In the fall of 2011 I conducted a survey sent out amongst all of OverDrive’s K-12 partners who are currently using our School Download Library platform.  With the massive growth experienced across the board throughout the past year, we were interested in obtaining feedback specifically from our fastest growing segment: schools.  The numbers were, shall we say, astonishing.

Thanks to the hard work of many over the past 12 months the number of K-12 students now accessing OverDrive’s services now surpasses 1 million users.  These students come from hundreds of schools throughout the world.  In fact, OverDrive now works with schools in more than 15 countries around the globe spanning every continent save for Antarctica, of course (penguins, it seems, are not big into reading).

While we here at OverDrive take pride in those statistics; this survey wasn’t created simply for numbers.  I wanted to learn how schools and their students are using the School Download Library.  When asked how the service is being implemented over 60% of the responses mentioned that they use OverDrive as a part of their daily curriculum.  Specific responses included using audiobooks for ESL and Special Education classes to help with pronunciation and providing additional reading materials to enhance lessons from textbooks.  It was also learned that nearly 83% of schools provide their students with Wi-Fi internet to allow for the downloading of titles using their own devices and phones.

Being a Marketing & Outreach Specialist, I took personal pride in seeing that 70% of schools are using OverDrive-created marketing materials to reach out to their students.  However, schools are also using the communication templates found on the Online Marketing Kit, sending newsletters out to parents, making morning announcement and connecting with students via social networking.

When asked whether or not they would recommend OverDrive to other schools 97% of responders said yes.  That said, we realize that this is an ever-growing product and there will always be room for improvement.  We received dozens of suggestions for improvements as well as requests for additions to our content, which you can look forward to seeing throughout 2012.

I want to say thank you to everyone who participated and you can expect to see this growth continue through 2012 and beyond.  If you ever have any questions, comments or suggestions pertaining to the School Download Library product please don’t hesitate to contact your Account Specialist or myself directly at asockel@overdrive.com.  We’re here to help!

Adam Sockel is a marketing and outreach specialist for OverDrive.

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