We crashed it!

Did you get an ebook reader for Christmas? The Kindle flew off the shelf by the millions (even though it’s not currently compatible with the public library’s ebooks). The iPad continued to be successful, largely as an ebook reader. The Nook slunk along behind the others. Just how popular are ebook readers this year? So popular that all of those digital downloaders crashed the Overdrive media website this weekend. What is Overdrive? It is software that allows you to “check out” electronic books from the Kewaskum Public Library. It’s free. It’s out there. We just don’t really know how to use it… yet.

From Overdrive’s blog:
In the last few days, you and your users may have experienced error messages or slow page loads when visiting your library’s ‘Virtual Branch.’ This temporary slowdown was due to an unprecedented spike in traffic on our library websites following Christmas. While we expected a surge in usage after the holiday, your customers’ interest in eBook and audiobook downloads was greater than anyone anticipated. Many of your websites saw usage double overnight, up from what were already record levels prior to Dec. 25.

Right now, we’re managing the traffic to ensure that as many users as possible have access to the site. We’re also preparing for an increased amount of traffic this evening and into the early morning, which are traditionally peak usage time.

Not all library websites are being affected by the slow down, but if yours is, know that we’re working on both short- and long-term solutions. As we were drafting this blog post, the tech team was adding bandwidth capacity and allocating additional network resources to all OverDrive-powered websites. Additionally, we have already added new hardware to meet the increased demand on our servers, with more hardware to come. We expect that your service will be performing at the level it did prior to the holiday surge in the next 48 to 72 hours.

Of course, the enhancements don’t end there. We’ll continue to invest in the technology behind your ‘Virtual Branch’ in coming weeks and months so that we’re prepared for even the most unexpected surges in the future.

We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and confusion that this issue may have caused; but make no mistake: this is a good problem to have. Your library’s ‘Virtual Branch’ is more popular than ever, and we’ll do everything we can to make sure that it stays that way.”

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