Biblionix is pioneering the integration of print and digital content at libraries throughout the United States. Founded in 2003, the Austin, Texas-based ILS vendor serves small- and medium-sized public libraries and is committed to supporting third-party products with its Apollo automation system.
Even before we introduced OverDrive APIs last summer, Biblionix was integrating OverDrive-hosted content into libraries’ OPAC search results. Previously, the process involved librarians providing Biblionix with spreadsheets of MARC records data, and the functionality was fairly limited—Apollo users could see OverDrive content in search results, but there was no availability information.
Since Biblionix began using our Library Account, Metadata, Search and Availability APIs, however, the OverDrive-Apollo integration has become much more robust. “Libraries no longer need to send us metadata information,” says Biblionix co-founder Clark Charbonnet. “But there’s a much more valuable aspect to what we added using OverDrive APIs.”
Charbonnet notes that Apollo users searching their library’s OPAC can now see availability information (number of copies available, number of holds) for OverDrive content. If a user clicks “Download this item” for an OverDrive-hosted title within the OPAC, the link takes them directly to that title’s page on the library’s OverDrive-powered website. Plus, Apollo automatically logs the user into OverDrive. There’s no need to select the library name or log in again.
This single-sign-on access dramatically improves ease-of-use for users, says Biblionix co-founder Xan Charbonnet. “The ‘Download this item’ link takes patrons directly to a logged-in OverDrive page, which is huge for usability,” he says. “People can use the exact same username/password they use for the OPAC. Single-sign-on is the way to go here.”
Biblionix has implemented OverDrive APIs for 166 libraries in 26 different consortia. Pennsylvania’s McBride Memorial Library, a member of the North Central Library District’s eBranch2Go consortium, launched its API integration last October. “Driving patron access through the catalog [using] the patron’s card number underscores the value-added services libraries provide and creates a centralized intellectual watering hole,” says Lisette Ormsbee, director of library services at McBride Memorial Library. “The fewer places a patron needs to search for info is best. The library’s job is to reduce the universe of information to the patron and the universe of access points.”
At Tucker Free Library, a member of the New Hampshire Downloadable Books Consortium, integrating OverDrive content was a critical factor in the staff’s decision to switch to the Apollo platform in the first place. “We migrated to Apollo in December 2010 from InfoCentre by Follett, and part of our negotiations included having OverDrive integrated in our catalog,” says Denise Getts, assistant librarian at Tucker Free Library. “From the very beginning, Apollo accommodated us in that respect. We tried to make it work with InfoCentre but never could do so.
“Our experience with the Biblionix-OverDrive integration was wonderful, and we’ve been extremely happy with the look of the catalog and the ease of use between the two,” continues Getts. “The ability to integrate OverDrive content into our OPAC was something that was very important to us to have, and it has made a vast improvement to our catalog.”
More About OverDrive APIs:
“OverDrive Supports ReadersFirst Initiative” Feb. 7, 2013
“TLC Integrates OverDrive APIs into Library Platform” Jan. 28, 2013
“SirsiDynix To Integrate OverDrive APIs into eResource Central” Jan. 14, 2013
“Colorado Libraries Achieve Rich Integration With OverDrive APIs” Nov. 12, 2012
“OverDrive API Integration Under Way” Oct. 17, 2012
“Developer Portal for OverDrive APIs To Launch in July” May 24, 2012
Michael Lovett is Public Relations and Social Media Specialist at OverDrive.