Overdrive has created some seasonal promotional materials for libraries. The kits contain customizable print ready templates and web graphics, etc. I'm not 100% sold on promoting 'Overdrive'--I think we need to promote our library brand, not a vendor we pay. That said--this is how we deliver the service. To be fair, the materials are customizable so you can put your library URL in. I do wish there were room for library logos, which should be on all our promo-materials. Our patrons need to know Overdrive in order to access the service, so I guess this is where we are today.
All of the materials have too many words on them--but that's the difficulty of e-book training! It is so complicated, there is no snappy way to explain it. If anyone has come up with a solution to this, please share it in the Technology In Action section of TechEx. E-book marketing is needed--the collections cost far too much to not market them. However, it is also really hard to do well. I appreciate Overdrives efforts and will use these materials, but I do wish there was a better way.
A few years ago, Somerset County Library System made up gift cards that patrons include with the device they were giving as a gift. It was a cute idea--a clever way to let people know, you have an alternative to buying e-books with your new toy. This is the message I want to send--even when the library is closed on Christmas day, you can access the collection and download books, for free. Still, despite the clever idea of a gift card and a great message, the payoff was minimal. It assumes we know which patrons are giving devices as gifts--not a reality at all.
Instead of targeting the givers, I am going to try and hook people who received. I will once again offer e-book open houses after the holidays. This is the easiest program I do--me sitting at a table in the lobby with a laptop, a few devices, and a sign. I encourage people to bring their device in and I'll help them get books immediately. The laptop is so I can show the website and searching on something large enough that more than one person can watch at a time. Often there are too many people for one person--so I can send them to others in the building, make a later appointment, or we all learn together which is what happens most often. I have had other patrons helping when I get tied up, two people who are learning coach one another through the process, and I often recruit a second person to sit with me. Next week's post will provide far more resources for training people, but I wanted to remind you of these resources (Overdrive just reminded me--so I thought I would pass it on...). Until then....