The Lion PAC Committee has morphed into the Public Services Committee, expanding the focus to all of our digital services. At the “inaugural” meeting, we covered the mobile catalog, Overdrive, and LibraryThing and talked briefly about holds and the pac redesign. We agreed to meet quarterly and to use the pac e-mail list to facilitate communication among the libraries, especially when an individual library’s improvement to Lion’s digital services could be utilized by others in the consortium. Please e-mail Alan if any staff wishes to be added to the pac e-mail list.
Alan demonstrated the features of the new LibraryThing LibaryAnywhere mobile catalog. It is available via Internet browser or as an app for iPhone and Android. Patrons using smartphones to access the regular catalog are asked if they want to redirect to the mobile version. Its functionality is somewhat limited at present. However, additional features like renewals, canceling holds, and changing hold pickup location are expected in the future. Alan has requested an enhancement for the list view to include item type. The mobile catalog is a work in progress, and several bugs were noted.
We also have LibraryThing’s ADA compliant catalog, available at http://www.libanywhere.com/la/143. It is optimized for use with screen readers and other assistive technologies.
Most of the discussion focused on e-books. We have 120 new e-books and the total e-book collection size is approaching 500. Two-thirds of the e-book collection is checked out at any given time. E-books, unlike audio books, may be returned early using Adobe Digital Editions. The committee decided to change the checkout limit from 7 to 4 and to reduce the hold limit to 4 as well, due to high demand. The limit is for e-book and audio books combined. At present, there is no way to set the limits individually by item type.
We also discussed changing the loan period so both item types were the same. E-books are 14 days, and audio books are 10 days. E-books do “disappear” after the loan period, whereas audio books do not as long as they are transferred to an mp3 player. Some were concerned that changing the audio book loan period to 14 days would result in longer hold queues and fewer items available for patrons when they visit the Overdrive catalog. Adjusting the e-book loan period to 10 days was deemed too short. We agreed to revisit the discussion after the holiday season to better gauge the expected increase in popularity of our Overdrive titles.
This week Overdrive released new iPhone and Android apps, which include e-book support. iPad owners may use the iPhone app, although the size will not be optimal for their device. Overdrive is expected to release a dedicated iPad app soon. A few bugs in the new apps were noted.
Alan will ask Overdrive to add a Supported E-book Devices link to the Getting Started section of our downloadable media catalog. Improvements to the Help section, including a visual guide for novices, were suggested. Overdrive is in the process of simplifying their catalog layout so users will be able to easily filter only the item types they wish to use. Alan is seeking suggestions for the Overdrive catalog interface, so please e-mail him your ideas and/or links to other Overdrive catalogs you like.
LibraryThing For Libraries
Alan reviewed the LTFL features. Over 1,000 Lion patron reviews have been added. If you mouse over a tag, a tool tip will indicate how many times the title has been given that tag. The Also Liked section is based not on the ratings, but on LT users’ bookshelves. If you notice any really bizarre, obviously dissimilar titles in the Also Liked section, let Alan know. He is able to request those outliers be removed.
Please be sure to choose “Page For Title” when placing holds in Millennium. Otherwise, a dead hold is created.
The 2009B Millennium release included a new version of WebPac Pro. Andy is working on configuring it to match our proposed redesign from a year ago. The new version has pull down menus in the top navigation instead of a fixed column of links on the right. In addition, Syndetics content is built into the record instead of appearing in a popup window. Lion hopes to have the new version live before the LEAP libraries join the consortium.