OverDrive Support Course Week 2: The Tools

The goal of this week's lesson is to teach you the tools you'll use to help troubleshoot and resolve patrons' problems using OverDrive: OverDrive Help, Wisconsin's Digital Library, and OverDrive Marketplace.

OverDrive Help

OverDrive Help is a continually updated database of help articles for OverDrive users. It’s helpful for supporting patrons, too.  Use it to find answers for:

  • How-to questions (change email address, return titles, etc):  Simply do a keyword search, but keep in mind that it won't find things that don't match exactly.
  • Finding compatibility information in OverDrive's Device Profiles.
  • Checking error messages: Search the bits of the message verbatim or the error number to find the right help article.
  • Getting Started guides (for new users or users with new devices).
  • OverDrive also provides a special set of help articles for Libby in Libby Help.

When providing support to patrons, especially over email, it's a good idea to share a help article if it's appropriate.  Not only will it clearly walk users through the steps to resolve their problem but it introduces users to resources that they can consult if they have future issues.

Digging Deeper into Wisconsin's Digital Library

In Week 1, you spent some time decoding the Full Record page for titles in OverDrive. Now, you'll dive a little deeper into the website to learn how it works.  These instructions assume you'll be using the desktop version of the site, but you can also explore Wisconsin's Digital Library on your mobile device on the Libby App. The pages or link titles may be slightly different for each.

1) Log in to Wisconsin's Digital Library

To do this, you will need to know:

  • Wisconsin's Digital Library URL (https://wplc.overdrive.com)
  • The name of your local library
  • Your library card number
  • Your PIN or password (for most systems/libraries)

While it is not required to log in before you search, it is a best practice as most systems now have Advantage accounts, which are accounts of additional titles and copies available only to that system's patrons. You may be missing available content if you do not log in before searching!

2) Set up your account default lending periods

This is not required for searching, but it's good to be aware that you can control your default lending periods. New accounts begin with 14 days for audio and ebooks, 21 days for magazines, and 3 days for video. Patrons may want to adjust those. The lending period for a title can also be changed at the same time it is borrowed.

3) Search or browse to find the book you want

You can do a simple search by clicking the magnifying glass near the upper right-hand corner of most pages or by using the Advanced Search form.  You may choose to browse using the "Collections" link at the top of the home page to show or hide different collections by format, availability, or genre / subject.

4a) If the title is available, check it out.  

  • If desired, change the length of the lending period
  • Click "Borrow"
  • Select the format
    • For ebooks, titles may be available in EPUB, PDF, Open EPUB, Open PDF, Kindle, or In Browser formats, like OverDrive Read.
    • For audiobooks, titles may be available in MP3 or In Browser formats, like OverDrive Listen.
  • Confirm the download, if downloading or complete the steps below if Kindle format is selected:
    • An Amazon page will open automatically
    • Log into your Amazon account, if needed
    • Choose the device to deliver the book to and click the "Get Library Book" button
    • Kindle users can resend the title, deliver the title to additional devices, and/or return the title from the "My Content and Devices" page

OverDrive responds to what device you are using to access it and will only display formats of titles that will work with that device, however, for providing support to patrons, it will be helpful to know which formats and apps work on which devices.  To find out, consult OverDrive's Device Profiles. Select the device to see which apps and formats work for that device.

Most format/device combinations will open the necessary software automatically. 

4b) If the title isn't available, place a hold.

  • Click "Place a Hold"
  • Verify the email address where the notification will be sent when the title is available or change it if needed.
  • When a hold becomes available, patrons will have the option of borrowing the item immediately or having it delivered later. An email will be sent to the associated email address and a notification will appear in your account. More information on the deliver later option.

5) Recommend a title to the library to purchase

If you cannot find a book but would like to suggest that WPLC purchase it, there are two ways of doing this:

a. Use the Recommend to Library function

  • Visit the advanced search, enter relevant info about the title you’d like, and select the “Recommend to Library” in the Availability menu to the left.
    • If the book is there, click the “Recommend” button next to it.  Patrons are allowed three recommendations in each 30 day period.
    • If the book is not there, go to the "Recommend titles directly" option below.

b. Recommend titles directly: Patrons periodically send requests for purchase through the support form. Forward these requests to the WPLC selector for your library system.

OverDrive Marketplace

OverDrive Marketplace is the tool used to manage the collection in Wisconsin's Digital Libary and to help users with their checkouts and holds in OverDrive. You should have an OverDrive Marketplace account.  If you do not or if you don't know if you do, contact your course instructor.

As a support provider, you'll use these resources in the Support tab, found at the top of the screen when you log in:

1. Manage Holds

  • See what a patron has on hold and where they are in the queue
  • See a list of all the holds for a title
  • Adjust the hold queue position for patrons
  • Remove holds
  • Find a patron’s library card number (if you have an email address)
  • Find a patron’s email address (if you have a library card number)

2. Return Titles

  • See what a patron has checked out, and in what formats
  • See all checkouts for a title
  • Find a patron’s library card number (if you have an email address)
  • Find a patron’s email address (if you have a library card number)
  • Return a title before the end of the lending period

3. Merge User IDs

Use this tool to combine information (checkouts, holds, wish lists, etc.) for a patron's old library card with a new one.  You'll need both the old and the new barcode to do this.

4. Reset Downloads

With this report, you can reset a download limit.  One trick with the "Reset Downloads" report is that you can only search by barcode number.  This will not work in cases where the patron has supplied the wrong barcode (it happens!) or in systems where OverDrive is using a static patron number to identify patrons rather than their barcodes.  Use one of the other reports to find the associated email or in systems where OverDrive is using a static patron number, use your local ILS to find the patron number associated with the barcode supplied by the patron.

To get you started with these three reports, we've created a "Using OverDrive Marketplace" document to give you step-by-step instructions and more details for each of these functions.

And one more thing to know about Marketplace!  It's also the place you go to submit support requests to OverDrive.  You can do that by clicking the "Support" tab and scrolling down to the bottom to the "Contact Us" box and clicking on "Technical Support."  You'll be asked to supply information about the problem.  Be as thorough and specific as possible in your support requests.  Review the form to know what you need to know from the patron (browser, device model, etc.) and ask the patron for the further information if needed.


  1. Complete the quiz for the week. The link was sent to you in an email.

  2. Just like last week, you'll receive an email mock support request from your instructor acting as a patron on Tuesday or Wednesday. This will be an opportunity to practice your support skills and while you know it's your instructor on the other end, please do your best to respond as if he or shere were a patron. This includes not only helping with the question but also using what you've learned about email etiquette.