Mobile options for Timberland Library content

Tonight, I downloaded the new iPhone (well iPod touch in my case) app from Overdrive, the main national vendor that most public libraries (including Timberland) use for digital content like audio and ebooks. 

I’ve use the old app (which only supported audio, not ebooks) for awhile, and never really got much use out of it. I realized tonight, the problem wasn’t with the app itself, it was with the ebook section of our own website, which I assume is a pass through mostly to Overdrive anyway. The last time I tried it, it didn’t present well on a mobile device.

But, when I tried it tonight, it elegantly transitioned to a mobile website.

Just some general thoughts:

  • I had to athoriize my device as with adobe before I could download an ebook. Not a big deal, but after having to type in my library card, kind of a hassle.
  • The ap didn’t like downloading an audio book and an ebook on background when I was tweeting. So, I had to open it back up and do something else while it downloaded.
  • Also, after coming back, my books won’t there. After manually shutting down the ap and restarting it, they were there.
  • Browsing for books was sort of strange. When you drilled down to a particular genre (history), you got results of both audio and ebooks. At that point, I think someone would want to be able to determine a format.

Overall, not a bad app, and the kinks hopefully will get worked out soon I hope.

There are a couple of other things to mention about mobile devices and Timberland. You can still use a free ereader called Bluefire to read ebooks from Overdrive, you just have to follow these simple instructions. I’ve done it before.

Also, Bookmyne (produced by our catalog vendor SirsiDynix) is supposed to at some point provide a way for you to search our catalog, place holds and manage your account from a mobile device. But, in the few weeks I’ve been using it, our data has not shown up.

It might be easier for the cat.trl.org website to just transfer nicely into a mobile version. And, just checking tonight, the way it looks on the Safari browser on the iPod touch isn’t bad, much better than on the Opera browser that I usually use.

Also, I would be hugely remiss if I didn’t mention the Ask-Wa app, in which you can direclty contact TRL reference staff via chat. Pretty darn awesome, and developed by our very own Washington State Library.

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3 Comments

Filed under reference, technology

3 responses to “Mobile options for Timberland Library content

  1. Patty Ross

    We should hire you now to be our technology librarian! No, seriously, this kind of communication with our patrons can not come fast enough. I do sincerely hope that it will be coming from within the organization by a paid person at some point in the very near future. If not, that just means that Emmett can never leave the board and must devote his spare time to filling in our gaps. This is the cutting edge on which our library must rest if we are to remain relevent. Thanks Emmett!

    • I hope very soon lots of paid people can take on this kind of work. Of course it helps to have a central person to coordinate this sort of thing, but the different sort of things each branch is putting up on Facebook shows what kind of communication is possible when we branch out to other social media.

  2. If such a job became available at TRL, I’d be the first to throw my hat in the ring. Until then, I agree: Emmett as board member for life! 😉

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