16 Events in California, Oh My!

February has come and gone for the Digital Bookmobile staff. We kicked off the 2018 tour in February with 16 great stops in California.

Starting in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Digital Bookmobile saw more than 600 students between San Leandro High School and Longfellow Middle School. Students attended a presentation inside the Digital Bookmobile with their classes to learn how to borrow eBooks and audiobooks. We love the way San Leandro High School’s library promotes their digital collection with photos of book covers!

OverDrive wall in San Leandro High School’s library.

Next we visited Contra Costa County Library where we had quality interactions teaching patrons about digital content. One man came on board so he could teach his wife how to download library books to her eReader. What a guy!

The Digital Bookmobile shifted into gear and traveled north to the city of Sacramento. The Franklin Library neighborhood showed up on a Saturday with 201 visitors! Their prize wheel was a hit and helped attract patrons onto the vehicle.

Staff at Sacramento Public Library, Franklin Branch greeting visitors during Digital Bookmobile event.

Back to San Francisco Bay Area we drove to Serramonte Library where, “Our patron base was very interested in the bus and ebooks in general,” said Branch Manager Cole Johnson. The following day we visited Marin County Free Library in San Rafael. This unique event brought together 3 different bookmobiles. The library did a great job at promoting the event through email communications, social networking, and word of mouth as the majority of the 86 visitors brought their personal devices and got all set up.

Three staff members assist patrons at Marin County Free Library.

Closer to San Jose, the Digital Bookmobile made stops at Alameda County Library and Cupertino Library, seeing over 340 visitors. Both large libraries, they each had their own character. We had fun showing the IT department at Alameda County Library’s Fremont Branch all the tech inside the Digital Bookmobile. They were looking everywhere, taking pictures under tables and of devices. Cupertino Library is in the heart of Silicon Valley and we saw many tech savvy visitors of all ages. Two tables were set-up outside the Digital Bookmobile where visitors could stop for giveaways, information, and even enter to win a device. (Yes, we did drive past the new Apple “spaceship” headquarters after the event… and the little we saw looked sweet.)

Then it was off to Los Angeles. School Librarian Lisa Kooi was enthusiastic to host the Digital Bookmobile at North High School, a 20 min. drive from Manhattan Beach. Over 240 students in English classes had an opportunity to visit the Digital Bookmobile and interact with a variety of devices on board. We heard several students say, “This is so cool!” when walking on. The next day took us to OC Public Library’s University Park Branch where the library was very welcoming and organized. Library Assistant Noel Brady said, “Thank you for coming! It was exciting for both staff and patrons; entertaining, educational, and inspiring!”

Chinese New Year was in full swing during our visit to University Park Public Library.

Eighty miles south of LA we visited Dorothy McElhinney Middle School in Murrieta. Their collection showcased elementary and middle school content, great for students below reading level or who wish to read to their siblings. It appeared that Murrieta Valley USD has done a great job setting up their digital collection because checkouts jumped after our event. District Librarian said, “It was heartwarming to see kids excited about reading!”. The next morning we got to sleep in a few hours before we set up shop at OC Public Library’s Aliso Viejo Branch. Enthusiastic Library Assistant Nervana Helmy got kids on their feet with a story time on the Digital Bookmobile! She read three eBooks from OverDrive and interspersed them with songs and a Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes workout.

Our final leg in California took us to San Diego. Chula Vista Public Library welcomed us at their storefront branch where giant Jenga provided fun during the event. Next, Escondido Public Library greeted us with a quick hail storm followed by the warm sun. That didn’t deter staff members and library regulars from visiting the Digital Bookmobile. After a day off, we headed 25 miles north to Fallbrook Library. One woman visited and was surprised how fast it was to borrow an eBook. She hopes to share the Libby app with her reading group and said, “I have a new friend Libby now!”

Young man reading a graphic novel at Fallbrook Library.

The last stop in California was Mt. Carmel High School. The Digital Bookmobile hosted four classes, but the meat of the event was two open houses. Before school started and at lunch, groups of well behaved students curiously walked through the giant vehicle on their campus and were surprised when they saw a bunch of tech. It was a good reminder that their school offers free eBooks and audiobooks! Teacher Librarian Mia Faulk stated, “Lauren & the OverDrive crew Brett and Ira were all amazing. From the moment teachers and students entered the trailer they were invited and welcomed into a wonderful and engaging experience!”

One of the best ways to close out our time in California was with a sunset.

Cabrillo National Monument (National Park) in San Diego, CA.

Thank you to all the schools and libraries who welcomed the Digital Bookmobile to the golden state. For more photos from Digital Bookmobile events, please view our Flickr page.

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