By: Christina Samek, Marketing Specialist.

If you weren’t able to attend our first exclusive school program at DigiP, fear not! Here’s a breakdown of all the exciting things that went down at the conference and what’s to come for OverDrive Education.

We kicked things off Wednesday night at Punch Bowl Social in the heart of downtown Cleveland. Attendees enjoyed karaoke, bowling, arcade and table games, delicious food, drinks and spontaneous dancing. It was a great way to unwind before getting down to business Thursday morning with the first session, You Have OverDrive, Now What? This session was an extended version of the How to Talk to Your School Community About OverDrive session, available at the Resource Center for listening, right now! Presenters (one of whom was yours, truly) shared key talking points, meaningful data, marketing resources, a graphic organizer and a training template (also at the Resource Center!) to help attendees reach all members of their school community.


From there, attendees heard from OverDrive veterans and experts on the opportunities and challenges facing libraries in a moderated panel session, Key Perspectives on the State of the Digital Lending Industry. Next, came lunch and New Title Highlights from Leading Publishers. Well fed and ready to learn, attendees moved into Top 10 Ways to Make Marketplace Work for You where K-12 Content Specialists counted down the 10 best ways to make Marketplace more effective in your school.


K-12 Break out sessions

Next up, the school break out sessions: Lesson Planning with Digital Content and The Evolution of Learning: Schools in the Digital Age. Former teachers on the Education Team shared examples and best practices on integrating digital content into a curriculum in the lesson planning session. In the Evolution of Learning session, team OverDrive talked digital literacy, digital citizenship, prolonged screentime and how OverDrive fits into it all. Patti continues a large part of that conversation in this month’s newsletter.

After the break outs, it was time to party! Attendees were invited to a “Throwback Thursday” party at Cleveland’s House of Blues. The live band got the crowd moving all night long (okay, 11:00 PM) and the provided glow sticks, necklaces, and bracelets ensured everyone looked cool while getting their boogie on.

Product Roadmap sneak peeks

Friday, and the final day of the conference, kicked off with the most anticipated session in the school program: Sneak Peak: OverDrive’s Product Roadmap. OverDrive’s CTO, Jeff Sterling, previewed the future of OverDrive K-12 platform and introduced Sora, the new school app coming in 2018. Some highlights: Sora includes tips and secrets for the best and most efficient user reading experience, looks the same across all devices, allows for students to search for their school by map or text code, AND students can access their public library right from the app. It’s awesome! Also coming soon: Google authentication. There were audible “woo’s”. The future at OverDrive Education looks very bright!


Personalization, PD and reading rates

Next up was Create Reading Happiness for Every Student. OverDrive Account Specialists shared individualized reading solutions for different kinds of readers, even the most reluctant!

The school program closed with Secrets from the Frontline: How Successful Schools are Changing the Rules. We heard from OverDrive K-12 partners on how they’ve defined and found success in their communities. We heard from School City of Hammond who shared their outreach strategy which helped increase their circulation by a whopping 183%! School District of Elmbrook discussed how they were able to engage their entire community: starting with ELA and PD and making their way to parents. They also highlighted the unexpected benefits of digital in their school (audiobooks circulation, camouflaging lower level titles, easy ways to fill holds, assign titles, etc). Sullivan County BOCES closed with their creative and fun “Battle of the Books” campaign which captured interest across their elementary and secondary schools.


Professional Book Nerds interview with Kelly Corrigan

Attendees then joined up with library partners to listen to the Professional Book Nerds interview author, Kelly Corrigan. She discussed the release of her new book, Tell Me More. She had attendees laughing throughout their exchange and I, personally, can’t wait to read her book!

Finally, OverDrive closed Digipalooza with an address from Steve Potash, CEO. He spoke about all the wonderful things to come, including an additional preview of Sora.

It was an awesome 3 days! The main takeaways: involve your entire community, never underestimate the far reach of digital (struggling readers, teacher buy-in, etc.), promote, promote, promote, and team OverDrive is here to help you make it your best year yet!