By: Carolyn Matheson and Penny Jameson, Head Librarians, with Meredith Wemhoff, Account Manager.

OverDrive team members, Julia Madjar and Danny Lapchak, recently visited the Coombabah State High School in Queensland, Australia. Head Librarians, Carolyn Matheson and Penny Jameson, are dedicated to promoting a lifelong love of reading and were able to expand the selection of titles available by subscribing to the Queensland State School Library for students in years 7–9.

Their borrowing has increased by 586% this year due to the various initiatives lead by Matheson and Jameson. They visited classrooms during English lessons, helping students navigate OverDrive to sample and borrow books. They surveyed students, seeking feedback on what they would like to read in order to add content that is most relevant and appealing. This led to a reward program for students who stay engaged with reading.

Like anything new, it has taken time for the initial spark to become a flame. Last year there were a couple of flares, during classroom visits, prior to the school holidays where ebook and audiobook borrowing was promoted. Other strategies employed by Coombabah State High School include posters and bookmarks containing slogans such as “Over the Moon with OverDrive.”  They even encouraged students to dress up as their favourite characters for Onsie Upon a Time.

Students who borrow regularly receive rewards from the in-school positive behaviour program for productivity and Tuckshop (canteen) vouchers.  Another incentive utilized is to allow students to select specific titles to be added to the collection.

Matheson and Jameson set targets for consistent borrowing and they regularly use the reporting and dashboard features in Marketplace to monitor and provide feedback to the school community.  This 586% checkout increase attracted the attention of Account Manager, Julia Madjar, and Country Manager, Danny Lapchak, who visited the school.

Coombabah State High School was thrilled to host the pair whose presentation included a partner analysis and as well as an introduction to Sora. This was followed by morning tea with students who hold the title of ‘best borrowers.’  The visit has reignited the enthusiasm for OverDrive and Sora. Matheson and Jameson are excited to see what the rest of the year will bring for their happy readers.