Editor’s Note: The following blog post was written by Jan Hodge and Carol Hafer, Crowley ISD District Library Media Specialists.
On November 7, 2011, Crowley ISD opened the CISD Digital Library to serve about 17,000 patrons. It was a great day with a formal celebration at the Administration Building. We invited all administration staff to come to our department and enjoy great food while accessing the new Digital Library on various devices. The event was well attended, including our Superintendent. Since then, we have enjoyed great success with the Digital Library.
Because we are able to choose age-specific collections, the titles we offer are winners for our students, parents and staff. We have had very positive feedback from all stakeholders, who have found accessing the Digital Library much easier than they had originally thought it would be. At a campus staff meeting, one teacher/parent said, “I really appreciate being able to use this great product…I love it and my kids love it!” These are typical comments we have heard during our presentations at campuses, student and parent groups, grade-level meetings and even School Board meetings.When we realized that our School Board Members did not have log-ins for the Digital Library, we quickly created them and presented them ceremoniously on school letterhead.
This past November, we were extremely thrilled and honored to host the OverDrive Digital Bookmobile for two days, serving both of our high schools. We Facebooked, Pinned and Tweeted to get the word out.
OverDrive’s Adam Sockel joined us for a great eBook #TweetUp chat the night before our event. We connected with our curriculum leaders and department heads to ignite our checkouts and increase patrons even more.
A high school senior who was touring the Digital Bookmobile and accessing our CISD Digital Library catalog made our day when she happily exclaimed, “They have my books!” We were able to form a partnership with our local Crowley Public Library, which is also an OverDrive partner.
The Digital Bookmobile event has been the single most effective marketing strategy for our CISD Digital Library. We experienced a huge jump in patrons and patron checkouts. In addition, we have been able to provide multiple copies of titles for use as class novel sets via OverDrive. Currently, we are planning to share the value of the Digital Library in our upcoming CISD All Star Learning Camp. It is an “unconference” for our staff designed with @Edcamp Philosophy. Also, we are planning on doing more presentations for PTA groups and special events to reach more parents and teachers with this great resource!