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Old 01-04-2017, 12:21 PM   #1
khintul
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question for librarians

My local library has just made the switch from Overdrive to 3M Cloud library (as of 12/12), thus shutting out service for folks with Kindle ereaders.

But now thankfully they have announced they will be resuming the Overdrive service within 30 days. In the "resume" announcement, they mentioned that only about 5% of their digital downloads were for the Kindle ereader.

So here are my questions for the librarians:

I'm assuming the switch was based on financial considerations, but if their statement about only 5% of users requesting the Kindle format, would they so quickly have done a reversal?

Is the digital download service a benefit for the libraries, do they care whether patrons stop using it (or do as I have done, and paid for a card from a different library that uses Overdrive)?

Just trying to wrap my head around the nuances here. Thanks for any input.
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Old 01-04-2017, 01:34 PM   #2
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Just sticking my nose in to offer that Kindle support and financial reasons are not the only possible factors for switching back.
Perhaps a lot of patrons simply hated the new system and complained, for reasons unrelated to Kindle.

Also, just my gut feeling, I think a lot more than 5% of their ereader users are on Kindle.
If the 5% of "digital downloads" is not simply incorrect, then it maybe referring to 5% of ALL digital downloads, including movies and music and audiobooks.

So even if only 5% of all their downloads were for Kindles, that could still mean even less was for other ereaders, and all the rest was other media.

Last edited by ApK; 01-04-2017 at 11:09 PM.
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Old 01-04-2017, 04:00 PM   #3
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It may be a regional thing

It is hard to find in local stores, any thing other than a Kindle if one is looking for a dedicated (eink) reader

There was a time, ADE devices were KING (Sony, Nook, Astak (hanlin) ) No more.

LCD Tablets and Phablets are common, but not dedicated. Mail order is only good if you ABSOLUTELY know you will love it. Returns are a hassle (even if the claim otherwise)
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Old 01-04-2017, 10:56 PM   #4
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I've read some pretty terrible things about the 3M interface and I wonder if that might be what people are complaining about.

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Old 01-04-2017, 11:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khintul View Post
My local library has just made the switch from Overdrive to 3M Cloud library (as of 12/12), thus shutting out service for folks with Kindle ereaders.

But now thankfully they have announced they will be resuming the Overdrive service within 30 days. In the "resume" announcement, they mentioned that only about 5% of their digital downloads were for the Kindle ereader.

So here are my questions for the librarians:

I'm assuming the switch was based on financial considerations, but if their statement about only 5% of users requesting the Kindle format, would they so quickly have done a reversal?

Is the digital download service a benefit for the libraries, do they care whether patrons stop using it (or do as I have done, and paid for a card from a different library that uses Overdrive)?

Just trying to wrap my head around the nuances here. Thanks for any input.
Have you posed these questions directly to the librarians in your local library system?
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Old 01-05-2017, 12:08 AM   #6
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My local library uses both overdrive and 3M services. I live in Canada so kindle support has never been an option


Notes

First and foremost, I've yet to search for a book on the main library site and find it available through 3M. Either the sort of books I like (sci-fi, history and older mysteries) were cheaper for my library to provide through overdrive, 3M has a smaller selection overall and/or 3M simply isn't properly integrated into the main library. To tell the truth I had nearly forgotten about the 3M service.

The Cloud Library apps are quite different from the overdrive apps (I do all my borrowing and reading on my tablet(s) which will automatically cause complaint. I find the filtering system in overdrive much more helpful then the Cloud Library browsing (although I still much prefer the Main library website).
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Old 01-05-2017, 11:23 AM   #7
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As I continue to see the comments made by patrons on the library site in response to their reverting back to Overdrive, it's pretty clear that the issue is more one of terminology. One of the earliest complaints was from a person who said she had gotten "a new Kindle" for Christmas, and now couldn't use it. Her response after the announcement was to be so happy because now she'd be able to use her "new Kindle Fire".

The blame for the confusion, I think, must lay with Amazon because when they introduced the Fire tablet, they did call it a "Kindle Fire". Understandably, people just used the term Kindle for everything. Amazon has tried (though kind of half-heartedly) to get to the place of just calling it a Fire, while using the Kindle name for e-readers. That still doesn't make it clear to the customers who might not really be aware of the difference.

What began as a fairly simple idea from Amazon, to have an e-reader that did not need a computer to get books, has now morphed into something that is much more confusing for folks who are not so tech-savvy.
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Old 01-05-2017, 11:34 AM   #8
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The blame for the confusion, I think, must lay with Amazon
Ehh...well, maybe partially.
But I think most of the blame must lay with the user.
Amazon can probably do a better job with marketing and education, sure.
But it's not like the info is hidden or obfuscated, so the bulk of the blame has to be put on users who buy something with out understanding what it is, what it does, or even, apparently, what it's called.

Though, to be fair, in the specific case of the user you quoted, maybe she DOES have a Kindle Fire...perhaps it's new to her from eBay or from a friend.
We still have a Kindle Fire in our house.

And also, a Fire (Kindle labeled or not) is indeed designed and intended to be used with Amazon's ecosystem, so it's not the fault of Amazon if people are only interested in getting books the easiest, most integrated way on the device, and are not interested in using third party apps and processes. It's how the device is positioned and, ideally, what people know they are buying it for.
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Old 01-09-2017, 09:54 PM   #9
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Also, just my gut feeling, I think a lot more than 5% of their ereader users are on Kindle.
If the 5% of "digital downloads" is not simply incorrect, then it maybe referring to 5% of ALL digital downloads, including movies and music and audiobooks.
Ereaders, including Kindles, are a niche product. The vast majority of ereading happens on phones and tablets. For libraries, there are likely a good number of grandparents on old laptops and desktops, too, some of them no doubt still sporting big CRT monitors.
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Old 01-09-2017, 10:40 PM   #10
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Ereaders, including Kindles, are a niche product. The vast majority of ereading happens on phones and tablets.
Even on phones and tablets, I'd wager a large fraction read with the Kindle app, and would choose Amazon's library mechanism.

Niche or not, the 5% statement makes it sounds like the other 95% used some ebook reading device or app other than Kindle. And I'll bet money that that is not so.
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Old 01-10-2017, 01:34 AM   #11
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Even on phones and tablets, I'd wager a large fraction read with the Kindle app, and would choose Amazon's library mechanism.

Niche or not, the 5% statement makes it sounds like the other 95% used some ebook reading device or app other than Kindle. And I'll bet money that that is not so.
People checking out books through Overdrive on their phones and tablets are most likely reading in Overdrive. Path of least resistance.
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Old 01-10-2017, 08:53 AM   #12
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People checking out books through Overdrive on their phones and tablets are most likely reading in Overdrive. Path of least resistance.
On the other hand, people who also buy Kindle books might choose to keep all their books in the same system, and it's not all that much harder to do.

If you figure out a way to get accurate numbers on such things, let me know, and I'll bet you a Dr. Pepper Kindle readers are a significantly larger fraction of their ebook readers than 5%. Closer to 50% than to 5% (>27.5% if I were to wager).

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