Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Overdrive: read in browser or download to OMC?

With Overdrive's new 'read in browser' option, it opens up a whole new slew of options.

Not all books can be read in browser, but the ones that can look very nice, especially if you're using either the Firefox add-on (if you're reading in IE) or through one of the other approved browsers (Chrome, Opera, Firefox etc).

If you have a tablet, I suggest this: read any books you can in browser. Save them in your favorites so you can read them off-line.  If you have a book you can't read in browser, then download it into the media console.

My reasoning is this: it's one less step.  By reading them in browser, you're saving yourself the time of downloading them.  While it can be a few minutes for some books, depending on the internet connection, it can take fifteen, twenty minutes or longer for other books.  By reading them in browser, you don't have to download them so you can start reading them immediately.

It saves your place, you can place bookmarks and a whole slew of other cool things.

Save the media console for when you can't read them in browser, or for those audio books.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Adobe Digital Editions 2.0 Has Stopped Working

What to do when it won't load at all?  Through no screen?

The patron had already installed and uninstalled the program, but still, nothing worked.

What I did was reinstall it, while it was still installed.  While ADE was installed, I went to the ADE website and redownloaded the program.  It recognized that it was alreayd loaded, and it asked to make repairs.  I said 'yes', and it redownloaded the program.

When it was done, I opened the program, and downloaded the patrons books.

Another fix is to download an older version, such as  ADE 1.7.2.

The problem behind the issues is that it isn't fully compatible with Windows 7, which my patron was running.  The biggest issue with Win7 is the firewall, which you do have to change.

According to this blog, this should help walk you through changing your firewall so ADE2.0 can work properly:

"....WIN 7 has different firewall settings. There are 2 ways that worked for me.  In Windows Control panel, System & Security, Firewall, it showed me 2 different firewalls, one called Home or Work (Private) and the other called Network.

I turned them both off … but it still would not download my ebook. This is where I was stuck. 

Option 1. (safer) On the left side there’s a link for “Allow a program or feature through Windows Firewall”.

I went there, where it shows a list of programs with boxes to check off for “Home/Work (Private)” and “Public”. As Digital Editions wasn’t there for me to choose, I clicked on Allow Another Program. Another pop up box still didn’t show it, so I had to browse for it.

Once found, I was able to add it to the list and checked both the “Home/Private” and “Public” boxes.  

Option 2. Still in Control Panel, System & Security, Firewall, click on Advanced Settings on the left. This area showed my Firewall was still on. I clicked on “Windows Firewall Properties” which brought me to a choice of 4 tabs, Domain Profile, Private Profile, Public Profile and IPSec Settings.

My Private and Public firewall was off (which showed in Control Panel) but the Domain Profile Firewall was still on (missing that little tidbit of info in Control Panel Firewall). I clicked on Firewall State: OFF.  Bingo, I could then download my ebook.

As I had done Option 2 first, I tried keeping the firewall Domain Profile ON and allowing Digital Editions access as a program. That worked, and as that’s safer, that’s where I’ve left it. ....."

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

So you get to read newspapers all day? I wish I could do that!

*sigh*  Actually, I'm indexing newspapers from '95, so while I do get to read the newspapers, they're 18 years old.  Although the news is interesting (reading about the OJ trial has been fun!), it's still not a walk in the park.

Indexing it means that I get to read the whole newspaper (save the classifieds and comics) and add the articles that relate to My City to the database with subjects, keywords etc.  I do find it really interesting.

I admit, I am getting tired of hearing the comments (at least one a week, usually more) "so you get to read all day?  Lucky!"

Monday, April 22, 2013

Tracking down obscure (but in-library) titles

I had a student from one of the local colleges come in today.  She was doing a paper on the history of the local lumber industry, and one of the founding members in particular.

Last year, as part of my growth and development, I put together a bibliography of all books about My County that aren't in the section that most are in (977.447).  This includes biographies, some sports books, family histories and all together, a full six pages of titles, call numbers and authors.

Using my 'Master Bibliography', I was able to find her three books on the lumber industry and the illusive biography of the founding member in under two minutes.

If I hadn't had the bibliography, it would have taken me a few more minutes if I'd chosen the right keywords, and longer still if I hadn't.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Not quite the reference desk...

I had a program last night where we had various authors come and present to about 55 patrons (80 signed up, and the weather was nasty) about how they became published authors.

During the Q&A at the end, I was able to answer a few questions myself.  I'd tried to get my own book published last year, and I failed miserably.  But I learned a lot - and I was able to share a bit of what I learned.

Like the forum Absolutewrite.  The blog Query Shark.  Preditors & Editors.

We'll be having another in November with a new round of authors, and I hope it keeps being this popular!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Currently Reading

Currently reading: Buried Memories: The Katie Beers Story by Katie Beers

Currently listening to: Black Magic Sanction by Kim Harrison (yes, still on this one!  I only drive for 50 minutes a day, so it takes me upwards of two weeks to get through one book.

Currently playing: Mass Effect 2

Currently watching (for the second time through): Big Bang Theory.  I'm in season 3 right now, but we're going through at least 2 episodes a night.

Patience is a Virtue

It's a good thing that most of my patron's are patient, because I get a few requests per week that take over five minutes to track down.

This time, it was about a news program he just saw.  He knew it was on a specific channel.  He knew it was about some kind of gas that voids a vehicle's warranty.  But he wanted to know more.

So I did some sleuthing.  It took me a few minutes, but I found an article that was about just that topic.

Apparently using ethanol in certain vehicles (basically, every type but Ford & GM) can void the warranty if any damage happens due to using ethanol in the vehicle.  According to the article, it accelerates wear and tear on the engine.

It was an interesting article (linked to just above), and the patron thought so too.

As a side note to the use of ethanol: I tried it in my car, but my MPG went down drastically.  I did some sleuthing of my own and found that unless the price of ethanol is at least 25% below the price of regular, it's actually more expensive to use ethanol than it is to use regular.

Monday, April 15, 2013

New Overdrive & Overdrive Read

My library got the newest version of Overdrive today.  I played with it a bit, and I found it really easy to use. It's a lot easier to differentiate between books that are checked in and out.  A book that's out has a grayed out icon (either a book shape for e-book, or headphones for audio), while a book with available copies has a black icon in the upper righthand corner of  a cover.

When you go to check out a book, you just click 'borrow'.  That's it.  To decide whether it's a 14 day or 7 day checkout is through your settings, which is one thing I don't like, since some books I'd rather have for a week, while others I want for the 2 weeks.

Overdrive Read.  It's a very, very good thing.  It's basically being able to read them right in your browser.  Now, IE (internet explorer) isn't compatible with it.  I know.  Well, mostly incompatible.  You can use ODR, but it's a dumbed down version without all the bells and whistles of the normal one.  If you download a Firefox addon, you can use the 'regular' version of ODR, but if you don't want to download anything, you're stuck with a very plainclothes version.

Even the plain version was nice, though.  The Mozilla version?  Amazing.  Easy to read, easy to use.  Bookmarks, offline reading, it had it all.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Currently Reading

I'm reading: Normal at Any Cost: Tall Girls, Short Boys, and the Medical Industry's Quest to Manipulate Height by Susan Cohen.  It's a really interesting book about the use of human growth hormones to affect height in too-tall girls and too-short boys.

Waiting for: Gone with the Woof by Laurien Berenson.  It's a cozy mystery.  She took a hiatus for several years, and is just now coming back into the dog-mystery business.  Her books are amazing, and if you love cozy mysteries, Janet Evanovich or Susan Conant, you'll probably love her!

A Nook, Kindle and a Laptop walk into a library...

What do they have in common?  They all need a version of Overdrive so the owner can get our e-books.

The laptop was easy.  Getting Adobe Digital Editions on the computer, and we were set after authorizing it.

The Kindle Fire?  Even easier.  She knew what she was doing - she just got turned around with where to find it once she hit the 'get this library book'.  I showed her how to sync it, and once she got that down, she was just fine.

The Nook was a little bit harder.  We connected it to the laptop, opened the e-book in Overdrive, and I showed her how to drag it into her Nook.

Once it was in the Nook, we lost it for a minute before finding it on the next page.

It may have taken it just over half an hour (between waiting for the stuff to download and walking her through the stuff), but it was easy enough.  I gave her some handouts on all three so she could get her other laptop going for her husband.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Tractor repair manual

The one in the system was lost.  But there's still an option.  One of our databases is amazing.

You've heard of the online Chilton manual to help repair cars?  Well, there's one for small engine repair.

Which includes motorcycles, tractors (farm and yard), ATV and a host of other small engines.  If you peruse the manuals, some of them are very in depth.  Some of them aren't, and are basically the 'change your oil' type manual.  If you get the right kind, like the motorcycle ones, they go through wiring, disassembling wiring and more.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Problem with Overdrive: Stuck on Authorize

I had a patron come in with a problem with her Overdrive on her iPad.  She was stuck in the 'authorize this device' step.  She's put in her e-mail address and password, but the 'Authorize' button was greyed out.  We couldn't back out into the Overdrive homepage.  Even when we closed Overdrive and reopened it, we were stuck in the authorize menu with the button still greyed out.

After restarting her iPad, it reset Overdrive, letting us finish authorizing her device.

From there, I also walked her through how to download an e-book both through Overdrive and through her Kindle App.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

What is the speed of sound?

A. 768 mph.

Other than that, I only had a few questions about books in the library.  One, I requested to purchase, and another was right where it was supposed to be.