Cindy Orr offers some helpful tips for managing your library’s OverDrive-powered digital catalog in her monthly blog post.
Obviously, using the ContentWire newsletter and the lists created by OverDrive’s Collection Development team is one way to keep up with your selection work for your digital collections. But here are some other ideas that may not have occurred to you.
Use Holds Manager. This is a terrific program that will show you what your current patrons really want. Let the computer do the math for you. You won’t be sorry. You set it up to buy for you automatically purely based on the number of holds you have.
Use Library Reports. This module makes it a snap to analyze your statistics. With a couple of clicks you can see what’s on your waiting list, find turnover rates of titles and sort by lowest to highest or vice versa, check your circulation statistics, find out what doesn’t go out…and much more. You’ll wish your ILS reports were this easy.
Use Advanced Search. Buying what’s highlighted in ContentWire is a start, but what are you missing? Using the Advanced Search you can find out. Search for content added this week. Narrow it by publisher or format if you’d like. Search for series or language or age level…and the search allows you to exclude the things you’ve already bought. Nifty.
Watch for sales. Be extra alert for sales announced on ContentWire or this blog, and you’ll save tons of money. Sometimes prices are half off. This is where you can use the Advanced Search feature to narrow your results to the publisher whose items are on sale. It’s definitely worth it. This is the number one way to increase what’s available to your public.
Have your regular selectors buy the digital content. This may seem like a no-brainer, but some libraries assign their OverDrive selection to a staff member who doesn’t ordinarily select for the system. Give this task to a selector who is regularly selecting other materials for the system and you will save time and enhance the quality of your collection. Take those sales for instance…a selector can scan down a list of titles available and instantly recognize the ones they want because they’re already familiar with the titles.
Think in collections. Instead of a scattershot approach, choose titles in groups: by language, by genre, by series, by age level, by subject. If you decide that today you’re choosing cookbooks or travel titles, for instance, you can use the Advanced Search to cast a wide net and look at the list of available items all at once. This will prevent you from ending up with 6 Italian cookbooks and none for the grill, or several travel guides to Brazil, but none for England.
I’ll be publishing more selection tips every now and then, but I hope these give you a few good ideas.