At PLA in Denver last week, Team OverDrive met with countless library partners, sharing the latest innovations coming this year and discussing the continued surge in digital library lending. While presenting and interacting with these librarians, the overarching theme for why digital checkouts are at an all time high was clear: providing content for every member of your community makes all the difference. If you’re looking to increase the usage of your OverDrive website be sure to try these simple ideas:
- Purchasing Children’s content: In our preview for PLA we mentioned that checkouts of children’s and YA content are up 30% this year on top of a 35% growth in 2015. This can be attributed to the popularity of OverDrive’s Read-Along eBooks and fixed-layout picture books. These formats are interactive and the perfect way to create lifelong library users out of the youngest members of your community. This content, along with comics and graphic novels, can help make the library the go to entertainment destination for families in your community
- Providing native language content: If your community has a large population with a Spanish, French or Chinese heritage it makes sense to provide titles in those languages. OverDrive offers content in over 50 languages so regardless of the make up of your community, we have content to connect them with the library. You can also add 13 different languages to your website interface for free so that users can search for this content in that language as well.
- Digital Book Clubs: Libraries around the world bring their communities together through “City Reads” events. Providing a large number of copies of one title for your whole community to read is a great way to create a lasting connection with users. Including your digital library in this type of event is the perfect way to make sure users who can’t make it to the physical branch are included. Contact your Collection Specialist when planning your community reading events to learn how OverDrive can help.
- Keep users coming back with multiple digital formats: It’s no secret that people love eBooks and offering various digital formats on your OverDrive website gives users more opportunities to use your service daily. Offering audiobook versions of titles lets people read on the go. Streaming videos allows people to watch their favorite blockbusters and television series for free. OverDrive Periodicals brings news daily from digital newspapers and magazines. Providing all of this content in one location is the perfect way to make sure users are always connected to the library.
- Analyze your collection: OverDrive Insights enable your Collection Development staff the ability to remove the guessing when it comes to purchasing. You can easily track the genres, formats and collections which are driving the most traffic and circulation. Make your budget more effective by checking these reports often. You can even set up automated purchasing with our Smart Lists and Holds Managers. Get an instant snapshot of your collection by using the OverDrive Dashboard, the perfect tool for quickly showing Directors and Board members what’s going on in your digital library.
- Give your users a voice: Thousands of libraries already use OverDrive’s Recommend to Library feature as the perfect way to let users have a say in your collection development. There’s nothing better than getting an email saying the library purchased a title you recommended and that it’s now available on your OverDrive bookshelf. This process is automated and OverDrive Insights make it easy to track what titles are being recommended and instantly add them to your collection.