By: Sydney Kalnay, OverDrive Training Specialist.

Managing time and resources can be difficult during the first few days back in the school building. Whether you’re an administrator preparing for the influx of faculty and students or a teacher who is juggling lessons, classroom setup, and technology, the last thing you want is an in-service day that adds to your workload instead of assisting with it.

There are a few easy ways to personalize your in-service days, with resources both inside and outside your school building.

Tap your external resources

Call your public library or your school district liason to learn about Professional Development resources that may be available locally. Reach out to neighboring or peer districts to share resources and split costs, if possible. National education organizations often offer low-cost of free webinars as well. Try the NEAASCD and Edutopia and this list from District Administration for other organizations that might offer new ideas.

OverDrive also offers webinars and staff training for our school partners. We showcase recorded trainings on our Resource Center on topics such as selecting content and the student user experience. For a personalized experience we can schedule a customized live webinar for your in-service day.

Our knowledgeable staff can create a simple yet comprehensive virtual training session to highlight the benefits of using OverDrive in and out of the classroom. We provide informative, contextual demonstrations around selecting titles, answering student help questions, and using OverDrive as a classroom tool. Best of all, our live training sessions have built-in Q&A time so we can address your questions as the presentation progresses.

Highlight your internal resources

Every school is full of thoughtful, talented, passionate people. Perhaps someone on your staff has written an article, book or made some other professional contribution that could be leveraged during in-service days. Highlighting the unique talents of individuals is good for morale. It lets the entire staff know that if you do something noteworthy, it will be noted in a public and positive way.

Those staff-created lessons, publications, rubrics, and other documents they’d like to share with their peers or students can be uploaded to your school library website as local content. You can even set the number of copies to make available to ensure everyone who needs a copy has one. Pro-tip: you can use the local content function to house student-created work such as essays, short stories, plays, poems, and more.

OverDrive has a wide variety of Professional Development eBook titles to help your faculty grow and learn. Whether you have a specific title in mind or need assistance choosing content for your staff to pick from, our Collection Development specialists will help find you the titles that meet your needs.

Get everyone moving around the building

Part of Professional Development is to foster relationships among staff. Pair a veteran with new teacher and send them on a scavenger hunt around your building and grounds. Bring your new teachers onboard with a seasoned teacher and they will feel comfortable and get to know your building culture in an efficient and collaborative way.

OverDrive Read can host a digital scavenger hunt to get your staff excited about introducing digital titles into the classroom. Challenge staff to find dictionary definitions of words, bookmark specific passages, leave highlights and notes on significant text, or adjust reading settings such as font type or color scheme – great for students with dyslexia or visual impairments.

Resources for School Partners

School partners can download our simple eBook Exploration guide from the Resource Center. The guide is geared toward younger students but is comprehensive enough to engage your teachers and staff in discussion around how to incorporate digital content into the classroom.

Introduce OverDrive at your Teacher In-Service Days. If you’re new to OverDrive – or just need a refresher – there are many ways to introduce us into your faculty in-service days without overburdening your staff.

Register for our live special webcast, Best Practices for Maximizing Digital Engagement on Wednesday, September 14 at 3:30 PM (EDT) to discuss ways to increase engagement with digital content through collection development, staff training, and marketing and outreach.

For help finding the right titles for your teachers and students or help uploading local content, contact your Collection Development Specialist or email

For help customizing Professional Development activities, reach out to our School Marketing team at