In the fall of 2012, North Little Rock HS was looking for a way to increase the usage of their digital library. When looking into the adoption they discovered that one key factor was that their students didn’t have devices to easily access the eBooks. In order to work through this issue North Little Rock wrote a federal grant to the Innovative Approaches to Literacy program in which they provided literacy research as well a proposal to provide 24/7 access to eBooks through their OverDrive service.
In early 2013, they were awarded the grant, enabling them to provide Nook HD devices to their students. Macy Purtle, one of North Little Rock’s main librarians said, “Our increase in usage is due to the fact that we began checking out Nooks to all of our high school students in 11th and 10th grade at the end of March and we will start checking them out again for summer in July.” Once the devices were distributed, North Little Rock saw 500 more checkouts in April than any previous month.
In addition to acquiring the grant funding, Macy also frequently refreshed the titles in the digital collection, purchasing eBooks from the ‘Ultimate Teen Reads’ list in OverDrive’s Marketplace (formerly known as Content Reserve) which includes hand-picked titles that schools use for classroom projects, book reports and summer reading assignments. Macy anticipates that the addition of these new titles combined with the students familiarity with both the digital collection and their devices will lead to continued increases in usage moving forward.
Editor’s Note: To start lending devices to your students or users sign up for OverDrive Test Drive. This free program provides promotional materials, best practices and more to help you get started.
Adam Sockel is a Marketing Communications Specialist at OverDrive