CMLE Scholarship: Digipalooza!


This is a guest post written by Sarah Hawkins, Resource Librarian at East Central Regional Library Cambridge. Do you need a scholarship to attend a conference? Check out our Scholarships page!

In early August, I attended the OverDrive Digipalooza Conference in Cleveland, Ohio.  It was an exciting conference, because it managed to be both inspiring and future-focused and practical and applicable to current workflows, in equal measure. OverDrive staff and presenters were energetic, innovative, and happy to share their love of literacy, libraries, OverDrive, and Cleveland with all attendees.

A common theme throughout the conference was that building digital collections is not all about selection, but equally about what we do with what we select and the mantra: if you build it, they will come. The most immediate takeaway that I applied to my workflow immediately as a result was a hack shared by Mike Hawkins from Sno-Isle Libraries for turning OverDrive Resource Center lists into Curated Collections.  Curated collections help keep your OverDrive front page fresh, which in turn keeps your users coming back and happy.   Any trick to simplify this process and encourage librarians to create Curated Collections more frequently is a win!

The hack:  Curate from an OverDrive Recommended List

OverDrive provides a collection of lists curated by their Collection Development librarians in OverDrive Resource Center. Any of these lists can be converted to curation mode, but it requires a hack of the URL.

  1. Find and click on a list in OverDrive Resource Center that you would like to curate on your OverDrive site.
  2. Select the OneCopyOneUserAndMeteredAccess portion of the URL in the address bar.
  3. Replace OneCopyOneUserAndMeteredAccess with Curate in the address bar and hit Enter.
  4. From there the list can be curated as outlined in the How To Create a Curated Collection instructions.  

Other curation tips include: change the display settings to “Show all, but available first” so that the first items your users see are immediately available for checkout and developing collections around community events. Ultimately, the goal is to have patrons leave our websites having borrowed something.  Happy customers also leads to happy librarians!

The inspirational side of the coin included reflecting on Cuyahoga County Public Library’s mission: reading, lifelong learning, and community.  If only all of our mission statements were as succinct! Looking towards the future also included the OverDrive project roadmap with the new Libby app and forthcoming features (including getting a library card instantly in the app), magazines soon being available in OverDrive, the availability of the cost per circ model, and OverDrive’s new status as a Certified B Corp.  

Other great information included collection development, social media marketing, train the trainer, using data, outreach, and Reader’s Advisory. Plus, we were lucky enough to see a live recording of the Professional Book Nerds podcast with author Kelly Corrigan.  The video is on OverDrive’s Facebook page; I highly recommend you check it out.

At the end of the conference, I left feeling inspired to get back to work and do my part in Creating Reading Happiness!

Digipalooza fun fact: 57% of people said that the place they listen to audiobooks most is relaxing at home.

Graphic Recordings from the Sessions:

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