Dr. Jill Abell, Director of Information Services (IT, Libraries and Archives) at The Hutchins School in Tasmania, shares her experience seeking out an eBook solution for her school library.

Thanks to OverDrive’s School Download Library service, The Hutchins School’s Digital Library goes live this month. The Hutchins School, located in Tasmania, is an independent, Anglican, day and boarding school for approximately 1,000 boys. OverDrive’s service is an important part of the Library’s contribution to the School’s vision to be a “school of the future in using 21st century tools and e-learning strategies to engage and empower all students, staff and its wider community.” Literally next door to the Sandy Bay campus of the University of Tasmania in Hobart, the School has been working with the Australian Academic and Research Network (AARNet) for its high speed broadband internet services and enjoys fast, reliable, and secure communications.

Research into the school library’s role with the rise of eBooks, audiobooks, eReaders, and other tools for personalised learning has been thorough. Australian education Web 2.0 sites such as Kerrie Smith’s You Are Never Alone have kept conversations alive in professional networking collaborations. Internationally, OverDrive is commonly mentioned at school events like the recent ECIS It’s about learning ICT conference at Frankfurt International School. We wanted a 24/7 service for a whole school community in which some of our students, staff and parents do not have easy access to public library services, particularly when our students are off campus with their mobile devices ready. Also we wanted an eBook acquisition program with none of the staff intensive roles of normal services, such as cataloguing, processing, and handling overdues. Our clients also demand rich media and video on demand. Placing high value on digital citizenship, we also wanted to help our students understand the digital rights management in the publishing, film, and music industries.

Preparation of our site by OverDrive’s team has been excellent and we have enjoyed working and learning about the customer service from such a professional team. The understanding of our branding policy, school culture, the recommended starting collection, the ease of selection of Australian content and set texts from ContentReserve, the informative newsletters, blog and the apps, as well as the publicity materials provided have all been first class. So we are keen to be underway and will report back how are students are finding the service.

Have a story to share? Send ideas for contributions to the Digital Library Blog to dan@overdrive.com.

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