Digipalooza, Day 1, Afternoon Sessions
Before I start on the afternoon sessions, I have to talk a bit about my latest “toy.” As soon as I laid eyes on the Creative Zen MP3 player on display with the 2.5″ screen for e-videos or photos, 2GB storage, FM radio, and an extra SD slot, I knew I was sold. This might be the device that persuades me to try the digital video format! The price was right and it’s now in my hot little hands! I can’t wait to try it when I get home. Thank you, thank you, Gear2Go.
After the lunch break we tackled the topic of Maximizing Reports and Statistics. Prior to attending Digipalooza, I routinely checked our monthly activity reports and felt satisfied with my basic stats. After listening to Michael Ciccone talk about zip code tracking and running the reports he created for New York Public, I realized I’ve barely been scratching the surface.
Surveys are also vital to tracking user trends and possible new areas to beef up existing collections or adding new collections. One example that was shown by Annie Denison of Overdrive was the survey done by Michigan Digital Libraries Consortium. Sarah had already mentioned that our survey showed us that patrons were not always happy with us, but mostly because they wanted MORE of everything. However our survey as well as the other survey example (Ocean State Libraries E-Zone) both came up with similiar user stats. Women are the majority of Overdrive users for both libraries, and they are over 30 years old. If anyone had suggested this result three years ago, we’d never have believed it! So what do you do with survey results? In Michigan, we have addressed areas of user dissatisfaction as best our budget will permit. But beyond that, in our individual libraries we can target potential users and place publicity in areas most frequently used by these groups of patrons. For example, since our users read lots of romance in digital format, posters and bookmarks can be placed close to our paperback romances.
After such weighty topics, it was time for an afternoon break of brownies and candy bars. Thanks, Overdrive for really pampering us!! The final session of the afternoon was devoted to Staff training and Patron Support. My first priority on Monday morning will be to sign up our entire service staff for the Overdrive training in September. Everyone needs to take Digital Library 101, including me. It never hurts to take refresher classes! Eric Gustafson from the State Library of Kansas and Scott Duimstra from Capital Area District Library both set up wikis for training and support tips. While MLC hosts a wiki for our Michigan Overdrive members, it would also be beneficial for us to do this for our own library. We already maintain a Reference Help wiki on PBWiki, so it would be simple to do another one just for local training and support for Overdrive. The last speaker of the session was Overdrive’s own Andy Hird. He explained how Overdrive manages their tech support and strongly urged all of us to become personally familiar with how to download the various digital formats. We also need to train one or two “specialists” at each library who are comfortable with the products and can then help patrons with common problems. I felt compelled to speak with Andy after the session ended to tell him how helpful and prompt the tech support at Overdrive has been during my tenure as Tech Support person for our consortium. I always hear back within several hours and our patrons are extremely happy with their complete instructions.
We had another wonderful meal at 6pm and then spent the evening at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum. This was a truly information-packed day, but also one with lots of networking with librarians from all over the country and ample time for meeting vendors and having fun exploring Cleveland. I can’t wait until tomorrow! Now it’s off to bed.