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OverDrive Responds to the Bait & Switch Complaints

Late last week I posted about OverDrive’s latest faux pas, and today they posted a response on their blog.

They’d been caught offering different selection to different libraries without actually telling the libraries about the differences in availability. Now, it’s important to note that the limitations were publisher imposed and there wasn’t anything OD could do about it. The real issue was that librarians were bothered by the lack of explanation, both before and after they’d signed up with OD.

OD’s blog post is verbose and obvious. It can be summed up as:

  • OD works with libraries as best they can
  • sometimes they have to restrict content offerings due to market, format, or regional restrictions
  • and the rest is filler

Today’s response shows that OD really didn’t get what the problem was. Their communication skills are sorely lacking and this blog post isn’t going to fix that.And besides, how many librarians do you think saw OD’s response?

What OD should have done was send a short email to all library partners, not posted a verbose explanation on their blog.  But that’s OverDrive for you. If they actually understood the problem there would not be one.

And it’s not just me. One librarian has already responded to the post:

I have to say that much of this is not communicated very clearly at all to OverDrive’s “partner” libraries. I’ve been disappointed lately that most of the information OverDrive has put out recently has been communicated through the blog or the Facebook page. These tools are great promotional tools and can certainly be secondary venues for communicating about important issues. However, they are no substitute for direct communication with library contacts. The only reason I knew about the fix for the iOS5 problem is because I happened to see it on Facebook. The Penguin issue would more appropriately have been addressed in an email that should have been waiting for me when I got to work that Monday morning. Instead the problem was addressed late that afternoon in a somewhat cryptic posting on the blog, long after we were wondering what happened to over 800 Kindle books from our collection.


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