bookmobileA March 12 visit from the OverDrive Digital Bookmobile coincided with a spike in new patron registration at the Escondido Public Library in Southern California.

The Digital Bookmobile is a 74-foot traveling exhibit that helps libraries across North America promote the digital services available to their communities. New patron registration at EPL in March jumped by 21 percent from the average of the four months before the Digital Bookmobile event.

“It’s a nice big advertisement for the fact that we have eBooks,” EPL Adult Services Supervisor Paul Crouthamel said of the Digital Bookmobile, which drew a crowd of hundreds ranging from kids to seniors.

Having held than 700 events since launching in 2008, the Digital Bookmobile lets visitors learn about and browse the host library’s digital catalog, try browser-based OverDrive Read ™ and kick back and watch titles available to libraries in the theater-style “Video Lounge.” Crouthamel said many EPL patrons also took advantage of the Digital Bookmobile’s “Gadget Gallery,” where they received instruction on using popular devices like the Kindle ® and iPad ® to access digital content from the library.

“The OverDrive staff was really helpful in getting them started downloading eBooks,” he said. “They were very knowledgeable.”

This was the Digital Bookmobile’s second event at EPL, the first in February 2013. Besides attracting new customers and boosting digital service awareness, Crouthamel said the Digital Bookmobile has encouraged positive interaction between staff and community members and brought attention to other EPL programming.

“A lot of times, people will come in and get their materials, and they don’t really stop and talk to you,” he said. “I think it’s helped us.”

EPL wasn’t the only SoCal library to benefit from a Digital Bookmobile stop in March. The nearby Oceanside Public Library – also a member of the Serra Cooperative Library System – hosted an event the day before, and experienced an 18 percent hike in new patron registration from the previous four-month average.

Learn more about OverDrive’s Digital Bookmobile at digitalbookmobile.com.

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