Last April the we formed a new partnership with the District’s Office of Communication and Community Engagement to implement our first all-digital summer reading program. We called it eRead2win and yes, there was a method to our madness. Even though the OverDrive digital and audio collections have always been popular with students, the collections have not caught on as much as we would like with teachers. Our thought was to promote the summer reading program to the students as a way to reach out to teachers. We could just imagine a student saying, “Yes, Ms. Smith I read and/or listened to The Book Thief on OverDrive…” And then we could happily tell that teacher that there is a class set available on OverDrive. We were impressed by our plan and just knew that teachers would not be able to resist the move to digital. Has it worked the way we imagined? Well, yes, it has, but in the meantime we had some unexpected bumps in the road. Those bumps turned out to be pizzas… more than we had thought… much more than we had thought.
Before we go into the pizza problem, let me assure you there have been positive outcomes to this project. Not only did we dramatically increase our digital circulations, it was our first major venture with the Communication/Community Engagement staff. They were and continue to be amazing…from writing newspaper articles to using the District’s Peachjar to send promotional flyers to parents electronically…from posting the eRead2win information on district social media sites to creating eRead2win websites for middle school and high school tweeted reviews. Instead of a small word of mouth printed flyer type summer reading program, eRead2win became a digital queen and our school libraries had instant visibility. All of this was thanks to the office of CC&E and their ability to brand and reach a much wider audience than we ever dreamed possible.
We started the initial kickoff with this email that went out to all middle and high school administrations.
Library Services along with the high school and middle school teacher librarians and the Communication and Community Engagement Office are excited to announce the first annual eRead2win summer reading program. The program is designed to encourage middle school and high school students to read during summer break while promoting the use of the eBook catalog through the Napa Valley USD or Napa Public Library Overdrive collections.
The eRead2win program will begin May 23rd and will continue through August 15th. Every time students check out and review a book, they will be entered into a drawing to win special prizes. The more they read and review, the greater their chances of winning. Prizes include 8 Kindle Fires provided and other donations from local businesses. Participants will also be invited to a pizza party to be hosted by our team at your school next fall. The prize drawings will be held at the parties.
We are asking students to submit “tweetable” reviews of 105 characters or less. A Twitter account “NVUSDlibraries” has been set up so we can share their reviews along with links to the books within the catalogs. If your school has a Twitter account, please follow us @NVUSDlibraries. When we post tweet-reviews, we will also tag your school. Please retweet to your feed so we can increase visibility and participation.
Attached you will find a copy of the flyer we will be sending via Peachjar to on May 23rd (the flyer will be sent again during the summer). Also attached is a copy of the poster that you should see in your school’s library shortly. We will be posting about the program on social media throughout the summer and would appreciate any assistance you and your team can provide in promoting and sharing this information.2016_11_07_eread2win
The eRead2Win websites below will be live on May 23.
eRead2Win program high school link: http://nvusdlibrary.wix.com/eread2winhs
eRead2Win program middle school link: http://nvusdlibrary.wix.com/eread2winms
Throughout the summer we took turns monitoring participation and were pleased to see that students were reading and reviewing and then we took a vacation. It wasn’t until the end of August that we ran the full reports…and the results were amazing! Over 550 students participated, checking out over 1,800 ebooks! These numbers are good on their own, but when we compared the circulation statistics with previous years, they are very, very good. From summer 2015 to 2016, OverDrive circulation statistics increased by 280%, with middle school usage seeing the largest jump of all (784% increase).
What caused this huge jump in circulations? Did the publicity, the robo calls to parents, the Peachjar reminders and the promise of prizes and pizzas help create a “digital buzz”? Or is this the new reality that more students are comfortable reading or listening on a device? All of this certainly helped the statistics, but I still think that the posters promising prizes and pizzas for those who participated played a role. We certainly did not budget for over 550 slices of pizza and, in the end, had to use discretionary funds to purchase 17 more extra large pizzas. Next year we are toying with the idea of popcorn… but should we mess with success?
Author: Kate MacMillan
18 years as Coordinator of Library Services for Napa Valley USD and Napa Valley School Library Consortium; 2010-current CDE Recommended Literature Committee member; 8 years as an outside library consultant for Follett Library Resources; 6 years as a Napa County Library Commissioner; Current member of California Dept of Education’s Literature Committee; Napa TV Public Access board member; ALA, AASL, CLA (Californiia Library Association), CSLA (California School Library Association) and CUE (Computer Using Educators). Conference presentations include: United We Stand; School and Public Libraries Working Together (CLA 2016, CSLA 2017), It’s Not Your Mother’s Library 2012 and 2013 (CUE); Enhancing Online Resources through Library Partnerships (CUE 2010); Implementing School Library Consortium (CSLA 2008); Athletes as Readers and Leaders (2008 Association of American Publishers & CSLA Project). Contributor to School Libraries: What’s Now, What’s Next, What’s Yet to Come!