Southwest Educational Development Center (SEDC) is an educational cooperative based in Utah. The library at SEDC was funded through a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Grant in late 2013. The purpose of the grant was to provide fiction content to grades nine through 12 to develop a lifelong love of reading. SEDC serves a diverse school population across a large geographical area, many in very rural areas. Some of these rural schools have less than 100 students, limited local library resources and often no access to a public library. The purpose of the library was to create a collection that all schools could access and share.
SEDC developed a committee of High School librarians to select eBooks to be added to their OverDrive Collection, added several hundred eBooks, and then started training staff and students on how to use the platform to borrow eBooks in December of 2013. SEDC showed the students how to use the Recommend to School feature, which enables students to suggest books from the OverDrive catalog to be added to SEDC’s collection.
The student response has been terrific with daily requests coming in, and adding the students to this collaborative effort has enhanced their experience. “They have been pleasantly surprised that the book they have recommended has appeared shortly after,” said Jeanie Goulding, librarian at Valley High School in Utah.
Students suggested 29 books in December, the first month of use at SEDC. As the librarians worked with students who requested titles, those numbers grew. In January, there were 61 suggested titles, and in February there were 78. This was a great sign that students were using the new feature, and since having the content students wanted to read would be a key part of the success of the program, SEDC was excited to see the students’ participation.
See how you can get your students more involved with the selection process by talking with your Collection Development Specialist today.