As readers of eBooks continue to expand their reading preferences, they may find that their library or school doesn’t offer digital audiobooks or videos. On the other side, a library or school may not know that their users are interested in these formats. How can people let their library or school know if they want titles in formats not offered?
The best way to request audiobooks or video is simply to ask. Readers can ask library staff members in person, over the phone, or via email. Many library websites offer a feedback or contact form to communicate with library staff.
Users of the OverDrive platform can easily make recommendations to their library or school for titles to add to the collection through a feature called “Recommend to Library.” Recommend to Library allows users to expand search results or browse titles not yet in the library’s collection but available for the library to purchase. For example, if a user searches for a favorite author and the library only offers a few of that author’s titles, the user can click to view all the titles by that author that the library could purchase for the collection. As well with this feature, users can search for a specific title, and if it is not offered, click “Additional Titles to Recommend” on the search results page to see if the library has access to purchase it. This action will search the entire OverDrive catalog of hundreds of thousands titles available to that library or school. The user can then click “Recommend” and submit their recommendation to the library for consideration. The user can also request to be added to the waiting list if the library purchases it. If the title is purchased, the user will receive an email alert notifying them of the purchase, as well as a link to borrow the title if requested.
User recommendations are managed in the OverDrive admin system, allowing libraries to manually review and consider, or automatically purchase titles that meet certain criteria and/or fit within their budget. Many libraries have set aside a percentage of their digital collection budget solely to fill recommendations from users. It’s an easy and effective way for libraries to continue building a collection that serves their community’s interests.
Libraries have access to OverDrive’s catalog of nearly 2 million titles in audiobook, eBook, music and video formats from more than 2,000 suppliers, spanning nearly every genre. Libraries build a custom collection to suit their needs and interests, and can purchase additional formats and copies at any time. Circulation reports are available for library staff to evaluate usage, borrowing habits, and demand for certain subjects and formats. This real-time data helps libraries determine how best to utilize their digital collection budget to ensure a high return on investment.
Libraries are always looking for opportunities to keep readers engaged. Stocking their virtual shelves with the formats and titles that their users want is possible through personal communication as well as automated tools available to facilitate the process for both the user and library or school.