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OverDrive Digital Audiobooks & Video
Information for Library Staff

Trouble? Check the Digital Book Center FAQ.


Help & Support



What is OverDrive?

OverDrive is a vendor (like OCLC or EBSCO). Their product is called "Digital Library Reserve" and features downloadable audiobooks, ebooks, and video. Wisconsin's OverDrive site is branded "Wisconsin's Digital Library" and can be found here:


How will patrons find it?


What publicity materials are available?

Publicity materials are available in the form of sample press releases, bookmarks, flyers, and shelftalkers -- see OverDrive Promotional Materials for samples and ordering information.


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What content is there?

OverDrive partners with many publishers. You may view a complete list of publishing partners on OverDrive's site. Currently WPLC subscribes to downloadable audiobooks, ebooks, and a small collection of videos.


Who selects this content?

A WPLC selection committee is selecting the content. SCLS Representatives are Nathan Rybarczyk (Baraboo) and Beth Price (Madison). Beth is replacing Mary Knapp on the commiittee. You can recommend titles for WPLC to purchase when using the OverDrive site. Recommendations are forwarded to the selection committee for review.

The WPLC Digital Selection Policy is available on the WPLC website.


Who can have access to this service?

Any patron living in the 7-county area of SCLS.  Reciprocal LINKcat library card holders who live outside of the 7-county area cannot have access through SCLS.  These patrons can access the service through their local library system.


How much do patrons use this service?

Statistics for OverDrive are available in the Reference Databases Information area of the SCLS web site, under "Usage Statistics for Reference Databases." The service was started in October 2005.


How is the collection funded?

Wisconsin's Digital Library is funded through the Wisconsin Public Library Consortium (WPLC), a consortium of all the library systems in Wisconsin.

As a member of WPLC, SCLS pays a membership fee and receives OverDrive and Ebooks on EbscoHOST titles. For more information, see WPLC Digital Media Buying Pool.


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Help & support


Where can I find answers to patrons' frequently-asked questions?

Please check OverDrive Help and the Digital Download Center FAQ for answers to patrons' most frequently asked questions.

Content for the Digital Download Center FAQ was created by members of the Wisconsin Public Library Consortium.


Can I install the OverDrive software on my library computers?

The OverDrive Media Console software is available on SCLS network patron PCs through the OverDrive Media Console icon on the desktop of patron PCs. Patrons may also use it on their own laptops/devices via the library's wireless network.


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What needs to be done after changing a patron's barcode?

When a patron gets a new barcode, library staff must contact OverDrive with the old barcode and the new barcode and request that OverDrive staff merge the two accounts. As soon as OverDrive staff receive the request via the Support form, they merge the accounts and the patron will be able to access their OverDrive holds and transactions using their new barcode.

Use your library's OverDrive Marketplace account to log in and fill out the Support form. If your library doesn't have an OverDrive Marketplace account, please contact Jean Anderson.

The patron will need to wait until the next day for the new card number to work (overnight authentication required).


Can patrons still check out titles from within the library, even without the software?

Yes. Patrons can check out the titles in the library, and then go home to download them. If the library offers a wireless network, patrons may use their own laptops/devices to download some titles in the library via the wireless network.


Why are some of the OverDrive materials only compatible with Windows?

Most of the OverDrive audiobooks and video are only available in a format (WMA or WMV) which requires Windows Media Player.

Some audiobooks are available in MP3 format, which is compatible with both Windows and Mac systems. Many publishers are reluctant to license bestselling titles in this format due to concerns about digital rights management.


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What about iPods and Macs?

Audiobooks available in MP3 format can be played on iPods, Macs, and other Apple devices, though additional software (iTunes and Quicktime) is required to use this format with Macs and iPod/Apple players. A Mac version of the OverDrive Media Console is available.

Many WMA titles can be played on Apple devices, but they must be downloaded and transferred to the device using a PC (Windows) first, and additional software (iTunes and Quicktime) is required. OverDrive WMA audiobooks, WMA music, and WMV video are delivered in a digital rights management (DRM)-protected Windows Media format that is not supported by Apple devices or the Mac version of Windows Media Player. The transfer process on a PC converts WMA titles to a compatible format for Apple devices.

Note that iPods, other Apple devices, and Zune players cannot be used with library computers due to security problems with the additional software these players require.


Who can library staff call for help?

Help websites: The website for Wisconsin's Digital Library includes help and information on compatible devices and formats. Patrons can also contact their local library as the first line of support.

OverDrive Support Request Form: Library staff may request accounts to contact OverDrive Support by contacting Jean Anderson. The form for obtaining technical support is part of OverDrive Marketplace, a staff-only website provided by OverDrive. Support requests are submitted by logging in to the OverDrive Marketplacewebsite and filling out the form. OverDrive assigns a case number to each request and responds to library staff via email.

WPLC Support Request Form: If the problem is not covered elsewhere, patrons may request help using the WPLC OverDrive Support Request form. They will be prompted for:

Library staff and patrons can also find OverDrive tutorials and other information on the BadgerLearn site.

TechBits posts pertaining to OverDrive are archived on the TechBits blog.


Where can library staff get training?


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For more information about OverDrive, contact the Help Desk.