05 August 2008

Tips for success


All of us could use a reminder on how to make Listen Up! Vermont a success with our patrons. Have you:
    1. Checked out the promotional materials on the blog?
    There are handouts, cards, press releases, logos, and more. You can also get free bookmarks, if you have not already, to hand out to your patrons for only the cost of postage and can also order additional materials relatively inexpensively, including posters, from OverDrive directly.
    Here’s a blog post with info on the postage and a Box widget with the promotional materials:


    http://vtaudiobooks.blogspot.com/2008/03/promotional-materials-and-more.html

  1. Put a link to Listen Up! Vermont on your home page? You can do as the libraries in Rutland, Middlebury, Hinesburg, and others have done, placing a link with a Listen Up! Vermont logo or an OverDrive logo or image on your home page, or go the route of Stowe or Montpelier and put a link in your page menus. OverDrive says that statistics prove this is the best way to get your patrons to the collection.

  2. Downloaded MARC records into your catalog? If you are automated, free MARC records for all of the titles we own to this point are available in the little Box widget on the left hand side of the blog. As we purchase titles, new MARC files are put into the blog widget. You’ve got about 400 to add, so get crackin’!

    These MARC records are handy, as they allow you and your patrons to see if you have access to a downloadable version of the title when they are searching your catalog. A search on The Scarlet Letter could return the book, a movie, a book on cassette, and a downloadable version. The MARC record also has a link in the record to take a patron to the Listen Up! Vermont web site and download it, if available.

    Be sure you set these MARC records in your own system to non-circulating, so that your patrons don’t try to place holds on them, etc, and that you give them a call number that is easy for your staff – for example, I used DLA Hawthorne as the call number for
    The Scarlet Letter.

  3. Written a press release or update to your local paper? The collection has circulated over 4,200 titles, to date -- so it is likely we'll hit 5,000 before the end of the month. Not bad for just over 4 months of use! Tell a success story from a patron, or have a patron write an article about using the service.

  4. Told your teachers and staff about it? All libraries, school or public, should be sure their staff feels comfortable using the service. We've just completed a round of Digital Library 101 trainings, but anyone can sign up for trainings as part of the Open Training Month in September (in fact, the more folks from the GMLC who sign up, the better -- we could win a prize! Have you signed up? Do! See the original blog post for more information).

    For schools, a Listen Up! Vermont demo could be the perfect thing during those introductory in-service days. Certainly, staff can use the collection personally, but they might also be surprised at the variety of titles for grades K to 12 that they can use in their classes or point their students toward. Special Education teachers can use the titles in place of the traditional books on tape or books on cd. And, of course, your students can access the collection individually, too!
Do you have a suggestion for successfully promoting Listen Up! Vermont with your patrons? Share it in the comments!

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