 28, 60, or 90 days) then select Submit.
  5. Once you suspend a hold, you’ll see a red notification next to the hold that shows how long it will be suspended. 
    Screenshot of the hold suspended notification on the holds page

6. If you change your mind, finish your other book early, or suddenly have more reading time than you expected, you can change or cancel your suspension by selecting [Edit].

Automatic Borrowing of Holds

Don’t check your email enough?  Afraid you might miss a Digital Library hold notification? Get busy and can’t always log in to the Digital Library within 72 hours?  Here’s your answer.  The second new feature in the Digital Library is automatic borrowing of holds! 

Why: You don’t want to miss a title you’ve been waiting for and end up back at the bottom of the holds list! 

  1. Select Place a Hold to place an unavailable title on hold.
    Screenshot of the Place a Hold button
  2. In the pop-up that opens, make sure that “Automatically borrow this title when it becomes available” is selected.
    Screenshot of the automatic borrowing option on the hold form
You can turn automatic borrowing on or off for any title you’ve placed on hold by visiting your Holds page and selecting the [Edit] link under “Auto checkout.”
Screenshot of the auto checkout setting for a title on the holds page
You will receive an email each time a hold is automatically borrowed for you. You can find these borrowed titles on your Bookshelf under your account, ready to download or read in your browser.  
Note: If you’ve borrowed the maximum number of titles allowed by your library and one of your holds becomes available, you’ll receive an email letting you know that automatic checkout could not be completed for that hold. In that case, you’ll need to return a title or wait for one of your borrowed titles to expire, then manually check out your hold.
Sarah Hawkins, Resource Librarian

June is going digital! OverDrive Challenge, Big Library Read, and Audiobook Month

A recent Pew Research study showed that about 28% of Americans read an eBook last year. Of those 28%, only half know they can check out an eBook from their local library. We want to change that, and we need your help! 

OverDrive Challenge
For the month of June, OverDrive, East Central Regional Library’s Digital Library vendor, is launching a promotional challenge to help raise awareness of library eBook lending across the world.  Our mission from June 1st-June 30th is to beat our previous record for monthly eBook and eAudiobook checkouts.

ECRL’s best month on record?  The number to beat?  Our current monthly record is 5,031 digital library checkouts (March 2014).

Your Goal: checkout as many eBooks and eAudiobooks in June as you can!

Our Goal:

  • Increase checkouts by 25% from March 2014 (6,289 checkouts) to earn $1,500 credit to purchase new digital library titles
  • Increase checkouts by 50% from March 2014 (7,547 checkouts)  to earn $2,500 credit to purchase new digital library titles
  • Be the participating library with the highest percentage increase to receive a grand prize Gadget Jackpot!
For the month of June, every eBook and eAudiobook you check out counts toward our goal!  Get started now!
Big Library Read
You’ve joined us in 3 previous Big Library Reads  Now, it’s time to join us for the 4th Big Library Read with Laurien Berenson’s murder-mystery A Pedigree to Die For.  
Big Library Read creates a “global book club” connecting readers around the world who read the same eBook at the same time.  From June 3-18, 2014, thousands of libraries are able to lend A Pedigree to Die For eBook to millions of users simultaneously for free.    
To borrow A Pedigree to Die For, simply log in to ECRL’s Digital Library. You’ll see the title on the home page ready to checkout.  For the two weeks of the program, there’s never a waiting list!
Get involved even more! 
Audiobook Month
Still need some inspiration to get started with ECRL’s Digital Library?  June is Audiobook Month, a month dedicated to celebrating the joys of audiobook listening and promoting the value of audiobooks as a beneficial learning tool supporting literacy and education.  Get started listening by taking a look at our newest eAudiobooks.

Help us—help you!  Let’s work together to get the word out about East Central Regional Library’s digital collection in our communities.

Sarah Hawkins, Resource Librarian

DISCONTINUED: OverDrive Media Console for BlackBerry

BlackBerry was once king of the smartphone world.  For 4 years, it reigned supreme, until their world was eclipsed by the rise of Apple’s iPhone and Google’s subsequent introduction of Android.
In the past year, the OverDrive Media Console app for BlackBerry has experienced a steady decline in downloads. Only .3% of all visitors to digital library websites come from a BlackBerry device.  After much consideration, OverDrive, East Central Regional Library’s Digital Library vendor, has decided to remove the app from BlackBerry App World in order to focus development efforts on more widely used platforms such as iOS and Android—both of which have more daily downloads than BlackBerry has monthly.
Effective April 10, 2014, the OverDrive Media Console mobile app for BlackBerry will no longer be available for download to BlackBerry, BlackBerry 10, and Playbook devices.  
BlackBerry users with the app installed prior to April 10, 2014 will be able to continue downloading eBooks and audiobooks via OverDrive Media Console. However, no further development or testing will be dedicated to it.
New BlackBerry users will still be able to download the Kindle app for BlackBerry and download Kindle format eBooks from ECRL’s Digital Library.
If you have questions, please let us know.  
Sarah Hawkins, Branch Librarian, Chisago Lakes Area Library