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Did the Digital Bookmobile Go Inside a Building?

Can a 42-foot-long Toterhome that runs on a generator fit and run inside of a building? We put it to the test this year at Digipalooza.

Every two years, OverDrive hosts Digipalooza, an international user group conference for partner libraries and schools that offers a unique blend of education, networking and fun. The conference is packed full of valuable librarian-led sessions and networking activities with publishers and industry experts.

When planning this year’s conference, staff members thought outside the box and envisioned the Digital Bookmobile inside the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland. It had to be close enough to sessions and convenient enough for attendees to visit during breaks. I mean, what if it rained!? (It did… briefly.)

Did it go inside a building? Yes, yes it did.

Digital Bookmobile inside Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland

With the help of convention center staff, our driver Ira, and pre-planning, over 400 attendees saw the Digital Bookmobile inside the convention center, and many got a tour! The Digital Bookmobile was set up to safely run inside on battery power and showcased our traveling exhibit to library and school partners.

This was our second stop during Digipalooza. Our first stop saw 244 visitors at Punch Bowl Social, Digipalooza’s Kickoff Social. Both days were fun, but there’s something special about being somewhere you’re traditionally not supposed to be.

Digipalooza attendees visit the Digital Bookmobile inside the convention center

For more photos from the event, please visit our Flickr page.

ADA Accessible Digital Bookmobile Empowers Patrons in Evanston, IL

On Monday, June 12th, the ADA Accessible Digital Bookmobile was in the city of Evanston!

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ensures people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. For that reason, the Digital Bookmobile is equipped with a BraunAbility wheelchair lift to ensure people of all abilities can safely enter the Digital Bookmobile.

Evanston Public Library is at the heart of a diverse community and promotes the development of independent, self-confident, and literate citizens.

Heat in the mid-90’s didn’t deter patrons from stepping outside the library and into the air conditioned Digital Bookmobile located in Evanston Public Library’s back parking lot. Here, visitors learned about borrowing eBooks and audiobooks for free on their personal devices.

 

The day didn’t end there! At 5pm we went to our second stop at Over the Rainbow Association (OTR). OTR is an Illinois non-profit organization dedicated to providing independent living solutions for individuals with physical disabilities. Twice a month, staff from Evanston Public Library visit OTR with library materials that residents can check out.

That Monday, residents learned about a whole new way of borrowing materials… digitally. Fifth Ward Alderman Robin Rue Simmons partnered with Evanston Public Library to bring the Digital Bookmobile to the Hill Arboretum Apartments!

Photo from @OverTheRainbowAssociation on Facebook

OTR resident Katelyn learned how to borrow digital materials from OverDrive employee Leslie inside the Digital Bookmobile!

OTR resident Anthony said, “This is so cool! We never had this type of stuff when I was a kid,” as he browsed the Star Wars audiobook collection.

Overall, a total of 70 people visited the Digital Bookmobile from both locations to explore Evanston Public Library’s digital collection, “My Media Mall,” of around 23,000 eBooks, 10,800 audiobooks, and 133 videos.

“It was great! For such a hot, humid day, and two locations,” said Supervisory Librarian Heather Norborg.

No matter your age or ability, borrowing eBooks & more from your library promotes independence, self-confidence, and literacy.

An article posted in the Evanston Round Table following the event can be found here.

New Digital Bookmobile, Who Saw it First?

Delicious brats and cheese curds. The birthplace of Frank Lloyd Wright and Laura Ingalls Wilder. Dubbed the Badger state and America’s Dairyland. Get where I’m going here? The Digital Bookmobile powered by OverDrive made its first two stops of 2017 in Wisconsin!

 

First up was Waukesha Public Library on June 9th. Waukesha’s beautiful library was complimented by the Digital Bookmobile on the first day of summer break and welcomed 128 visitors.

 

Two brothers browsed Wisconsin Public Library’s collection of 53,000 eBooks, 16,500 audiobooks, and 500 videos!

Kori Hall, Head of Program Development and Community Engagement said, “(The) event was excellent!”

 

Second stop was in the charming village of Greendale, WI. Walking down Broad St. you were guided by rows of flowers, statues, and trucks.. lots of trucks.

 

Greendale Public Library hosted “Dozer Days” on June 10th which brought in the Digital Bookmobile, an ambulance, fire truck, garbage truck, and more. Young kids filled the streets with their parents and learned about thousands of kids eBooks and Read-Alongs they can enjoy this summer.

 

Children weren’t the only ones exploring the Digital Bookmobile. A total of 199 users of all ages came on board and got started reading eBooks and listening to audiobooks on their personal devices.

 

To end our stay in Wisconsin, the OverDrive team couldn’t help but stop at Culver’s and explore their 80+ flavors of custard! Mmm

New Digital Bookmobile Back for 2017 Tour!

Happy National Bookmobile Day! OverDrive has some exciting news to share on this celebratory day. The Digital Bookmobile is back, new, and ready to hit the road!

Reading Happiness ?
Traveling with the Digital Bookmobile this year will be me, Lauren Bajda! I am thrilled to bring the Digital Bookmobile to communities around North America to promote reading happiness through eBooks and audiobooks. As a world traveler and literacy advocate, I look forward to showing users one of the quickest ways to get reading, no matter their age or ability.

What is the Digital Bookmobile Tour?
The Digital Bookmobile supports our public library and school partners in promoting their digital catalog of eBooks, audiobooks, and streaming video to their communities. We are excited to hit the road at the beginning of June and start our tour in the Midwest. The new and improved 42-foot long Toterhome will provide a newly designed experience for users.

Host an Event
Interested in hosting a free Digital Bookmobile event? Visit us at the new Digital Bookmobile website and complete the “Contact Us” form. This year’s Digital Bookmobile will tour through the Fall of 2017.

Stay Connected
Want to spot yourself with the Digital Bookmobile? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, and of course our blog for up to date photos, adventures, and more.

I look forward to meeting many of you on the road!

 

To Canada: land of hockey, the CN Tower and Kobo

We had 4 wonderful events in Southern Ontario last week. The Digital Bookmobile made its annual pit stop in Stroud, Ajax, Vaughan, and Oakville.

Stroud is a quaint community where many people enjoy retirement. It sits on a lake and has a great library system. Patrons told us they loved living there! A Happy Hour group that meets each week for fun events in the area stopped by to see the Digital Bookmobile and learn about digital media. They even got a private class on how to get started.

Toronto was bustling with excitement over the TIFF film festival. We didn’t spot any celebrities while venturing around but we had a lot of fun exploring restaurants near King West and the gazing at the CN Tower. During events we had our own mini-TIFF in the bookmobile Video Lounge.

Our events in Ontario featured many Kobo eReaders, Tim Hortons, and of course hockey. If you are a member of Vaughan Public Libraries, make sure you check out a digital book between now and October for a chance to win Maple Leaf tickets!

Next we will be back on the American East Coast with stops in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York. Will we see you at any of these events?

To the East Coast!

We have hit the East Coast!

After a long and fun journey in the Midwest and the friendly South, the Digital Bookmobile made its first stops on the East Coast in Pennsylvania and Maryland.

We first stopped at the Dover Area Community Library in Dover, PA. Set in the picturesque hills of Pennsylvania, the Dover library is a busy branch in a small, quaint community. It was a beautiful day at the library with several activities including a Zumba class, a visit from Girls Go Digital, and delicious snacks from the Baron Von Schwein food truck.

 

We were welcomed to the community and helped several patrons set up the OverDrive app on their devices. Our visitors were very excited about getting started with digital media and a few MVP’s drove over an hour to see the Digital Bookmobile! We ended our visit with an eBook story time on the Video Lounge TV read by George, the children’s librarian. You can read more about the action packed event in the York Daily Record.

 

After work, my coworker Andy and I made a mandatory stop at Hershey’s Chocolate World where we took a tour and left with a few pounds of chocolate.

Before we continue down the East Coast we will be in Canada September 9-12. Check the schedule to see if the Digital Bookmobile will visit you!

Bringing the Digital Bookmobile to Our Home Turf

 

We had several Digital Bookmobile events on our home turf in Cleveland earlier this month including Digipalooza. It was a pleasure to host our public and school library partners at our campus and give them tours of the Digital Bookmobile

I had such a great time visiting all of our local library branches, especially the North Canton Public Library.  In addition to learning about the eReading rooms for kids and browsing the enormous digital collection (I signed up for a library card before leaving), patrons built flashlights and chose from 9 flavors of ice cream as a special treat. There was an outdoor story time and parents checked out tablets from the library for their children to use at home. In all, we had 150 visitors check out the Digital Bookmobile and learn about digital media.

One patron I worked with was Shirley who heard about our visit in her local newspaper.

 

She had never used digital media before and was very excited to get started. We quickly downloaded the app to her device and walked through borrowing an eBook. When her brother and sister-in-law stopped by shortly after, she was able to guide them through setting up!

Well done Shirley!

We are Back On the Road!

The Digital Bookmobile is off to a great start! We’re having a wonderful time on the road sharing the digital media services available at libraries across the US. So far we have visited libraries in Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Texas, and Tennessee!

Our first stops were in Aurora and Littleton, Colorado. It was my first time in Colorado and I loved having an amazing view of the mountains everywhere we went. We met a lot of great people but it was our young visitors who stole the show. Both libraries have eReading rooms for children that we showcased on the truck and were a big hit! Our workstations have all kinds of titles for kids (ages 0-99) to listen and read. So far the The Cat in the Hat and Frozen are the most read in every city. One great moment was an eBook story time in our Video Lounge in Aurora, Colorado. Julie from the Aurora Public Library read Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss to a group of children. She even had perfect character voices and a princess crown!
 
The best part of working with patrons is hearing that getting started with eBooks and audiobooks is much easier than expected. We look forward to getting more people started at our next stops near Grand Rapids, Michigan. Is the Bookmobile coming to your city? Let us know in the comments!