Attracting new users to your OverDrive-powered website is essential for maintaining a successful digital collection. By adding support for multiple languages to your website, your library can use Spanish, French (Canadian), Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, or Japanese translations to reach new users. Russian and Malay language support will be available later this month.
Previously, patrons who do not speak or read English may have been unable to use your digital collection, but your library can now serve them with a translated interface and a multilingual eBook catalog. OverDrive provides an extensive eBook catalog with titles in 64 languages, including native-language bestsellers.
As an example, Los Angeles Public Library offers its digital catalog in English, Spanish and Chinese, and features on its home page Chinese, Korean and Russian eBooks.
If your library is not taking advantage of a bilingual (or multilingual) interface and eBook collection, you are missing out on a remarkable opportunity to extend your services to a segment of your community that may have never borrowed an eBook or audiobook.
Katie Norton, Manager of Collections & Information Services at Whitehorse Manningham Regional Library Corporation in Australia, says that her library is unique in that it has a Chinese-speaking population significantly higher than the Australian average. With the Simplified Chinese interface, she’s reaching users for the first time, and engaging them in their native language. Does your library have an under-served population that would benefit from this free and easy-to-add feature?
Don’t forget that we can help with your marketing endeavors, including resources for reaching this new user base. In our Marketing Kit, we have a variety of promotional materials for your non-English titles. We can also place a graphic on your site to highlight a collection of foreign language materials. Check out Yarra Libraries’ “Chinese eBooks” collection for an example.
Yarra Libraries experienced an almost 30% increase in checkouts in the months following the addition of the Simplified Chinese translations.
Maybe you’re thinking that your community isn’t the type that would benefit from a multilingual site. As Dan from Oil Creek District Library Center in Pennsylvania put it: “I do feel compelled to at least offer it to our patrons, even if it is just to explore!” Why not do the same at your library? It may have a bigger impact than you think—and it’s free!
To opt-in for a bilingual or multilingual website, please contact your Account Specialist.
(Ed. Note: Multilingual support is currently only available for Public libraries and consortia)
Karen Jakubczak is an Account Specialist at OverDrive.