I had already noticed some sluggishness with the Overdrive site, but I got an e-mail from Overdrive that confirms that people are hitting their site pretty hard right now. It reads:
Dear Library Partner,
This message is to inform you that we are experiencing extremely high traffic at some of our hosted library websites which may result in reduced performance. Our network engineers are actively working on this situation during this peak period.
We will keep you notified on any issues that may affect service.
OverDrive Library Partner Services
While the delay I experienced certainly wouldn't have prevented me from using the site, and the numbers I posted earlier indicate that it's not keeping patrons from checking out either, it might help to notify any new users that the experience is usually much quicker.
I can officially say it's happening. While we had slighly higher numbers (both in new registrations and in circulation) after Black Friday, it appears that most people were indeed purchasing those eReaders at steep discounts for altruistic reasons instead of selfish ones. I'm writing this on Monday at around 7:00, and we already have 170 new registrations on Christmas Day and today (though the numbers are continuing to climb), and we've circulated 466 items in that same period. For perspective, that's a 50% growth over an average two day period, and our previous record for circulation in a single day was 176 items.
I should also note that we would've hit a record week last week even without the extra high Sunday numbers, so we were holding tight to existing patrons as well. Again, if your library would like to schedule an eBook roadshow, it's likely you will have some patrons that might be interested, so go ahead and call the HelpDesk.
I just received an e-mail from Overdrive containing the following information:
This message is to inform you that Adobe Activation services experienced unexpected downtime which affected new device registration and support. We received confirmation from Adobe that Adobe Activation is now fully online.
We apologize for the inconvenience.
If you have any users mention difficulty with Adobe this weekend, it might be helpful to let them know they weren't alone, and that they may want to try again.
As promised, Overdrive has rolled out the Overdrive WIN platform. Instead of Library BIN, library users can now select from Amazon, Books on Board, or Powell Books for items they'd like to purchase. SELCO will continue to earn a percentage on those purchases.
It's up on the Overdrive blog. I have to admit that I'm a little frustrated with how vague the response actually is. Gary Price, author of InfoDocket, agrees in a blog post. In the meantime, I think the most even-handed post about the whole debacle is at the Analog Divide. They mention that Overdrive isn't particularly more or less evil than other vendors, just that the model itself might not scale well to our real-world libraries.
If you've missed it, the Librarian in Black has a new blog post up talking about how Overdrive restricts items from their library catalog. While this particular post is provacative and should influence further discussions about eBook rights, the salient points for SELCO Overdrive users are:
- We are currently seeing the full range of titles
- We haven't been issuing access to reciprocal borrowing, so we don't except our access to change.
For more updates, check back here or at InfoDocket, which promises comment from Overdrive ASAP.
Overdrive has sent out the following message to anyone who has purchased materials from the LibraryBIN site:
Dear LibraryBIN Customer,
As of January 3, 2012 the LibraryBIN site will be discontinued. We are
contacting you so that you have the opportunity to download and archive the
titles you have purchased. After February 29, 2012 titles will no longer be
available for download from this site.
We encourage you to continue supporting your local library through
purchasing content from affiliated on-line retailers. Please visit your
library's virtual branch for more information. If your library doesn't
offer affiliate support please encourage them to consider it!
We appreciate your patronage, and we regret any inconvenience this may cause
The LibraryBIN Team
Overdrive will be transitioning the current LibraryBIN experience to OverDrive’s WIN “Buy It Now” option in the coming month. For a preview of the “Buy It Now” option, search the Overdrive catalog at the New York Public Library (http://ebooks.nypl.org) or Free Library of Philadelphia (http://freelibrary.lib.overdrive.com).
Both of these sites feature Amazon and Books On Board as options. At September User Group, I promised that we'd be able to link it up with IndieBound members. I asked Overdrive Support and they wrote back to say they are continuing to work on the technical requirements to make it work.