Amie Thomas, Public Service Administrator at the Brownsburg Public Library, shares a “smart” promo for her library’s download service.


My grandma always said, “It’s all in who you know,” and as I’ve gotten older I realize just how true that is. Late last winter our director’s husband bought a new car at our local Ford dealership. Bob, being a Brownsburg Public Library champion that he is quickly informed the general manager of Bill Estes Ford Brownsburg, Andy Wernsman, that they needed to work with the library.  Not even a month later I’d connected with them and we were talking about the ways a car dealership and a library could partner.

Now, I’ve seen people doing a lot of crazy things driving down the road.  Applying mascara (she must’ve been pretty talented because I would’ve looked like a hockey player), texting, turning around to scold kids, and yes, even reading a book.  Of course our concern for public safety, led us to a different idea. How about the “Estes Audio Pick of the Month”? Each month Bill Estes Ford would contribute money to our audio collection. We in turn would select a title, provide information about it, and advertise the title along with a plug for Estes and their sponsorship role.

Even as the partnership details were being worked out, we began talking about OverDrive. Were our patrons ready? Were we ready? How would we work out the funding? The partnership with Bill Estes Ford allowed us the freedom to expand our audio collection, so we kicked it into gear and went into OverDrive at full speed. It’s worked beautifully.  Many of the new Ford vehicles offer Microsoft Sync, a system that allows you to use portable devices using simple voice commands. Hmmm…downloadable audio anyone?

For those of you who know me, you know that I love promoting the library and the services we offer.  So, it’s not out of the question for me to do some pretty off-the-wall things to get attention.  Lucky for me, our partners at Bill Estes Ford are open to my crazy ideas, and when I asked Andy if we could drive a car in the building, he didn’t hesitate.  Our only challenge was to find a car small enough to fit through our 71” front doors. They just happened to have a Smart Car on their lot and it fit through our front doors with an inch and half on either side of the mirrors.  We parked the car in the center of our library, put up an oversized MP3 player, and tons of OverDrive brochures to boldly proclaim our new venture.

The best part was watching the reaction of our patrons. So many walked right up to the car and display and just stared. Some were hoping it was a summer reading prize!  We’ve been very happy with the response to OverDrive and we’re looking forward to the journey into downloadable audio and eBooks for many years to come.

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