During the spring semester at the Los Altos School District (California) the library staff wanted to make sure their circulation didn’t drop during the coming summer months when students went on break. To maintain their success Kareen Burns, the District’s OverDrive librarian, developed a plan and began publishing eBook news blasts on the district library’s website. These posts were used to alert students, faculty and parents about new eBooks that had been added to the collection. She also reminded users that the digital library would be available, even during the summer months or if they were traveling on vacation.
In addition to these blog posts, Kareen also took advantage of a small ‘thank you’ gesture to remind her staff members about promoting eBooks. “I thanked library volunteers by baking hundreds of mini chocolate chip cookies and packaging them up with a cute little note saying thank you and promoting eBooks.” These small tokens reminded the staff to alert their students to the 24/7 availability of the digital collection. Kareen added, “All of this promotion came in the weeks before we closed our physical libraries for the summer which also encourage parents and students who hadn’t tried eBooks to take another look. Finally, on the last day of library classes, I asked all of the librarians in our district to review the process for borrowing an eBook and to pitch eBooks for summer reading.”
The results have been impressive. The month of May, the last month students were in school, saw Los Altos’ highest checkout numbers, more than doubling their previous high mark. This momentum has carried over into June where, despite classes being out of session, checkouts have exceeded all previous checkout numbers within two weeks.
In regard to the future of the collection, Kareen stated, “I am very happy with the circulation and suspect it will stay at this point, even when the physical libraries open in September – it was just a matter of having enough eBooks to go big on promotion and then enticing parents and students to try it.”
Adam Sockel is a Marketing Communications Specialist with OverDrive