Cindy Orr offers up the 2010 edition of her tips for managing your library’s OverDrive-powered digital catalog.
It’s been about a year since we published the first six selection tips for Content Reserve, and with the end of the year fast approaching, I think it’s a good time to post a few more.
It’s time to shift into End-of-Year Mode, people.
Prepare for Questions About eReader Devices from Your Public. The New York Times expects eReader devices to be the big gift this holiday season. Does your public service staff know which ones are compatible with your service?
OverDrive has an eBook Devices Cheat Sheet, meant just for this purpose. In a nutshell, the Sony Reader, the Barnes & Noble Nook, the Kobo eReader, and the PanDigital Novel will work with your OverDrive system, but the Kindle will not. Please do take a look at the cheat sheet because it contains lots of detail on versions, firmware required, and information on what else is coming soon.
Selectors: Don’t Overload Your Technical Services Department. It’s natural to save a chunk of your budget to the last couple of months of the year just in case something comes up. Unfortunately, a typical end-of-the-year scenario in many libraries is that the Acquisitions Department is overloaded with orders that must be placed by December 31…just when they’d like to take some time off themselves. Then, in January and February, the boxes begin flooding in and completely swamp not only Acquisitions, which must receive them and pay the bills, but also Cataloging and Processing departments who must get them out the door. And your shelves are already stuffed full of all the returns from the holidays when people dropped off items, but didn’t check any out because they were too busy.
Solution? Consider allocating some of that leftover money to your digital collection…no cumbersome orders, no big boxes, and your instantaneous billing makes it easier to track your balance.
Take Advantage of Holiday Sales to Build Your Collection. With eReaders leading the gift list for many of your patrons, eBooks will be in demand, but as people become aware of library digital collections for the first time, demand for audio books and other formats may rise as well. Several publishers are offering huge sales right now. For instance, Tantor Media is offering 50% off of their entire catalog for the month of November. Go to Content Reserve to see many other sales. Two for one. You can’t beat it.
If you’re too busy yourself to spend a lot of time on selection, the collection team will be glad to create a custom collection of the sale titles you don’t already have.
Prepare for High Demand on eBooks Beginning on Christmas Day. So when all of those gifts are opened, what will people do? They’ll head to your site to try downloading a new eBook. Use your Holds Manager and other reports to make sure you have enough copies of popular eBook titles to satisfy the demand. Be ready.
Use the Existing Momentum to Promote Your Service. Many people may be thinking of buying an eReader for someone, but they may not even know that you have a digital collection. Put up posters, place a notice on your web page, announce the service at community meetings, hand out bookmarks promoting the service at your checkout desk, or put up a display. Now is the time to hop onto the free publicity band wagon.
Have a happy holiday season yourself!