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Digital Bookmobile Completes Successful 2018 Tour

Cheers to another successful year on the road!

Beginning February 5, 2018 at San Leandro High School in California, the Digital Bookmobile began its cross country tour, welcoming a total of 15,511 visitors during its 10 month journey, ending back in California on November 16. Traveling to both public library and school partners, the Digital Bookmobile educated and entertained patrons and students alike. We’re thankful for the help we received from over 1,000 library and school staff members during our 121 events. We had so much fun getting to know everyone.

Highlights from 2018

  • Recommended Libby, the one-tap reading app from your local library, as the primary reading app for the fastest way to reading happiness
  • Introduced Sora, the student reading app, to schools
  • Attended 2 Comic Cons
    • Dover Comic Con, hosted by Dover Public Library, DE
    • SamiCon, hosted by Samuels Public Library, VA
  • Attended 2 Festivals
    • Dallas Book Festival, hosted by Dallas Public Library, TX
    • Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Festival, hosted by Kitchener Public Library, Ontario, Canada
  • Attended the Texas Library Association’s 2018 Annual Conference
  • Mentioned 118 times in media outlets, a total reach of 143 million people

Thank you to everyone who showed up to an event and took the time to learn something new. We especially appreciate any visitor who was hesitant to try digital and still stepped inside the Digital Bookmobile. We believe digital titles from your public or school library have something to offer everyone, and you won’t know until you try.

What Others Had to Say

“Wonderful event! OverDrive staff were so patient and helpful with our patrons. I recommend every library hold a Digital Bookmobile event!” – Jane Kauzlaric, RH Johnson Library, Sun City West Branch

“It was outstanding! I love it when events generate such excitement about READING – and this one did! Lauren, Jess and Ira were great and it was exciting to see the kids so happy and interested. Even the rain didn’t stop the enthusiasm!” – Lorraine Anderson, Hulstrom K-8

Preparing for 2019

Staff in the OverDrive office are already reaching out to schools and libraries to participate in the 2019 tour, set to begin in February. Working to increase the amount of lead time we provide partners this year, we aim to reach out to partners 3 – 5 months in advance of an event. OverDrive partners who would like to request a visit from the Digital Bookmobile can do so starting June 2019 on our website and will be considered for the 2020 tour.

We can’t forget to mention some updates! New swag items will include buttons, sunglasses, and a few surprises. We are also merging our Facebook and Twitter pages with our parent accounts for better reach. For updates on the Digital Bookmobile tour, be sure to follow the accounts linked below. We’re excited to share our journey with you!

Facebook
@OverDriveForLibraries
@OverDriveEducation

Twitter
@OverDriveLibs
@OverDriveEd

Instagram
@DigitalBookmobile

5 Fun Facts about Comic Cons on the Digital Bookmobile Tour

Kapow! The Digital Bookmobile made two stops at Comic Cons in 2018. Looking for new ways to spread #EbookLove, the Digital Bookmobile teamed up with Dover Public Library in Dover, DE and Samuels Public Library in Front Royal, VA to participate in their comic conventions!

Comic cons are events where fans, creators, and experts come together to cover comic books, television shows, movies, and other forms of mainstream art and fiction. They even attract cosplayers (people who dress up in costume). Everyone from Pennywise, the Dancing Clown in IT to the Potter family in Harry Potter were seen walking around.

The best part, these fans love to read! Parked near the library at both events, the Digital Bookmobile invited visitors of all ages to explore their library’s ebook, audiobook, and even graphic novel collections.

Below are 5 fun facts about the Comic Cons the Digital Bookmobile visited this year:

  1. These Comic Cons were FREE to the public! It’s common for a Comic Con to charge a fee for visitors, but since Dover Comic Con was hosted by Dover Public Library and SamiCon was hosted by Samuels Public Library, entrance to the festivals were free (with the help of sponsors).
  2. The theme at SamiCon was “Fantastic Books and Where to Find Them,” a play off J.K. Rowling’s “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”.
  3. We tried butter beer! A delicious wizard drink found in Harry Potter books was made available at SamiCon. Don’t worry, there was no alcohol here, just root beer, caramel syrup, and whipped cream.
  4. Dover Comic Con was started by Dover Public Library in 2013 as a way to help promote their graphic novel collection to teens. Since then, Dover Comic Con has quickly grown from 120 teens to over 10,000 attendees of all ages.
  5. There was more than one truck at Dover Comic Con. Mobile exhibits were popular in Dover, DE, and we were joined by the Mobile Adventure Escape Room Truck, the Pirate Empire, and the Mobile Cloud Video Game Party Truck. But let’s not forget the coolest of them all (pun intended), the Digital Bookmobile!

Our hope is that more people become aware of their library’s digital collection, and that they consider looking for a title on Libby the next time they search for a good read. Boom!

The Digital Bookmobile Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary

First Digital Bookmobile Event 2008

The Digital Bookmobile powered by OverDrive just celebrated its 10 year anniversary! We could not have reached this milestone without the support of our library and school partners across North America. From California to Maine, Texas to Canada, we are honored to spread reading happiness by providing the largest digital content catalog and the highest-rated apps to our partners.

The Digital Bookmobile is the brainchild of OverDrive CEO Steve Potash and it was launched on August 10, 2008 in Central Park, NY. The Digital Bookmobile helps public libraries and schools promote their digital collections in a fun, educational setting. With a library card, internet connection, and device, users are opened into a new world of reading.

In 10 years, we have:

  • Hosted over 900 events
  • Visited 48 states and 3 Canadian provinces
  • Retired the original Digital Bookmobile in 2016
  • Launched a new and improved Digital Bookmobile in 2017
  • Shared countless memories with partners and visitors

It truly is the memories that we hold on to. I recall meeting a woman in Buena Park, CA last year who specifically visited the Digital Bookmobile to learn about audiobooks. She shared with me that she grew up with illiterate Native American parents and she had to teach herself to how to read. Now, she loves to read and helps children of all abilities in a school setting. We encouraged her to download audiobooks on Libby, the one-tap reading app, and she was so excited because she said this will be the first time in her life she will ever be “read to”. I was taken aback by how powerful an audiobook was to her, and realized that reading goes deeper than words on a page.

In honor of 10 years on the road, we want to celebrate this milestone by sharing memories. Please join us in sharing your memories of the Digital Bookmobile, from 2008 to present.

Pemberton & District Public Library 2013
National Book Festival 2013
Escondido Public Library 2018
Harry Ainlay High School 2018

Want to scroll through more photo memories, visit our album here.

 

Coffee with a Dash of Violet at Pickerington Public Library

On Friday, July 20, 2018, the Digital Bookmobile visited the town of Pickerington, OH. This old country village transformed to a major city in 1965 and has provided library services to the community for over 100 years. One of the great services Pickerington Public Library offers is their ebook and audiobook collection. With over 125,000 titles available 24/7 through Libby, patrons can instantly borrow and enjoy titles.

To help promote this service, the Digital Bookmobile stopped by for a day of education and fun. Assistant Director Donna Matturri welcomed us with open arms and coffee! Yes, the Little Red Coffee Van by Reuel Cruz attended the event alongside the Digital Bookmobile to offer delicious tastings from iced to hot coffee. What better way to spend a rainy Friday afternoon than with coffee and a good read.

But that wasn’t all the surprises for the day. Library mascot Violet made a special stop at the Digital Bookmobile. Violet is named after Violet Township and I’ve heard she has a pretty extensive wardrobe. She helped bring cheer to the event and had me running out of the bookmobile to see what a cow was doing at the library.

Violet, Pickerington Public Library’s Mascot

Next, we met Sara. Sara is a resident of Pickerington, OH who loves libraries so much so that her favorite coffee mug says, “Library”. While walking past the Digital Bookmobile, Sara told us that she lived in Korea for three and a half years and she borrowed ebooks and audiobooks from Pickerington Public Library while teaching English. She said it was great because English titles were more expensive to buy in Korea, and they took up more space in her suitcase. Borrowing ebooks and audiobooks from her home library was a convenient way to access the library when she was gone.

Sara reminded me how vital libraries are at keeping you connected to your community, even when you’re thousands of miles away.

Sara, Library Patron

When I looked across the street, I couldn’t help but notice a high school within the award winning Pickerington Local School District. They recently received the 2018 Distinguished District Award from the International Society for Technology in Education. Director of Instructional Technology Brian Seymor brought up a term Tradigital in an episode of Perspectives on Reading which I encourage you to watch. He has some great ideas on incorporating technology into the classroom, including ebooks and audiobooks.

At the end of our event, we saw a total of 90 visitors. Donna stated, “The event was great! We had many customers express interest in learning about ebooks, and those already using OverDrive, interested in exploring Libby. Set-up was simple, easy, and fast – we were able to get everything ready, and staff on board to explore the bookmobile. The bookmobile staff were so helpful and knowledgeable – we learned a few new tricks for staff!”

To view more photos from the event, click here.

Digital Bookmobile Hits Small Towns in Minnesota

The second week of June 2018, the Digital Bookmobile traveled across the south-western border of Minnesota to four charming cities within the Plum Creek Library System.

Our first stop was at Nobles County Library on Tuesday, June 5th. This diverse community employs over 2,500 workers in the meatpacking industry and draws in people from all over. One librarian told me there are around 22 languages spoken in the city of Worthington!

Director Clint Wolthuizen and his team provided fresh popcorn and ice water for patrons after visiting the Digital Bookmobile. A total of 106 visitors learned all about the digital titles they could borrow through Libby, the one tap reading app. After, they got to relax in the shade and enjoy a treat 😊

Free popcorn and water at Nobles County Library!

Our second stop was at Redwood Falls Public Library on Wednesday, June 6th. Children’s Librarian Jill Deinken hosted her regular story time that morning with a twist, on the Digital Bookmobile! Over 20 children and their guardians boarded the Digital Bookmobile to listen to great stories. One was read as an eBook, the other a paperback book. Intertwined between them was a song and an interactive review on a felt board. It was so fun seeing children listen and learn on the Digital Bookmobile.

Story time on the Digital Bookmobile at Redwood Falls Public Library.

After the event, Jill stated, “We were able to have our story time in the Bookmobile and it was FABULOUS!!! It was a fun place for something different.”

We saw a steady flow of visitors the rest of the day, including three visitors who were able to safely experience the Digital Bookmobile by using our wheelchair lift.

Our third stop was at Jackson County Library on Thursday, June 7th. The small town of Jackson, MN has a population just over 3,000 that nurtures a learning environment. Jackson County Library certainly cultivates that learning environment through fun programming and an array of services. Substitute Librarian Mackenzie Schley did a great job organizing their Digital Bookmobile event. She even made a mini bookmobile craft that is too cute (pictured below). A total of 113 visitors toured the Digital Bookmobile, and on their way out, Jackson County Library raffled off 3 Kindle Fires and had a cookie and lemonade fundraiser. View the news broadcast from KEYC News 12!

Photo taken by a patron at Jackson County Library.

Last stop, Windom Library on Friday, June 8th. This old bank turned library is small but mighty. Three librarians, Dawn Aamot, Nancy Sajban, and Julie VanDeWiele, bring a warm spark to this city of 4,500 and were excited to learn about the new app Libby.

Many visitors came prepared with their device in hand and staff were on board to teach and assist. We even got a visit from the Worthington Globe News! At the end of the event, Director Dawn Aamot stated, “What a wonderful event. The Digital Bookmobile is a beautiful vehicle equipped with knowledge and the latest devices! I told Lauren if we touch 10 people in this community it is more than worth it… We as a library need to sell this service, and we were taught and inspired to share our knowledge! Thank you!”

View from the Digital Bookmobile looking at Windom Library.

After our week in south-western Minnesota, the Digital Bookmobile headed east toward the Chicago area in IL. Despite the size of a city, the Digital Bookmobile travels across North America to promote a “world enlightened by reading.” We’re thankful for large and small libraries alike for providing the best collection of premium digital content through OverDrive.

Four Resources to Market Your Digital Bookmobile Event

Is your school or library hosting an upcoming Digital Bookmobile event? If so, we’re here to help! With materials created for you by the marketing team at OverDrive, we have four resources you can use to maximize your event.

1. Print and Web

Libraries and schools have access to free marketing materials on the Digital Bookmobile website customized for their audiences. Flyers, posters, social media graphics and more are available to print or post within minutes. Each file includes editable fields to input event details. High quality photos and logos are also available for schools and libraries to create their own marketing materials.

2. Best Practices Guide

Make Digital Bookmobile events stand out with tried and true practices. Libraries can view the Best Practices Guide on our website to learn easy and effective ways to boost the success of their event. These tips come from 10 cross-country tours on the Digital Bookmobile. A best practices guide for schools is coming soon.

3. Book Recommendations

On the Digital Bookmobile, six flat screen TVs entertain and enlighten visitors. When visitors enter the lounge, they will notice book recommendations rotating on our screen.

  • Libraries – Bright titles covers with a brief overview will assist visitors in finding their next great read. These titles are recommended by our Collection Development Librarians based on reviews, media coverage and more, with the best hand-picked titles. Libraries can now find Digital Bookmobile book recommendations as curated collections in OverDrive Marketplace. Shop now to prepare for your event!
  • Schools – During the summer, the Digital Bookmobile will be promoting OverDrive Summer Read on the book recommendations screen. Eight fun and thought provoking titles were hand-picked this year to appeal to all kinds of readers, boy and girls alike. Did we mention these titles are free, simultaneous use for students from June 6th – July 18th? Boredom is not an option this summer!

4. Website Banner

Libraries can advertise their Digital Bookmobile event with a custom banner on their digital collection’s website! To create a banner, library staff will simply contact their OverDrive Account Manager. Include the time, date, location, and a link to www.digitalbookmobile.com. This is a great opportunity to encourage existing users to bring their personal devices and questions to OverDrive Specialists during the event. For more attention on your library or school’s main website, create a banner with a bright image to grab attention.

These four resources will rev up enthusiasm for a Digital Bookmobile event. Libraries and schools who market their events ahead of time see higher engagement and attendance. For additional ideas, please view our photo albums on Flickr to see what other libraries and schools have done.

 

Digital Bookmobile Stops in Historic Cities

When traveling with the Digital Bookmobile, I enjoy learning about the cities we drive into. I’m curious if the city is rich with history or up and coming. Does it feel like it’s 2,000 miles away or does it look like many others? There is so much history around North America that it can be missed if you don’t stop and look around. Two Digital Bookmobile events recently stood out to me in the way their city’s history reflects in their libraries.

Los Alamos, NM

The driving force behind the city of Los Alamos is its Laboratory. The Los Alamos National Laboratory was established in 1943 to design and build an atomic bomb. This is huge! How did I not know this was in New Mexico? After 20 months of engineering, the world’s first atomic bomb was detonated in 1945, 200 miles south of Los Alamos. Today, people at the Laboratory work on advanced technologies to provide the best scientific and engineering solutions to the nation’s most crucial security challenges. More information on Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Last year, the Laboratory employed 11,083 people. (No wonder my hotel clerk thought I was in town for the Laboratory.) Forty-three percent of the workforce lives in Los Alamos County, while the rest live in surrounding communities. So it wasn’t shocking to hear that several patrons we met during our Digital Bookmobile event worked for the Laboratory.

How does this effect the library system? In 2016, the Lab paid $81,948,928 in Gross Receipts taxes (GRT). GRT is New Mexico’s version of a sales tax. A portion of GRT is retained by the state with the remainder being distributed to individual counties/municipalities. These counties/municipalities then distribute that money to programs like the library. The library receives a portion of that GRT as revenue, but that number is totally dependent on the success of the Lab that year.

Library staff at Mesa Public Library. Los Alamos, NM. 2018

Visiting both White Rock and Mesa Public Library in Los Alamos was great. With the help of Electronic Services Manager Gwen Kalavaza (right) and additional library staff, we promoted the library’s collection of eBooks and audiobooks to over 100 patrons. I believe this city will continue to flourish through evolving technology and services, both in the library and the Lab.

Houston, TX

“Houston, we have a problem.” This famous quote has been heard around the world, but I almost forgot about this piece of history when the Digital Bookmobile stopped in Houston this year. The Bookmobile was all set up and visitors were hopping on and off at Harris County Public Library – Freeman Branch. It wasn’t until I stepped inside the building that the lightbulb in my head lit up.

Bathroom signs at Freeman Memorial Branch Library edited onto space background. Houston, TX. 2018

One look at the adorable bathroom signs and I remembered where I was… Houston, Space City. It was hard to fathom that 10 minutes down the road from the library was NASA Mission Control Center. The very building the Apollo 13 crew reported a problem to on April 14, 1970. “This city is amazing!” I thought.

All around the city my colleague Diana and I began to see tributes to space exploration. In playgrounds, children’s programs, even elevator door artwork. It didn’t take long to see how proud the city is of their accomplishments in science and space exploration.

In 2017, Harris County Public Library system (HCPL) was one of 58 members worldwide to join the OverDrive Million Checkout Club. This represents the library’s circulation of eBooks and audiobooks alone which is a great accomplishment. Harris County, which encompasses Houston, Texas, is “committed to providing excellent customer service, strong collections, and cutting edge information technology for the 21st Century.” I believe it’s safe to say that both HCPL and the city of Houston strive for excellence in whatever they do.

Mother and daughter on Digital Bookmobile at Freeman Memorial Branch Library. Houston, TX. 2018

Discover

The next time you find yourself traveling for work, pleasure, or a spontaneous trip to Las Vegas, take a moment to look around and see what makes that city unique. You might just be surprised by what you find.

For more information on the Digital Bookmobile powered by OverDrive, please visit www.digitalbookmobile.com.

Time to Celebrate National Bookmobile Day 2018

Happy National Bookmobile Day from the staff at OverDrive! National Bookmobile Day was started in 2010 and is sponsored by the American Library Association, the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services, and the Association for Rural & Small Libraries to honor mobile delivery outreach as a vital part of library service in the United States. This year, National Bookmobile Day is celebrated during the 60th anniversary of National Library Week.

The Digital Bookmobile, powered by OverDrive, tours across North America to promote the digital collection of our school and library partners. We are on our 10th tour across North America and going strong!

The Digital Bookmobile is excited to celebrate this year’s National Bookmobile Day in Weatherford, OK. We will be hosting our event at Western Plains Library System, Weatherford Branch on April 11, 2018! For more information, please visit our website.

Thank you to all the library and school staff who have supported our Digital Bookmobile events this year. It has been a joy welcoming users of all ages onto the Digital Bookmobile and educating them about their school or library’s digital collection of eBooks and more. We couldn’t do it without you.

Tempe Public Library Staff at Digital Bookmobile Event, March 14, 2018.