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New OverDrive Features for Fall 2014

November 17, 2014 | Susan | Comments (0)




Over the years, OverDrive has made a lot of improvements, but they've really upped their game this fall. Not only are they in the process of retiring the Adobe ID (the thought of which still makes me shudder), but they've allowed for automatic hold borrowing, added a suspend hold feature, and found a way to properly format and display eBooks with illustrations. 

Goodbye Adobe ID, Hello OverDrive Account

Users can now sign up for an OverDrive Account instead of the long-dreaded Adobe ID. Registration takes seconds, and requires either an email or - wait for it - a Facebook accounts! The OverDrive Account works on up to 6 devices and syncs progress and bookmarks across them. The account even saves local libraries, search results, and favourite genres! You can even use the OverDrive account to authorize ADE (Adobe Digital Editions) on a computer, instead of using an Adobe ID.

Note: Existing OverDrive users don't need to sign up for an OverDrive account; however, if they're using the app and need to reinstall it, they will be prompted to create this new account. 


Automatically Borrow Holds

OverDrive now allows users to automatically borrow holds once they become available. They can still borrow holds manually, but the automatic borrow feature has its benefits. First of all, it eliminates the 4 day borrow window for available holds. This is a great time saver, as titles don't spend as long on the hold shelf. Moreover, users are less likely to miss their holds, since they no longer have to log in and borrow them within the 4 day window.

Note: If a user has the maximum number of titles checked out, they get notified that auto checkout failed. They then have the standard 4 days to make room for the hold and borrow it.


Suspend Holds

Did you know you could suspend holds on OverDrive? It's a new feature that OverDrive sneaked in with the latest update. It allows users to suspend their holds for a selected number of days (7, 14, 21, 28, 60 and 90) and re-activate them as needed. As expected, users continue to move up the holds queue until they're first in line.

Tip: This feature is great for users who are going away on vacation, placing holds on entire series, or are in the middle of another title.


EPUB3 and HTML5 Fixed Layout eBooks

I know it's a mouthful, but the concept of EPUB3 and HTML5 Fixed Layout eBooks is rather simple. It allows users to properly view graphic novels, picture books, and other eBooks with illustration. Titles come in this new format, and can be viewed in an up-to-date browser or the OverDrive app, without the user having to install any additional software or plugins.

Examples: If you're curious to see what this format looks like, try The Monster Returns or The Construction Crew.


If you'd like to learn more about these features, or other minor changes made to OverDrive this fall, check out OverDrive for Libraries: The next chapter, a webinar delivered on September 18, 2014. Information in this blog is based on the training webinar, as well as personal experience using OverDrive.


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