By: Christina Samek, Marketing Specialist.

Last month we told you all about OverDrive’s Shared Collections. We caught up with Independent School Library Director’s Association (ISLDA) and heard about why they chose OverDrive to be their digital content provider. We previewed how easy it is to launch a shared collection, as you are provided a team early on to do all the grunt work for you. So, now you know how to get started. But, what about what happens after? What happens post-launch? I could tell you, but I think it would be more valuable to you to hear from some of our veteran Shared Collections, who have been digital leaders and enthusiasts long enough to earn their ‘expert’ badge.

Shared Collections align digital content with district needs

Experts like Ken Zimmerman, Instructional Media and Technology Consultant for Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13 (IU13). IU13, who launched their Shared Collection in May 2014, is an education service agency supporting 22 public school districts (as well as non-publics, preschools, adult learners and more) in southern Pennsylvania. Zimmerman chose a Shared Collection because “our number one goal was to be able to align with current district initiatives and needs,” he said. “And OverDrive fit the bill.”

Since launching almost 3 years ago, IU13 has seen continued success. They see an average of 1,000+ checkouts a month. Their librarians and media specialists report ‘secret readers,’ students who may be hesitant to visit their physical school library to check out a title that appeals to their unique interests but now enjoy the privacy and 24/7, anywhere access eBooks and audiobooks offer. “I had really no idea what to expect; we have great usage,” Zimmerman said. “I’ve just gotten amazing support from OverDrive for everything we’ve needed to do.”

With the success their Shared Collection has brought to recreational reading, IU13 has introduced OverDrive in the classroom, using our digital class sets. Students enjoy the instant, 24/7 access, as well as the convenient dictionary and note-taking tools built in our reading options. Shared Collections give you the opportunity to enhance your collection to fit your school community’s needs.

“OverDrive has the best selection and the authors we wanted”

Chris Haught, Media Mentor for Southwest Educational Development Center, had similar experiences to Zimmerman. Southwest Educational Development or SEDC, a collection of schools and districts in Southwest Utah launched in November of 2013. They chose OverDrive as their digital content provider after debating between Follett and Baker & Taylor. Haught notes “OverDrive had the best selection and the authors we wanted.”

While Haught and her staff worked to build the collection to fit their needs, they found their best content curators in their student population. Through our ‘Recommend to School’ or RTS feature built into all OverDrive Education platforms, students have helped grow the collection by requesting titles and series they would love to read. It’s taken the pressure off Haught and her team and it gives the students a sense of ownership in what they are reading. After three successful years, a majority of SEDC’s collection is now student driven.

It’s not just the students adding their two cents either, the teachers have chimed in as well. A teacher at one of SEDC’s schools requested World War II content to support their current lesson plan. “We reached out to our OverDrive Collection Specialist,” said Haught. “Within two days we had a cart that we purchased and that teacher showed her class and currently all those books are checked out!” Our purchasing portal, OverDrive Marketplace, allows for fast access, with content pushing to sites within 4-6 hours. No worry to your teachers hoping to plan their curriculum around your digital content.

Learn more

Hear more about SEDC’s success with their Shared Collection in their archived webinar which aired March 14th, sponsored by SLJ and OverDrive.

OverDrive’s Shared Collections could be your solution for long term success in digital learning, in and outside the classroom. Get started by contacting us today.

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