Not too long ago, we released OverDrive Help.  The goal: Give librarians and end users a quick and easy way to find help for using OverDrive services.  Not sure how to transfer audiobooks to your iPod? No problem.  Want to know how to get a library title on your Android device?  We can help with that, too.

Making good use of OverDrive Help is a simple way to assist your patrons with their technical questions.

1. Use the ‘Getting Started With…’ articles.
2. Find more specific questions, try the ‘Search’ bar.
3. Provide patrons with a direct link to an article that addresses their question.

For general guides on using OverDrive services on a given device, refer to the “Getting Started With…” articles. Say someone comes into your branch with a shiny new Samsung Galaxy Nexus (running Android), and they have no idea how to get eBooks from the library. In the “Getting started with Android” article, you’ll find a simple instructions on how to install our software, find a title and enjoy it on an Android device.  We include in-line links throughout, so users can intuitively find more detailed instructions when needed.

The ‘Search’ bar will take you to more specific articles addressing a variety of troubleshooting issues. Just type in a keyword or two to find what you need. It’s best to keep your searches simple.  For instance, if you’re looking for information on how to download eBooks directly to a Sony Reader Wi-Fi, try searching for “download to Sony Reader” rather than entering a complete question. If you don’t find what you’re looking for on the first try, simplify your search, or change a word and try again.  In our example, we could search for “Sony Reader” and still find what we’re looking for.  Try starting somewhat specific, then get more general if you have trouble finding what you need.

The third tip is simple.  When you’re helping patrons, give them a link to OverDrive Help if possible.  Once they follow the link, users will see that there IS a help site, and that it’s easy to use.  There’s no need to write out instructions for you patrons when we’ve already done the work!

We’re constantly working on improving our help site, and we always welcome feedback.  If you find something hard to use, inaccurate, or simply yearn for some feature we have yet to add, just let us know.  We’re here to help, after all!

Quinton Lawman is a technical writer at OverDrive.

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