23 Mobile Things, #11 Library and Reference

I’ve been using the apps for the metro libraries, Hennepin County, St. Paul Public in particular, and since they are all powered by boopsie, they are all quite similar.

There are good things about the boopsie apps, the main menu is straight forward and easy to navigate, clear headings to find what you want, a good list of features front and center. I like that it links your account and show you your information at a touch. The Booklook feature is a nice mobile tool.

It’s a decent app, but it could do things better. The search is woefully underpowered, you can’t organize or limit your searches. The app also has stability issues and doesn’t feel very polished overall.

OverDrive has gotten better, slowly. I don’t know how much of the glacial pace of improvement is because of OverDrive, and how much is because publisher are dragging their feet integrating ebook lending or because ereader firms don’t want you borrowing titles but want you to buy them instead, like Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Once you get the app set up, OverDrive doesn’t take to much work to get a book, but you need to jump through the hoops the first time; have the right library card, choose the right library, have an Adobe Digital id, have an OverDrive id, find a book, choose the right format, and download (assuming your device can connect to the internet, otherwise there are more steps). I understand why it is so complicated, I just wish that it wasn’t.


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