Friday Focus

Friday, February 5, 2016 . . . vol. 3, no. 21

Friday Focus is a quick digest of news and notes for members of the Indianapolis Public Library Shared System.
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CLICK HERE to nominate an author. (Sorry, couldn't get the photo to hyperlink in this newsletter!) Please spread the word that there is a NEW category this year - Genre Excellence. The genre to be considered this year is picture books. Remember, they have to have been written by someone born or living in Indiana. Maybe you've had an author visit to talk with your students about putting together a picture books. Nominating the author for this award would be a nice recognition not just of their talent but of their generosity.

The Library Foundation got ideas from several Shared System library staff about engaging students more in the Indiana Authors Award, in the Indy Authors Fair in October, and in celebrating Indiana Authors throughout the year. Watch this space for more details!

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We really do want to know what you think!

Please remember to fill out the form I emailed you asking for your input on the Britannica encyclopedia. It's being considered for addition to the online databases. If you love it, we want to know. If you hate it, we want to know. Please forward the form link to any teachers who would like to have a say. If you can't find the login information I emailed you, please let me know! The Encyclopedia has different levels for elementary, middle and high school students and lots of interesting features.
Join the Friends of the Library

Great prices. Great books. Best Library Foundation in the Country.

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OverDrive folks have been busy making changes. Depending on how you and your patrons use OverDrive the most, you may see big or small differences. First the small ones.

Changes to OverDrive Read and Listen

OverDrive is always trying to improve the end user experience. Here’s the latest information on changes that affect both OverDrive Read and OverDrive Listen (reading and listening to media in your browser online). You may wish to log in to OverDrive and checkout both a book and audiobook and then play with the new menu controls a bit. These are some welcome and needed changes.

  • Updated Menu icon with new icons (like Overview and Search) next to it for quick and easy access from the reader.
  • Added a new, highly visible bookmark icon to the top-right corner of the screen in OverDrive Read for mobile devices. For OverDrive Listen, the bookmark icon has moved to the top-right corner of the player as well.
  • Added a History tab to the menus that will list the places you’ve visited in a book by searching, scrolling, selecting a chapter, or opening a link.
  • Renamed the "Assistive" font to "OpenDyslexic."
  • Updated the look of the seek bars.
    Added icons to the menus.

We have a few patrons who read their OverDrive selections this way, but not many. These changes are not nearly as major as the changes made in the OverDrive app.

Changes to the OverDrive app

We know that patrons sometimes don’t like change. Most of our patrons use the OverDrive app to read, view and listen to their checked out media. Our hope is that by letting you know of these changes in the OverDrive app, you’ll be there to assure the patrons and answer their questions.

OverDrive made some significant changes in their app starting with 3.5. (3.5.1 is the up-to-date version as of this morning.) If your patrons are updating their apps automatically, they should have seen this new interface starting Monday through today.

My personal copy of OverDrive updated a couple of nights ago. The biggest change is OverDrive’s decision to add “sign in with a library card” to the app. This would only happen with new patrons and patrons signing back into their account. This feature was created for ease of use by our patrons and also to finally allow children under 13 to use the app without an email account (complying with COPPA).

Details on how to sign into the OverDrive app with a library card can be found here: This feature does work with IndyPL.

Other changes made to the app include a big increase in speed, no more crashing during download, and no more losing your position in an audiobook. There are fixes for eBook bugs causing blank pages, missing words, and text running off of the page on some devices. In addition, the app now recognizes the larger phone screens (think iPhone 6 and the Nexus 6P) by increasing the font on the larger screens, not only in the ebook but also in the menu. They have made some other visual upgrades in the app, too. Examples include the Home menu, the bookshelf, the audiobook player and the Settings menu.

OverDrive Help is updated to support these releases and is a great resource for troubleshooting.

Thanks for reading this far and for all of your help with our patrons!

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High school people, the next Big Library Read sponsored by OverDrive will focus on biographies. You can vote the the biography YOU think your students and staff might enjoy. There are some defiinite links to the curriculum on the list. You can cast your vote here:

Voting goes until February 8! Vote early, vote often! (Why not get your teachers to vote, too?)


To open the proprietary intranet, click here


To open the informational/operational/social intranet, click here.