Searching outside the Destiny box

June 6th, 2016

Follett now has widgets easily available.  Log in to Destiny Discover and click Widgets under your name dropdown menu.  Here is one for our demostration site:

In addition, there are direct links to results in Universal Search.  After you log in and find a book, there is a Share popup that gives the URL and the QR for the eBook.  Here is an eBook link for the title Too much information by Gene Ambaum & Bill Barnes as well as a QR code for the eBook:


How to handle sets of materials in Destiny Library Manager

August 23rd, 2013

A customer asked me in a Google Hangout about how we would handle a set of materials in Destiny.
Although our Resource Manager are designed to handle sets of materials, the library is not normally used to distribute sets of items. Using a single barcode for multiple items brings up an issue of accountability as opposed to convenience.
Here are my ideas for handling this,
If the items are sometimes checked out individually as well as a group, then I would barcode them individually and add Volume section in the Copy information. The Description should have the name of the set and how many items are in the set. The number would be the individual item number. When you print out the spine label for this item, this information will be on it and you will see it in the copy information when searching. You could have a row of the barcodes either in inside of the first item in the set or in a folder at the circulation counter and just scan all of these rather than pulling out each book.
If the items are always together in a group, then create a single copy and print multiple barcodes for this item. (The newer versions of Destiny has the capability of printing multiple copies of a barcode.) Add a note and check the box for “Display this note whenever the copy’s information is accessed.” that says that this is a set of x amount of books. You may want to put all of these items in a container and have the barcode of it. There are some inexpensive plastic wheeled carts that can be used and the patron would appreciate having this rather than carrying all the items.
There may be a way to check out all the barcodes at once using a QR code but I am unsure since I do not have a QR scanner. The Destiny app does allow scanning of QR codes, but for only one item at a time. If you have a different way of handling please email me and I will add it to this post.

Destiny Promotion

May 29th, 2013

Here is a link to a company that looks has some instructional videos of Destiny as well as some promotional materials:


Summer Reading and Listening

May 29th, 2013

I do not know if you do promoting summer reading, but an easy way of doing it is with eBooks and Catalist Digital Audiobooks since your students already have log-ins through Destiny and can use their own personal devices as well. Non-Destiny users can also have a guest login for students or easily upload student log-ins through a spreadsheet (no personal information such as email addresses required).

I have three lists on Titlewave that are Unlimited Access, One to One and Catalist Digital. If you want me to send them to you, tell me and they will appear in the Inbox in Your Lists in the upper right of Titlewave after logging in. Of course there is no obligation and you can ignore them, delete them, add to them, move select titles in them to other lists or remove any. There are various age ranges so you might want to search within list or sort them under different criteria.

If you just get a few Unlimited Access eBooks then all the students will get access so they would be enough to use in the summer. For example, you could purchase these 8 titles for under US$300.

Nola’s Worlds. #1,Changing moon
By Mariolle, Mathieu Dewey: 741.5
Nola finds life in Alta Donna boring and prefers to daydream about a more interesting life until two new kids move into town and Nola decides to investigate to discover their true identities.
Lexile: 370

A game for swallows to die, to leave, to return
By Abirached, Zeina, 1981- Dewey: 741.5
Zeina Abirached, a woman born into a Lebanese Christian family in 1981 during the civil war in Lebanon, reflects on her childhood, the disappearance of her parents, and the help and protection she received from neighbors.
Lexile: 680

Wolf’s coming!
By Kulka, Joe Dewey: 811
All of the animals in the forest go into hiding because the wolf is coming, but why they are hiding is the big surprise.
Lexile: 150

Russell and Elisa
By Hurwitz, Johanna Dewey: -E-
Seven-year-old Russell and his three-year-old sister Elisa have adventures with friends and family in their apartment building.
Lexile: 650

Swing around the sun poems
By Esbensen, Barbara Juster Dewey: 811
A collection of poems that celebrates the seasons, with illustrations for each season by a different Minnesota artist.

Taj Mahal
By Arnold, Caroline Dewey: 954.02
Recounts the love story behind the building of the Taj Mahal in India, discussing how it was constructed and providing information on Indian culture.

Weird-but-true facts about gross things
By Coss, Lauren Dewey: 031
Text and illustrations look at different things that are gross for children.
Lexile: 900

Clues in the attic
By Meister, Cari Dewey: 741.5
Ben must face his fear of the attic in order to find his sister’s pet snake.
Lexile: 200

Here is the titles in the lists under three worksheets if you want to see what I made:

You can also give the student the link to any list that you have created. Here is a sample of where it would go:
Sample List in Destiny

Lastly, don’t forget to promote no matter if you do something for the summer or not.

Here is some promotional stuff we have for eBooks as well as instruction sheets for various devices:

Here is the promotional items for the Destiny Quest App:

Additional Site Access and Digital Content in Destiny

April 8th, 2013

A customer recently asked some questions that I thought would be relevant to others.  Please contact me if you need additional help on these or any other matters.

1.  How do I allow access to other libraries in my district for my patrons:

Adding additional sites requires a district user with Manage Patrons for the District rights.  Someone would need to go in as the destinyadmin and click on Setup in the right hand side.  They would then need to click on Users and create a district login for you.  After this is created, then you need to log in as this before clicking on a site by the District Users Login and then click on the District Link in the top right.

2. I am exploring using Destiny to catalog and access local resources – specifically, student created material, usually in digital format.  I have figured out that I can do so by creating a MARC record and then attaching an electronic resource file (jpg, etc.).  I notice that I can also add a URL to access those items that are web based (so we can do student web-based documents or works).

a)    Is this my best route?

It depends on the content.  If it is used for simply archival, then Destiny would be good choice.  You can also make these items hidden on Destiny, so only people who have the right to see hidden materials can view the content.  If it is something that you may need to edit, then I would have a link to the file in a place where you can access it instead of uploading it in digital content.  If it is something that will be removed at a specific time, then Destiny may be better since there is an expiration date.  Since the date is for informational purposes only, you would still need to maintain these by running reports on expiration date and then manually delete them.  If they are quite large or if another site can provide a better interface, then a link would be better.

b)    Are there limits to the size of the files that can be attached ?  (so would I be better off storing the resources on an external site and simply adding URL link?

Hosted customers have a default limitation of 1GB for digital content.  This can be increased if requested.

c)    Do I need to add a copy ? (I wouldn’t think so, because an electronic resource or URL would not need to be checked out, but then it says no local copies available 😉

This is a good point.  This is a good item to put into the digital resource tab in Destiny.  In order to identify what is moved to the digital content, a district user must be created with Manage Library Materials for the District rights.  They would then need to go into the district, click on Back Office – Configuration and identify a specific MARC tag that designates it is a digital resource. You will also need two icon for each.  This way they are not tied into a copy and people can click immediately from the search results to see it.

3. I am also exploring adding student reviews to library materials. Within your current system, it looks like I can only find a review if I know the book being reviewed.  Is there any way for a patron to search for …

a)    Books with reviews?

Written reviews, no, but you could send this in the request a feature section in the Contact us in Help.  However, a title report can be generated in report builder to identify what books have been reviewed.

b)    Books with review average of 4 stars or more?

Yes, in Destiny Quest, after searching, you can limit your results by rating of the titles.  These would more likely have a written review.

c)    books reviewed by a certain reviewer?

No, you could suggest this as a feature.  The reason that this was omitted might be because of privacy issues.  In Back Office – Site Configuration, you can adjust what is shown about the reviewer (No Name, Full Name, First Name-Last Initial, Initial Only).  Be sure that when you allow reviews that this setting reflects your school’s privacy policy.

Hangout with me on Google Plus

January 25th, 2013

This post is a little off the usual topics.  I have been using Google Plus to help schools learn about are products.  There is a “Hangout” option where you can share your desktop, work together on documents, chat, and talk.  Up to 10 people can join at once.  Please feel free to hangout with me.


Why Choose Follett eBooks

January 25th, 2013

If you compare our offerings with other options, we most likely represent all of the publishers that they carry as well as a whole lot more.  We have over 100,000 eBooks and most of them are non-fiction.  In addition, you can use the tools in Titlewave to get exactly what you want and we have lists that have been compiled by experts.  These lists would not favor any one or several publishers.  Our eBooks are a one-time purchase and the school owns the book.  That means there are no subscriptions and if the publisher changes the terms of use, then it would not affect any previous purchases. 

We have apps for iPads and Android tablets and the eBooks can be access through browser so many different devices can access them.  We also have tools:  Text to Speech, Highlighting, Note Taking, Dictionary, Copying and Printing. 

Looking at other competitors, here are some general advantages of FollettShelf: 

1.     All of our eBooks can be download to tablets and iPads.  In addition, most can be downloaded to a computer.  In addition, all can be read on-line so no additional software is needed just to read the books.  Most competitors have it so you can either download it or read it on-line, but not both.

2.    Follett eBooks have one standard interface no matter where or how you are accessing them.  Some competitors have a different interface depending on the publisher.

3.    Follett eBooks can be simply read online without logging in or checking it out so that once it is closed on the device, it is immediately available to others to access.

4.    Follett eBooks can also be checked out with a circulation time completely controlled by the librarian and the can be checked back in by the user before the circulation time is over.  Most others do not allow the early check in which would make the eBook inaccessible for a longer period of time.  Also, the competition’s circulation time may be fixed or need to be changed through the company.

5.    Follett sells two types of eBooks 1-1 where only one person can access it at a time and Unlimited Simultaneous Access eBooks (USA) where there is no restriction.

In order to access the eBooks, we give the school a free browser eBook manager called FollettShelf.  Also, you would get the MARC records for the books to put into your library system.  Students here can create reviews and you can generate reports on usage as well as determine the circulation period and any restrictions that you would like.  For example, if you only want 5th graders access to certain eBooks that is possible.  

In addition, on the FollettShelf, we can add access to other digital content that we sell.  First are some interactive eBooks such as Lerner, ABDO Interactive Books and ABDO eBoost all of which are unlimited simultaneous accessed.  These are a one time purchase.  We also have Catalist Digital which are audiobooks that can be streamed on the computer or downloaded to a smart device.  These are a one time purchase.

The FollettShelf can house any subscription services that we offer so all your online resourse are access in one place.  Here is a link to the ones that we currently have:  You can get a free trial of any of the items that I mentioned.


New eBook usage statistics

November 28th, 2012

Read about the popularity of our eBooks: Library Journal Study Results

Using MyQuest with Students

November 16th, 2012

Here is an article that talks about using MyQuest with a class.

Unfortunately it doesn’t give the reasons to use MyQuest as oppose to Good Reads

1. It is a closed environment restricted to the school so no information needs to be given a third party to register (Good Reads requires an email) and no people outside the school community can contact the students.

2. The books being discussed are available at the school and students can find/hold them directly from Quest and they can also see other similar books in the You May Also Like section.

3.  The dialogue can be monitored and abuse can be reported to the librarian.

Dewey or Don’t We

October 12th, 2012

There is an interesting article in School Library Journal’s October 2012 edition on the growing number schools that are ditching Dewey for categories.  (I think it makes those “You May Also Like” suggestions being close to one another.