By Rachel Kray, a Librarian and Collection Development Analyst with OverDrive

Over the years, we here at OverDrive have noted some of the best practices of our libraries as we creep up on the holiday rush. Here is what we’ve learned:

CozyUpHolidayThe days between December 25 and January 5 are some of the busiest of the whole year for our libraries as people get new devices during the holiday season. It’s important to be ready for this demand.

This is your last chance to increase your circulation numbers for 2015. Are your checkouts up for the year? Are they going to be higher than last year? Or are you close to joining the Million Checkouts Club? Now is the time for a last minute push.

Will you find extra money in your budget as POs are closed, or can you transfer a little left from here and there in various accounts? If so, instead of burying your Technical Services Department with a flood of print books just as they’d like to be taking vacation, consider spending that money on your digital collection. No mess, no fuss, and you’ll begin to increase your circulation within a few hours without impacting another department.

One guaranteed way to increase circulation is to fill your holds, which not only ensures immediate checkouts, but also will make it more likely that those with new devices won’t be disappointed when they search your digital library for something popular to read when they open their device for the first time. We have one library partner that fills all of their holds during the holiday season as a ‘present’ to their patrons. Patrons love this and their library circulation and new patron registration numbers were through the roof!

Purchase new material on a weekly basis. This way, when patrons search for what’s new there’s always something there for them to discover.

HolidayDevicesHighlight your holiday and hot titles with Curated Collections. It is easy to curate your own collection to feature titles on your digital library site. Spotlight your holiday themed eBooks and audiobooks on your homepage and get those seasonal titles circulating.

Prepare your staff with training.  Our on demand Learning Center offers short training modules on everything from the user experience to navigating Marketplace and even how to manage reports. These pre-recorded training videos are perfect for getting new staff up to speed or for providing existing staff updates on what’s new with your OverDrive service. You’ll even find “Getting Started” guides and training templates that you can use to host classes for new users.

Wondering what to buy? The OverDrive Collection Development Librarians have created many carts to help you spend any last minute extra money quickly. Check out our Recommended Lists page to see the many, many options available. And remember, you can click any of the links, which will take you to Marketplace, and then filter by selecting “not in collection” to see only the titles you don’t already own.

Let us know if you need help meeting deadlines. We are always happy to do anything we can for you, including building carts to your specifications.

Email your Collection Development Specialist, or the We’re here and ready to help!