Develop software to checkout Overdrive titles directly from the Evergreen OPAC

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Overdrive worked with other ILS systems to develop an API to checkout e-content directly from the OPAC.  Patrons finding a desired e-content title in the OPAC would not have to exit and go to the Overdrive Digital Catalog, search again, then download - could be done directly within the OPAC.  Patrons will appreciate this users-friendly new feature of Overdrive.

Status: 
Under review

Comments

Re: Develop software to checkout Overdrive titles directly ...

Moderator

There was a presentation and some interesting demos at OverDrive's Digipalooza conference earlier this month.  OverDrive has released the first few library APIs on their developer site, with the one you describe, integrated checkout, scheduled to be released early this fall -- September, I believe.  OverDrive worked with a few development partners to test the APIs, including a couple of traditional ILS vendors and Marmot in Colorado, who has integrated this into their open source VuFind catalog: http://opac.marmot.org

If you search for Gone Girl in Marmot, among the various editions and  formats you'll find the ebook and audiobook editions from OverDrive, which show availability information.  Right now, for example, the ebook has this information:

Checked Out
24 total copies,0 are available.
4 people are on the wait list.
 
And has a Place Hold button.
 
The audiobook has this information:
 
Available from OverDrive
9 total copies,5 are available.
3 people are on the wait list.
 
And has a Checkout button.
 

Here's more information on APIs that OverDrive is offering (first and second phase):

http://overdriveblogs.com/library/2012/05/24/developer-portal-for-overdr...

I was surprised that the reaction to these APIs was somewhat mixed among the people I talked to at the conference.  Some were concerned about possible performance issues, always something to consider when two systems have to talk to each other.  On Marmot, for example, you can see a slight delay as the availability information loads.  There was also a feeling that although it's great to have people discover the OverDrive books in the catalog, it's a good thing to have them click over to the record in OverDrive to see more information and perform the checkout within the system, and that if people are looking for OverDrive content, they have much better searching options and other features within OverDrive itself.  (I think that was partly because I was talking to people who work with OverDrive a lot.) 

Personally, I'm all for it, and hope we can support (one way or another) this type of integration.

 

 

Re: Develop software to checkout Overdrive titles directly ...

It is now possible to integrate OverDrive checkout into the OPAC, but it requires bib records to be loaded and maintained in the catalog.

See: https://bugs.launchpad.net/evergreen/+bug/1410537

See also OneClickDigital: https://bugs.launchpad.net/evergreen/+bug/1541559

My preference would be to leverage an API to search OverDrive (and other ebook vendors) to display titles on the fly rather than to load and maintain those records. Perhaps a second tab "Search for Ebooks" that doesn't make that search call until it is clicked upon so that it doesn't slow down the existing search. The different systems within our consortium subscribe to different ebook resources (including different OverDrive subscriptions), so this functionality would require that the patron is logged in and that Evergreen understands which ebook resources that the patron should be able to access.

Re: Develop software to checkout Overdrive titles directly ...

Moderator

I see the appeal of not maintaining the records in OverDrive.We're doing that now and the volume of new records we load isn't a big problem but removing titles as they expire certainly is.

But in our case I'm not sure whether we'd want to rely on the search API to pull in these ebooks.  I'm not sure whether patrons who aren't currently OverDrive users would think to click on this, and if they did, they might find it frustrating since they would so often get no hits.  I think we get new OverDrive users who didn't know they wanted an ebook until they see the record with the link in the catalog and decide to give it a try.  I don't have numbers to support that, though, so I could be wrong!  I'll discuss this with staff at a meeting we have coming up soon.

We don't do OverDrive Advantage so we wouldn't need people to be logged in for OverDrive.  One Click Digital and some of the other ebook products are licensed by individual libraries.

Re: Develop software to checkout Overdrive titles directly ...

Yes, I can see the appeal of serendipitously running across those ebooks, too.

We have an OverDrive consortium (GADD) that includes some PINES & some non-PINES libraries, some of whom have OverDrive Advantage, and then we have other PINES libraries that have individual OverDrive contracts that aren't part of GADD, and we simply don't have the staff time to manage all of those records.

Another option (as opposed to a separate tab they would have to click on to launch a search) would be to have the ebook search results show up on the search results page (in an iframe maybe? like a column on the right that shows some matching covers? or perhaps a link that says something like "Click here to view the 7 matching ebooks") that would provide them more incentive to click through - they'd still need to be logged in in order for Evergreen to know which resources to search, though.

Re: Develop software to checkout Overdrive titles directly ...

Update: I believe the functionality to check out OverDrive books without leaving the OPAC has been completed (although since it still requires bib records to be loaded and maintained in the catalog, we're not going to implement it as it is).