Thursday, August 1, 2013

End-User Support Made Easier!


Recently, we re-launched Content Reserve as Marketplace. With this revamp came improved reports, a stream-lined site user interface design, and many new features. As if this wasn't cool enough, we've decided to pack in some extra tools to make your life easier, too!


In addition to being the place to submit support requests, your Support tab is now home to the new End-User Management section.


From analyzing the most common issues reported to our support staff, we have developed ways to directly assist your users with returning titles, reactivating download links, and managing holds – all this without having to contact OverDrive Support Services.


  • "Manage holds" enables you to move or cancel a user's place on the holds list for a title. This is useful in situations where a user may have missed the email notifying them of the availability of their title and placed a new hold on the book. Or if they decide, after placing a hold, that the book is not for them you can remove them from the hold list for the title. This feature is also useful for moving users down the hold list if they will be away from home on vacation and not able to get their hold when it becomes available.
  • "Return titles" allows you to remove a title from a user's account before the end of the lending period, freeing up space on their account if they finish books early, and are unable to return the titles themselves, as with WMA Audiobooks or Open EPUB and Open PDF books. This feature can also be used for removing a title checked out in error.  We often use this feature to swap a format for a user. To do this, return the title, then have the user check out the title again. If there is a waiting list, they can place another hold and you can move them up on the holds list using the "Manage holds" self-service feature
  • "Reset downloads" does exactly that – reset the download limit for currently checked out titles. This feature has been around for a while, now it has a new home.


For the complete instructions on using the End-User Management features, be sure to check out the Marketplace User Manual, available under Quick help on the Support tab in Marketplace. If you would like to see a demonstration of these features, as well as receive additional helpful hints for assisting your users, you can find the User Assistance Training and Top Ten Solutions training sessions on the  Learning Center. While you're there, you can take a look at any of our other On Demand training modules.


Stay tuned, we are always looking to improve the OverDrive experience for you and your users by listening to your feedback and providing new features.


Justin Noszek is a Support Specialist with OverDrive


Meet the Staff: Scott

Curious about the people who teach our online classes? Here's your chance to learn about one of them.

Laika: a hardware control platform for the Raspberry Pi

Laika is a modular add-on board for the Raspberry Pi that allows control of motors, switches, lamps, robots and more. There are plenty of great hardware control boards out there for the Raspberry Pi but we especially like this one because of the educational focus.There’s lots more information on what it can do and how you can use it on their Kickstarter page.

How a learning environment should look

In 2014 computing is coming back into the UK school curriculum. And whilst this makes many of us run outside at random intervals to do Snoopy’s Happy Dance we shouldn’t underestimate the challenges involved. Computing is effectively a brand new subject and there are currently few specialist teachers, so the easier we can make it to teach (and learn) computing in an accessible, engaging and creative way the better. This is especially true in primary school.

So anyone creating educational resources to go along with their hardware or software makes us happy and the Laika team are doing just that. Here they are running a robotics workshop at Highgate School in London.

You can read more about Laika here and if you’d like to get hold of one for yourself or for your school then their Kickstarter has just a few days left to run. We think that Laika has great educational potential but of course you don’t have to be in school to start learning.

A Laika-Pi powered rover wandering the icy wastes of Europa, the smallest of the Galilean moons.

Microsoft Launches Office App For Android


Microsoft has released a new app that will introduce its Office suite to Android. The app can be downloaded free from the Google Play Store, though the catch lies elsewhere. The app can only be accesses by those who have subscribed to Microsoft's Office 365 Home Premium and ProPlus services. Also, the app will only be of relevance to smartphones users as the same is yet to be launched for tablet devices, though it is the latter community that could have benefited the most given the larger screen area. Further, the app will only work on devices running Android 4.0 and higher.

Also, the Office for Android app will not allow all the operations that one is used to doing with the Office suite in a PC. Rather, the app can be seen to play only a supporting role where users can carry on with their work on Office documents such as editing Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files that won't alter the formatting or the data. Also, users won't have to be connected to the internet to carry on with the editing and the files will be saved once the user is online. Another cool feature of the app is that it will allow the user to create new Word and Excel files on the smartphones. Users will be able to save the changes at SkyDrive or send it via email.

Subscribing to Office 365 demands an annual fee of $100 and will allow the users to install the Office app on up to five devices, which includes PCs, smartphones, and even Macs. Microsoft's move to introduce an Office app to Android comes soon after its iOS version was launched a few weeks ago. You can download it today from the Good e-Reader Android App Store.

Microsoft Launches Office App For Android is a post from: E-Reader News

Borders Bookstore to Launch Once More in Singapore



Borders bookstore is re-launching in Singapore and will open its doors during the holiday season. Local book retailer Popular Holdings has purchased the rights to Borders and will be launching a single store in Jurong.

The last of Borders stores closed down in 2011 and many local readers are really excited about their return. Vincent Ng commented "To me, Borders advocated reading as a way of life. Unlike other places, they allowed customers to browse through the books instead of sealing them up, which helped me discover many new authors. Also, I hope Popular will not turn Borders into an assessment-books bookstore."

Amid rising costs and the growing popularity of internet book retailers in Singapore, a number of stores have closed. Page One shuttered its Vivocity outlet last year. The hope is bringing back an iconic bookstore chain will draw more readers into the stores and hopefully act as a staging ground to consolidate the local physical book industry.

Borders Bookstore to Launch Once More in Singapore is a post from: E-Reader News