To get a feel for how librarians feel about OverDrive, I interviewed Traey. He is a librarian at two libraries, North Village and Milwood branches.
(I’m 9 years old. I took notes as best as I could, but it is not word for word. My mom said it’s okay, and it’s not like it’s the AP or anything, but I don’t know what that means.)
Here is what Traey had to say about OverDrive.
Tiger: Do you think a lot of people use OverDrive and why?
Traey: Yes! OverDrive has been very successful. We see more and more people using OverDrive as a service.
The reason I think OverDrive has been so successful is because more and more people are using devices and are comfortable using their devices for reading—especially as the holidays come, people get more devices. They receive them as gifts from their kids.
(Tiger’s note: “From their kids?” Huh? Okay.)
Tiger: Do you personally like reading your digital device?
Traey: No. I really don’t. I still like holding a book and reading from a book. However, if something is available only as a digital format and it’s the only way I can read it, then yes, I will use my device.
Tiger: Can OverDrive be use on all digital devices?
This is Traey the Librarian.
Traey: Yes! You can use a laptop, phone, tablet, Android, Mac, Kindle. You can use it across platforms.
Tiger: What has the library done to promote OverDrive?
Traey: We’ve promoted it on the website a lot. When you sign on to our website we have slash pages that talk about OverDrive. Also, whenever anyone requests a new library card we always tell them about OverDrive.
With hoopla, the library was given funding to promote our online services, so we have had more money to make fliers and table tents and other ads to promote OverDrive. We were happy about that.
Tiger: How effective was that?
Traey: Quite. We have a lot of people using OverDrive. Still, a lot of people don’t have devices.
Tiger: How do you help people that need help with OverDrive?
Traey: Librarians can help in-house as best as we can. But sometimes we get busy. What’s really nice is Tech Toy Time. Each branch has meetings called Tech Toy Time. Meetings happen at least once per month. There is a person who leads the meetings and he can help you with whatever problems you are having. Or he can help you set up your device.
(Tiger’s note: I Googled this and found this link with a description and calendar: http://library.austintexas.gov/events/tech-toy-time-ready-device-activate)
Tiger: Do you consider OverDrive to be a big success?
Traey: Absolutely! The more people use it the better become our stats. As that improves, we can spend more money to get more products.
Some of our libraries are circulating more digital materials than traditional materials.
Tiger’s Mom: (My mom had to get in on the action. She’s like that.) So how do you see the future of libraries? Do you think the future holds “all digital” libraries?
Traey: No, not at all. One of our branches is currently closed for renovations. We thought that would be okay, but the community was very vocal about wanting their library open during renovations. That branch has regular users that come in every week and check out 10 or so books (many children’s books), and they did not want to loose that services even temporarily. To satisfy their needs, we have opened a “pocket library.” They have limited services but they can check out children’s books, pick up holds, or use digital services. Services are limited, but that pocket library is always busy!
It’s easy to forget, but not everyone has digital devices. There’s what’s called the “digital divide” that talks about how some people can afford devices and others can’t. If we look at circulation in the east side libraries, we find that there are far fewer people using OverDrive and Hoopla because they don’t have as many devices. In those libraries, the services are different. There is less circulation and more people using the library’s computers. Some people will sit and use the computers because they don’t have computers at home. Or they will sit and read periodicals or books. They will sit there and read, but they don’t check out as much. Maybe they don’t have a library card or they don’t have an identification card so they can get the library card. I don’t know. They use the library, but the services are different.
Tiger: What do you think Girl Scouts could do to help you?
Traey: As Girl Scouts, you come into view of the public a lot right? When you meet with the public, talk about it and promote it as a service to the library. Tell people about using OverDrive, and let them know more about it.
You know what would really be helpful is if the Girl Scouts talked to people about Tech Toy Time. If you could encourage people to come to Tech Toy Time, it would help a lot. So many people need a little help. We want more people to know about those meetings.