By: Christina Samek, Marketing Specialist.

We are always looking for opportunities to help schools and libraries achieve milestones with OverDrive. Our dedicated Account and Collections Specialists review custom websites, trends in Marketplace (and across the publishing industry), circulation history, marketing initiatives…anything that will help enhance your and your users’ experience with OverDrive. Karen Jakubczak, Account Specialist, saw such an opportunity with her accounts: Northside Independent School District 915 and North East Independent School District, in Texas. “Both schools saw record high circulations in October of 2016 and I saw an opportunity to challenge them to exceed those numbers this year,” says Jakubczak. Thus, OverDrive October was born.

The Challenge

Jakubczak reached out to her contacts at both schools: Faye Haggarty at North East and Elizabeth Rush at Northside. Each was given a goal to exceed their 2016 circulations in October 2017. Northeast had to exceed 16,940 and Northside had to exceed 13,411 total checkouts. The librarians got to work encouraging their users to get out there and read!

The Strategy

Incentives work! Both schools saw record successes but before I get to the big reveal, here’s how they did it. According to Rush it all came down to motivated students and competitive staff.

“Our librarians are highly competitive individuals, they want someone from their campus to win so they very enthusiastically spend time demonstrating how to access and download eBooks to students, they included the competition and explanation of OverDrive being our number one source for digital books on their monthly email/newsletters, and they keep the fire burning throughout the school year by encouraging students to check out the OverDrive collection,” notes Rush. It also helps that Rush is a huge advocate for OverDrive in her district. “I love providing the eBooks that our students and teachers request, and it is very satisfying to know that these books are available to all of our students both at school and at home.”

For Haggarty, it was all about promotion. She notes, “Many librarians held OverDrive weekend challenges that were shared in newsletters, Twitter, and Facebook.” In addition to weekly challenges, the top 10 user statistics were shared daily on Twitter. They also tweeted how close there were to their circulation goal throughout the month to encourage students. North East ISD has 6 campuses in their district who participate in OverDrive’s Advantage program. Of those 6 campuses, 4 were in the top two at the of “OverDrive October.“We feel like this has been a successful endeavor to have the individual collections available at those campuses,” said Hagarty.

The Outcome

All their hard work paid off. Northside crushed their goal, ending at 19,274 checkouts (5,000+ over what they needed!). North East came in strong at 18,446 checkouts (1,500+ over what they needed!). Both received OverDrive swag and a custom vinyl banner to hang wherever they choose! Congratulations to both districts!If you are interested in an “OverDrive October” or an “OverDrive January…February…May,” etc, just let your Account Specialist know! We are happy to help.