As you may have experienced in the past few months, interest in eBooks and eReaders have exploded! You’ve probably heard about eReaders and maybe even had a customer or two asking questions about Digital Downloads.

Organizational Development with the assistance of some subject matter experts (SMEs) have created the EReader Learning Road Map. This road map is to help you become familiar with the technology so you can start to assist customers.

We’ve focused on three things:

  1. what staff should know about eReaders
  2. what staff should be able to do eReaders
  3. how staff can help customers with eReaders.

A lot of information is available about eReaders and Digital Downloads and it can be overwhelming to find the information when you most need it. We will link to information we have available throughout  these blog posts.

I came across this entry from the WikiMart (accessible from the staff intranet computers) and thought it was very insightful.  We all need to keep these things in mind:

  • It is OK to feel overwhelmed by all of this. We all do!
  • We are all in this together.
  • We are the information people, not the “fix it” people.
  • Helping customers with eReaders and eBooks is going to take an initial investment of time.
  • Nobody is expecting you to know everything there is to know about eReaders and eBooks. It’s OK to not know.

I encourage you to read the full entry.

What’s next? Get started on your eReader Learning Road Map by viewing the next post.  All these posts will be linked in order on Learner Web.  There are quizzes to test your knowledge along the way.

We hope this road map helps develop your understanding of eReaders.

Before You Get Started

Maria shares some details about the eReader Learning Road Map.

Are you ready? Get started!

Welcome to the first part of the eReader Learning Road Map.

By the end of this post you will be able to:

  • Identify  basics of formats such as ePub, MP3, PDF, HTML
  • Explain Digital Rights Management or DRM to customers
  • Describe eInk and Backlit devices to customers

Let’s start with some of the basics of eReader Technology.  Go to the eReader Glossary and review  common terms associated with eReaders and digital content.  A good term to start with is eBook formats. You’ll also want to know about these:

  • .ePub
  • .MP3
  • .PDF
  • backlit display
  • DRM (Digital Rights Management)
  • eInk

Knowing the format tells you what software you’ll need to use that format.  Maria demonstrates how you’ll apply this information.

Want some additional information?

Our own Robin Nesbitt filmed this video to answer questions about DRM.

You might find the previous entry from Robin when she spoke with Gerald about CML’s History with Digital Content.

Keith talked to us about eInk and backlit displays in this blog post.

Tammy from the Help Desk provided an eReader Basic Steps document that gives steps so staff can help customers regardless of the device.  You might find it helpful to think of this in a sequential process that can be applied to most devices and to focus on the content of the eReader Learning Road Map, not a specific device.  Thanks Tammy!

Did you recognize any terms you’ve heard? Did you learn something new? Share it with a co-worker.

Want to know even more?  Up next is basic device information to help you know common devices and what is compatible with Overdrive.

There are many eReaders available in the market.  Let’s start with some basics during this post.

By the end of this post you will be able to:

  • Know common devices and what format it supports
  • Know what devices are compatible with Overdrive and what is not.
  • Know about the basics of devices
  • Know how to read an eBook on a device

An overview of devices can be found in the Getting Started with Digital Downloads. The link is accessible on a staff intranet computers.

Q: Is there a way to know common devices and what format the device supports?

A: Yes!  You can find information about devices from columbuslibrary.org/ereaders . Scroll down a bit or select the device from the drop down menu on the right. Customers can access this information from home.

Q: How do I find which devices are compatible with OverDrive?

A: From http://www.columbuslibrary.org, click on Find out More About eReaders in the eReader box. Then click on Overdrive. On the left menu, select Compatible Devices. http://www.overdrive.com/resources/drc/ Review the OverDrive Device Resource Center to see if device is compatible.

You can also find this on the Product Comparison Sheet by clicking on the View all eReaders and compare models link available on each device page. Look for “yes” in the Compatible with Library Card column.

Q: How do I get to know the basics of the devices?

A: The columbuslibrary.org/ereaders is the best place to start. There are seven different devices linked to this page.  The information includes links to the manufacturer’s website which will give operational basics like powering up and navigation controls as well as specific information about using OverDrive with the device.  Customers can access this information as well.

Q: Do I have to know everything about every device?

A: No. You need to know where to find the information so you can assist a customer when they ask. The best way is to hold a device and get some hands-on experience.  A visit to a location with the eReader Kiosk is a great start. Once you play with one device, you’ll be able to spot the similarities with powering up and navigation.

Yes, it can be overwhelming with learning about seven different devices.  Some staff picked one device to learn about in a week.  Some locations have assigned devices to different staff and they become the device “expert” and share the information with others. What has worked with your location?

Q: How do I read an eBook on a device?

A: Each device has its own method. Maria has put a video example up for the Sony PRS 950 device.


Want some additional information? Previous videos were posted about the

Amazon Kindle

Sony Pocket eReader 300

the iPad

the Borders Kobo

Test your knowledge of what you’ve learned.

Up next is ADE.  What is ADE? Keep reading to find out what it is and all sorts of things about it.

Quiz #1

Q: I think I know the basics about eReader technology and devices. What’s next?

A: Well done! Time to check your knowledge with Quiz #1.

This video shows you have to access Quiz #1

All Information staff members need to take the quiz. The goal is to pass at 80%. You must follow the instructions in the video to receive credit.

Have you share what you’ve learned with your co-workers?

Click here to continue to the next section and keep going when you are ready.

So what is ADE? ADE stands for Adobe Digital Editions.  Adobe Digital Editions is software needed for many eReaders so customers can read the digital downloads.  

By the end of this post you will be able to:

  • Download an EPUB eBook
  • Download ADE
  • Create an ADE ID
  • Activate a device with ADE
  • Describe Adobe Digital Downloads and limitations

There are several steps that must be taken the first time a customer wants to use Adobe Digital Edition (ADE). A customer must create a ADE ID, download and install ADE. This tutorial shows you how. The tutorial is only available on staff intranet computers .

Remember to keep sharing things you find helpful with your co-workers and friends.

So next up is Library’s Digital Downloads.  You have hopefully heard something about it before but we’ll give you a lot of information.

The library has Digital Downloads available for customers on the website.  OverDrive is the company that provides us with our digital content.

By the end of this post you will be able to:

  • Explain Overdrive what is it and is not to customers.
  • Sign in to Digital Downloads
  • View my account
  • Browse items
  • Search by format
  • Search available copies using advanced search options
  • Place a hold and retrieve a hold when it is ready.
  • Check Out items

There is a lot in this information but remember you can come back and view this in parts.

This is a video giving some insight on what OverDrive is and what OverDrive is not.

Mr. George has provided a training for staff to introducing staff to Digital Downloads.  It’s available in three parts.

Here’s a demonstrate on how to use OverDrive. (available on the staff intranet computer)

You’ll notice the menu on the left side of the demo. There are three sections and each one is under 2 minutes long.

  1. Accessing Digital Downloads
  2. Signing in to Digital Downloads
  3. Searching for eBooks

Feel free to re-watch topics if you need a refresher.

How do I place a hold? How do I retrieve that hold once I receive notification it’s available for checkout? Maria shows us how.

There is a lot of information in this section and this can be overwhelming. Customers will appreciate you knowing how OverDrive works.  Remember to use your fellow co-workers as resources too.

Want to guess what is next? We get to download a book, stay tuned.

As promised, we are going to learn about downloading books and I didn’t tell you we would even do transferring to a device.

By the end of this post you will be able to:

  • Describe the process of downloading an eBook from the library
  • Download an eBook from the Digital Downloads
  • Transfer an ebook from a computer to a device.

This tutorial will show you five things you need to know.

  1. Downloading Adobe Digital Editions (which you learning about in section 3)
  2. Downloading an EPUB eBook
  3. Returning an EPUB eBook
  4. Transferring an EPUB eBook to the Kobo
  5. Transferring an EPUB eBook to the Nook

Sneak peek time.  Since you just accomplished being able to download and transfer, sometimes you don’t want those books on your device anymore.  Help with that is coming next.

So did you guess that we would be deleting items. Once an item has expired, it should be removed from the device.

By the end of this post you will be able to:

  • Delete an item from a device
  • Check-in an item early (this is currently only available for ADE)

As you learned in the video, it is possible to check-in items early.

Deleting an expired eBook from the Sony Reader Library is demonstrated in this video.

What about when something goes wrong?  Basic troubleshooting is coming up next.

We know things do not always work as they are suppose to. That brings to this topic of troubleshooting.

By the end of this post you will be able to:

  • Use basic troubleshooting steps that can be applied to most situations
  • Locate information from FAQ’s  and Recently Asked Questions from Wikimart
  • Locate the troubleshooting information and the support email address on the Digital Downloads.

Help Desk has created a helpful guide that provides basic steps when troubleshooting eReaders. eReaders-Basic Troubleshooting provides basic trouble shooting for devices, computers, software and transferring content.

The WikiMart holds a great deal of information for staff. (The link is only available on staff intranet computers.)
Time to visit again and specifically find the FAQs. Topics include tech support, devices and software, searching questions, borrowing questions and collection questions. Wow! There’s a lot of information available. Our Info Line staff update these frequently, so check back often. There are also Recently Asked Questions (RAQ’s) about the collection, devices and software, searching and borrowing.

Using the WikiMart, can you find answers to the following question?

  • A title says zero available copies. If it is a digital book, aren’t there unlimited copies. Why do I have to place a hold?
  • Where else besides the library can I get free eBooks?
  • How do I contact OverDrive for support?

Another good resource for troubleshooting is the Digital Downloads page. From the Digital Downloads page, click on Digital Help located just under the search box. You can refer customers to the Digital Downloads page if they need assistance.

Digital Downloads recently updated their page, here is some information from Maria on more help resources from Digital Downloads.

Maria got asked a question about how to open an eBook in Adobe Digital Editions instead of the  Sony Reader.  This video gives troubleshooting information about this.

Time to check what you’ve learned by taking quiz #2.

Are you wanting some additional information about eReaders? Next up are eReader resources.