FAQ regarding switch in platform for the Download Library

Please Note: This page is no longer being updated. It is being left live for background information

Maine InfoNet is pleased and excited to announce that Bibliotheca (formerly 3M) will host the Download Library’s eBook and Audiobook platform beginning March 1, 2017.

What does this mean to you and to your library users? Switching from Overdrive to Bibliotheca’s cloudLibrary Platform will keep the vast majority of the same content at your library’s current cost, plus provide the following enhancements:

· Ease of Use: the Bibliotheca cloudLibrary product is much easier to use than the Overdrive product, and this translates to a more satisfying user experience.
· School Library Participation: School libraries will be able to participate and there will be no restrictions as to their membership.
· Greater Opportunities to Share Collections: Bibliotheca offers a similar product to Overdrive Advantage, which they call a Private Cloud. Libraries who opt in to Bibliotheca’s Cloud Share system will have the capability to share their own Private Cloud collections with other libraries if they so choose.
· More Collection Items: Maine InfoNet will be able to invest in more collection materials due to Bibliotheca platform savings.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Download Library Platform Switch to Bibliotheca cloudLibrary:

Why are we making a change?

Maine InfoNet and the Maine InfoNet Board are continuously looking for opportunities to provide better services at a better value for Maine libraries.
The existing Download Library received regular criticism on the following three points:

  1. The system was difficult to use and patrons often gave up in frustration
  2. The hold lines were too long and availability of items was too limited
  3. School Libraries were not allowed to join the system

The switch to the new platform at least partially addresses all three of these complaints:

  1. The cloudLibrary is app-based and has a much simpler process to check out and download material. Libraries in the state that have experience with both systems say patron satisfaction is much higher with the cloudLibrary system and support issues are far fewer.
  2. There are significant savings to the consortium in terms of platform and support charges. This will result in approximately $30,000 more per year in content being purchased. The ability to add new libraries will also allow us to purchase additional content using their subscription money. Furthermore, if a library purchases content for a “Cloud Share” account (similar to the Overdrive Advantage program) they can opt to allow their items that are not currently checked out or on hold to be made available to the broader consortium Cloud. Together these should help with the availability issues.
  3. We are now able to add libraries of any type to our system. This includes school libraries.

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When are we changing platforms?

We will be going live at the beginning of the next Download Library Subscription year, March 1, 2017.Back to top

How much of the current Download Library collection will transfer to the new platform?

Our current Download Library Collection will be transferred to the new platform with a few exceptions. The vast majority of our collection will be able to be moved to new licenses within the cloudLibrary system. The exceptions are primarily items that were purchased previously, but are no longer available for licensing due to publisher restrictions on availability. The more recently the titles were purchased the more likely they will transfer.

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What training is available? (Updated February 15, 2017)

Bibliotheca staff are providing online, webinar trainings covering different aspects of the management and use of the CloudLibrary system.

The first training that was offered covered the Content Acquisition Tool and is aimed at librarians that will be selecting titles for the shared collection or for their own PrivateCloud.

The second training will be for any library staff that will support the public in the use of the CloudLibrary App.

A session of each training was recorded and is linked below for those that are unable to attend a live session.

Content Acquisition Tool (CAT) Training
This training is geared towards staff who will be selecting titles for purchase either for the shared Download Library Collection or for libraries that have PrivateCloud collections.

This webinar will focus on how to create an initial opening day collection and ongoing collection development. It will cover the different places to find ebook and eaudiobook titles and the process of adding them to your collection.

The second portion of our Content Acquisition Tool (CAT) training will focus on how to do the initial set up of the Cloud Library System, configure the settings, add new administrative users and retrieve information and stats from the reporting tool.

A recording of the the Content Acquisition Tool (CAT) Training webinar is available online at:

CloudLibrary Patron app Training:
The Patron App Training webinar session will provide training on the various patron facing applications that patrons will use to browse, checkout and read content from the Cloud Library System.

Remaining Date and Connection Info:

A recording of the Patron App Training is available online at:

If additional sessions of either training are needed, we will schedule more.

A representatives from Bibliotheca hosted an introductory session on Monday, November 14 at the Maine Library Association Annual Conference held at Sunday River. A recording of that presentation is available at: https://vimeo.com/194575167.

We will announce any additional training opportunities on this website and through the MeLibs listserv.

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What was the process that led to the change?

Over the last six months, the Board has engaged in active consideration of potentially switching from Overdrive to Bibliotheca cloudLibrary due to the understanding of the increased ease of use of Bibliotheca’s eBook and Audiobook platform.

A face-to-face meeting with Bibliotheca occurred in May and included Bibliotheca addressing both the Maine InfoNet Board and attendees at the CMLD Spring Council Meeting. Following that meeting, Bibliotheca provided more than 40 cloudLibrary Logins so librarians could use the product and test it. The feedback from those tests was extremely positive.

In July, the Maine State Library conducted a survey about eReading Device usage.
More than 350 responses came back from that survey. This survey indicated that the impact to Kindle e-ink users will be less than 2,000 individuals out of 26,000+ users who utilized the Download Library in 2015.

In August and September a number of current cloudLibrary customers were interviewed. These contacts all were with libraries or consortia that had previously been Overdrive customers that had switched to the cloudLibrary platform. All were extremely positive and said that the switchover had dramatically increased patron satisfaction. Two of the references expressed that they had been concerned about the impact to Kindle users, but had received very few complaints and these were far outnumbered by people who were happy to finally have success with an ebook system.

Given this, a decision was made at the September 2016 Maine InfoNet Board meeting to switch from the Overdrive platform to the Bibliotheca cloud Library platform at the start of the next library subscription cycle, which is March 1, 2017.

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Why didn’t I hear about this sooner?

Although many libraries did hear about this switch and provided feedback prior to our recent announcement many more did not. Maine InfoNet recognizes this as a shortcoming in the process we used and we will strive to ensure that a more adequate, broadly-based input process will be put in place for future changes.

We understand that this has left some libraries feeling that we were not inclusive or transparent in the manner we should have been. That was definitely not our intent.

From our perspective we have always viewed and charged for this service as an annual subscription providing libraries access to a shared collection of downloadable books that they can provide to their patrons at an incredibly reasonable price. We approached this as a platform and vendor change that improves the user experience (a constant complaint regarding Overdrive) and allows us to offer the service to a much broader group of libraries. We performed our platform and service review from that perspective.

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What about my library’s Overdrive Advantage Library collection? (Updated December 7, 2016)

Libraries that currently have Overdrive Advantage collections will have the option of having their content transferred to a ‘Private Cloud’ which works with the shared Download Library Cloud in much the same way that Advantage collections worked with Overdrive. There will be an option for libraries to opt-in to the Cloud Share which opens their collections to the full cloudLibrary (when not checked out or on hold to their own patrons). Libraries that currently participate in the Advantage program with Overdrive have been contacted to confirm that they would like to transfer their content and whether they would like to participate in sharing their Cloud Share account with the rest of the system. Similar to expectations for our shared collection, we anticipate that the vast majority of Advantage titles will be able to be transferred to the Cloud Share platform.

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Are Kindle devices supported?

The cloudLibrary platform works with tablet-style Kindle devices such as the Kindle Fire. Unfortunately, the cloudLibrary system does not currently work with e-ink Kindle devices, and we recognize that there will be an impact to individuals who only have a Kindle e-Ink eReader.

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What is the impact to Maine’s Kindle e-Ink users?

In making the decision to switch platforms, the Maine State Library performed a significant amount of research and due diligence on this subject.

In July, the Maine State Library conducted a detailed survey about eReading Device usage.
Nearly 350 responses (when the survey was analyzed) came back from that survey. While many librarians and observers will anecdotally comment that the Kindle impact is “huge,” this survey indicated that the impact to Kindle e-ink users is expected to be far less than what individuals might believe if only gauging anecdotal information.

In Maine, we liberally estimate that there will be no more than 2,000 kindle users impacted (those individuals that own a Kindle e-Ink and no other device compatible with the Bibliotheca platform). Although 2,000 people is a significant number, it’s a small percentage of the total users (over 26,000 individuals in 2015) that used the Download library.

Just under half the survey respondents indicated they use a “Kindle eReader of any type.” When that was further analyzed, we learned that 49.7% (half) identified their “Kindle eReader of any type” as either a Kindle Fire or a Tablet utilizing the Kindle App — both compatible with the Bibliotheca cloud library.

When we further analyzed the Kindle e-Ink users (the other half of the total Kindle respondents), the data indicated that more than half of those respondents also used another eReader or tablet (almost exclusively an iPad) to read.

In summary, more than 68% of the Kindle e-Ink users in Maine also indicated that they use a tablet (iPad or Android) to read as well, and this equates to less than 11% of all of 2015’s Maine Download Library users using a Kindle e-Ink device with no alternative reader. When factoring out a small percentage of “audiobook only” users, Maine Infonet estimates that less than 2,000 users will be impacted.

The takeaway from this survey is that Maine Download Library users are multi-device owners and users. Our Maine survey indicates that far more Maine Download Library users utilize a Tablet than they do a dedicated eReader. Additionally, the number of users indicating that they read books on the Smartphone is between 10-15%. This research indicating that our Maine users are multi-device owners and prefer reading on a tablet or smartphone is supported nationally.

To further this, research indicates that people are buying far less eReaders just between 2014 and 2015, eReader-only device ownership dropped from 32% to 19% nationally according to Pew: http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/10/29/technology-device-ownership-2015/

Additionall information on the demographics of device ownership (according to Pew Research): http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/10/29/the-demographics-of-device-ownership/ )

This initial 2014/2015 Pew research was further expanded and supported in a more recent 2016 report. This report offers that, “Americans increasingly turn to multipurpose devices such as smartphones and tablet computers – rather than dedicated e-readers – when they engage with e-book content. The share of e-book readers on tablets has more than tripled since 2011 and the number of readers on phones has more than doubled over that time, while the share reading on e-book reading devices has not changed.”

(As an aside, for anyone that read the Pew 2016 article directly above, you’ll be interested in knowing that in 2015, more than 6 million people visited and used Maine’s public libraries, and of those people, more than 8 million print items were checked out. This is compared to 26,000 users checking out over 240,000 items through the Download Library. The takeaway is that Maine’s library users and usage tend to trend with what we’re seeing nationally, and as such, we can look at national survey data to help inform the conversation in Maine.)

What we’re seeing nationally and through our peer references indicates that the impact to Kindle users will not be significant, and that the benefits of being able to add more users and a far superior platform will be well received in Maine.

Overall, Maine InfoNet understands that the lack of support for Kindle is definitely a downside to making the switch, although we feel it is far outweighed by the other factors presented here and in other questions in this FAQ.

We have also compiled some additional backround on the use of Kindles with library eBook platforms, available here.

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What devices will work with Audiobooks?

As with ebooks, downloadable audiobook playback is App based. This provides a simple and intuitive interface for playback of audiobooks. It does, however, mean that audiobook playback is limited to app-capable devices, such as phones, computers, iPod Touch, etc. Basic MP3 players are not supported at this time. As shown by the Pew Internet research, the effect of this will be limited as smartphone and tablet ownership rises rapidly and dedicated MP3 player ownership declines (http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/10/29/the-demographics-of-device-ownership/)

To help ameliorate the complaints we have received about the audiobook checkout period being too short, we will extend the checkout period from 2 weeks to 3 weeks when we switch platforms.

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What will the cost be for my library?

Current members of the Download Library will be billed for the new subscription year at the same rate as last year.

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My library isn’t a current Download Library member, when can I join and how much will it cost?

We haven’t yet settled on the details for exactly when new libraries will be able to join the Download Library after our switch in platform. We expect to have those details finalized soon and will update this FAQ and make announcements on the MeLibs listserv when we are ready to accept new members. The cost to new public libraries will be the same as current libraries and will continue to be based on the population of the town(s) served by the public library.

We are still working out an appropriate scale for the costs for school libraries to join the system, as town population is not readily applicable. We expect that the fee will be based on student head-count. If you are a school librarian and have suggestions on an appropriate pricing model, please contact us!

Unlike our previous system, we will be able to add new libraries without the vendor charging a one-time integration fee. So moving forward, the cost for new libraries to join will be simply the annual subscription fee for their library, a savings of $300 to each new member library.

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What are the next steps? (Updated January 17, 2017)

By the end of January 2017, Maine InfoNet and Bibliotheca will introduce a more concerted marketing/communication effort which will enable all libraries to post information about the change, and highlight the key features of the new platform. However, there is nothing prohibiting libraries from sharing this news with their patrons now.

We are currently developing sample announcements, emails, and patron focused messages that we will be making available to libraries for their use in publicizing this transition to their patrons. Those will be available by the end of this month so that the word can get out to patrons throughout the month of February.

We will also be placing a banner message at the top of the current Download Library alerting users to the upcoming change.

Finally, Maine InfoNet will share information and details regarding the actual migration of content, downtime for Overdrive in the days prior to March 1, and how current hold-lists may be handled. When applicable, and if offered choices as to the elements described above, Maine InfoNet will engage the broader library community to solicit input before making those decisions.

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Are demo accounts available for libraries to try the system out? (Updated January 17, 2016)

Demo accounts for the CloudLibrary system are available to staff of participating libraries (please do not share this with patrons) by filling out the form located at:

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What about existing CloudLibrary customer libraries?(New December 6, 2016)

Libraries that currently have CloudLibrary accounts can merge their accounts, as PrivateClouds, with the consortial system if they want to. They would finish paying their current contract to Bibliotheca, but then would only pay the annual membership rate for the Download Library, thereafter.

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Is there a way to search the system by language or by series title? (New December 6, 2016)

These search options are not currently available in the cloudLibrary app, but are on the roadmap for inclusion in 2017

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How do I use the CloudLibrary with a Kindle HD or Kindle Fire (New January 17, 2017)

Detailed instructions for using the Kindle Fire and the Kindle HD are located at: http://www.yourcloudlibrary.com/index.php/en-us/get-the-app/kindle-fire

The CloudLibrary App is NOT available directly through the Amazon App store, as Amazon has not allowed it to be made available there.

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What will happen to existing Overdrive checkouts when we switch systems? Will there be an overlap between the CloudLibrary and Overdrive? (Updated January 31, 2017)

Unfortunately, because the licenses are being transferred from Overdrive to the CloudLibrary, there can be no overlap where items are active in both systems.

In terms of what exactly happens to an active checkout at the time of switchover will depend on the device and how it checks back (or doesn’t) to see if the item’s license is still valid.

For most users, though, letting them know that their checkout, however recent, will expire when the switch is made is, unfortunately, the best course of action.

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Will holds be transferred from Overdrive to the new CloudLibrary Platform? (Updated January 31, 2017)

Maine InfoNet sought feedback through a survey to determine whether holds would be recreated in the new CloudLibrary platform.

123 responses were received to the survey.
82, or 2/3 supported the recommendation to “start fresh” and not recreate the hold lists. (This proportion roughly held true across groups of libraries based on patron usage- e.g. 7 of the 10 libraries with the most Download Library usage supported starting fresh)

98, or nearly 80% of the respondents supported emails being sent out to patrons who have active holds alerting them to the new platform and informing them that their holds will not transfer.

With that feedback, it has been determined that holds WILL NOT be recreated in the new system and we will “start fresh”. Apart from being technically more feasible (there is no automated way to transfer holds) this will clear out any holds from patrons that have already read the book in a different format and will allow all new and existing patrons a fresh shot at checking out and placing holds on popular items.

UPDATE – February 22

Unfortunately, while researching the best means to send a mass, bulk email to these patrons using a system such customer relations service, it appears that the legality of directly contacting these patrons is questionable.

Because they provided their email directly to Overdrive, and did not provide ‘affirmative consent’ to be contacted by Maine InfoNet, our attempting to use their email, as a third party, could open us to liability under anti-spam regulations.

Because we were unsure of our interpretation of this, we reached out to the Maine Attorney General’s office who advised us that although not a cut and dried situation we would be advised to NOT send email to addresses harvested from Overdrive as doing so could open us up to costly SPAM and privacy breach accusations to our internet/domain providers and even litigation.

Therefore, I’m writing to let the libraries that subscribe to the Download Library know that we will be unable to individually contact patrons who have active holds as we had planned to do.

Because patrons have given consent to Overdrive to contact them regarding their hold, we have asked if they would be able to send an email alerting the patrons to the fact that holds will not migrate into the new system. We have not yet heard back from them, but I will let you all know as soon as we do.

In the meanwhile we are in the process of updating our announcement at: http://download.maineinfonet.org to more prominently feature the message that holds will not transfer when the system migrates on March 1.

Please continue to use your library’s available communication resources to help spread the word about the migration to your users.

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How is the word getting out to users of the system? (Updated February 15, 2017)

As of February 1, 2017, there is an announcement banner located at the top of the Download Library main page. The banner announces the upcoming transition and links to a full, patron-directed announcement that is on the Maine InfoNet website at: http://www.maineinfonet.org/downloadlibrary/.

This announcement provides information about the change and has a patron focused FAQ covering such things as holds, checkout expiration from Overdrive, and how to use (and what devices work with) the new system when it goes live.

There is now a new page located at: http://www.maineinfonet.org/downloadlibrarypublicity/ that provides a link to the above announcement, an editable Word .doc format version of the announcement, a sample newsletter blurb, links to the Bibliotheca marketing kit and a gallery of library submitted publicity information.

As of February 15th the URL http://download.maineinfonet.org has been redirected so that it resolves to a page announcing the upcoming transition and provides a link to continue to use the Overdrive system until March 1.

When we go live, that URL will then be pointed at the CloudLibrary system.

Bibliotheca provides graphics and files that libraries can use for themselves through their “marketing kit” located at: http://www.bibliotheca.com/3/index.php/en-us/downloads/cloudlibrary-marketing-kit

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How do I link to the CloudLibrary? (new February 22, 2017)

Good Morning-
One of the new aspects that the CloudLibrary brings to the Download Library system is a set of unique URLs for each library’s access to the service.

This means there are three ways for your library to link your patrons to the service.
The first option is to change the links on your webpage to point directly to your library’s unique URL.
A page has been created at http://www.maineinfonet.org/downloadlibrarylinks that has a chart with all of the member libraries and their unique URLs. (Please note- these URLs will NOT work properly until the CloudLibrary system is turned on for March 1.)

The second option is to leave your library link pointed at http://download.maineinfonet.org
Once the CloudLibrary is live, this page which is currently set to an announcement of the new service will be replaced with a page that will allows library patrons to select their library and be sent to the unique URL listed on the page mentioned above. This page will also provide links to the CloudLibrary download page.

The third option will be to point your patrons at the CloudLibrary service http://yourcloudlibrary.com
This option will allow patrons to select their library from the dropdown menus on the CloudLibrary site and also has easy links to the various CloudLibrary apps.

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Last Updated, February 22, 2017