Props to Lianne Flax at the State Library of Kansas for getting a ‘quick and dirty’ version of 3M Cloud Library set up so we could start testing today! So far, so good.
- App available for iOS smartphones and tablets and Android smartphones and tablets
- Easy set up using your Kansas Library Card and date-of-birth pin number combo
- Adjustable text size and a ‘night mode’
- Text search
- On my super-old, super-slow iPhone 3G, the app is responsive and fairly speedy
- Placing holds and checking out available titles is EASY! Click on the cover, click on check out and it downloads promptly for your reading enjoyment.
- When a title you have on hold is available, you are notified immediately
- You can checkin a title early – MyBooks > List View > Title > Check in (it’s even easier on the iPad)
- Each title has a thorough blurb under ‘Book Details’
- Advanced search as an “Only Show Books Available to Checkout” option (on/off switch)
- You can determine your default “Sort by” setting, as well. It defaults to Relevance
- Every page has access to an “i” (Information) link
- As you are browsing the collections, if you select a book you have check out (and forgot about), you are prompted to “Continue Reading”
- You can rate (1-5 stars) the book when you check it back in
Cons (that I have faith will be overcome quickly and mostly prior to Go Live) (UPDATES Added 1/13/12):
- The “i” (Information) link only provides access to the Terms of service…
- We haven’t gotten the Search features to work, yet… Fixed!
- There aren’t a whole lot of books available to play with, yet…Correction – there are 600+ titles, but until the configurations bugs are worked out…only a handful are displaying. Fix in process!
- Only a single font type available – a Times New Roman…
- Only night mode and day mode – missing a ‘sepia’ background that’s easy on the eyes
- Categories (a way the App organizes non-fiction) isn’t set up, yet… Categories now show titles, but they are all suggestions that you can “Add to wishlist” as a way of saying you want to BUY them. A patron-initiated collection development feature that I kind of like.
- Channels (a way the App markets collections) is still a work-in-progress…So far, Lianne has a “New this week” channel, “New this month,” “Popular this month” and “Mysteries”…More channels added weekly – Lianne has asked for help, as they have to be set up by hand. The Four NEW titles listed were actually added this week, so that works.
- There is NO PC App, so don’t try to use 3M (at this time) with your Nook, Nook Color, or Kobo-type reader… Estimated time of arrival for that App is January 31, 2012.
- 3M and Amazon are still discussing/hammering out an agreement to allow 3M to work with Kindles…
That last one makes me sad, because I am a Kindle-lover (because of e-ink and the sheer number of smutty romance titles available through Amazon.com). I’m patient and optimistic that all of the various eReaders out there will work with our new statewide eContent consortium (Kansas EZ Library) eventually.
Having just finished Meg Cabot’s Big Boned on the NEKLS iPad, I can say that I found reading using the 3M App an acceptable experience. I would still like a less-white background option. I heard from two other testers that their books JUMPED around – from page 50 back to page 4, for example. That is not good. I also wish the Table of Contents, which looks hyperlinked, actually WAS hyperlinked. Compared to the OverDrive App, I’d say that 3M wins. If you use the List View while searching, you can easily see what is available for checkout.