Friday, February 8, 2013

BYOD @ the Library

A few weeks ago, (and only thanks to the design skillz and enthusiasm of my amazing intern*) my middle school library hosted our very first BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) parties during lunch periods.  And they were awesome.

The specific focus of our parties was to introduce students to the OverDrive ebook and audiobook lending library that we have offered to students and faculty since the start of the school year.  Prior to the parties I'd mentioned the OverDrive collection at library orientation and there were links on our website, but there wasn't any big promotion of the service.  And as you can imagine, that also meant that our ebooks and audiobooks weren't circulating.  And we were paying darn good money for them.  So it was clearly time to have a party.

Here's a breakdown of what we did, when we did it, and how it went.

One month prior: Select a date.
We don't have a set schedule for classes to visit the library, so we needed to find a day when no classes were scheduled during any of our 3 lunch periods.  We also wanted it to be a Thursday because that meant the kids would already be in chapel attire and thus less likely to go to gym recess (no dress shoes on the gym floor = lots of library kids at recess = great day for party @ the library).

Two weeks prior: Advertise!
We made a few large (11"x17") posters to hang on the library windows, on the front doors of the school and on the cafeteria and gym doors and a whole slew of smaller (8.5"x11") posters to hang at water fountains, on bathroom doors, in stairwells and anywhere else that students would be likely to pause for a moment and read a poster.  The posters were made using Pages for Mac.

Colorful and eye-catching!
One Week Prior: Remind!
We knew that students had seen our snazzy posters, because they kept asking us about the event. Yay! The week of the event we made announcements at morning meeting, class meetings and during lunch recess (to kids in the library) reminding them to bring their ereaders to school on Thursday.

One Day Before: Final Prep.
Instruction sheets for various types of ereaders were created and printed.  We printed them in color and put them on the library tables in clear plastic displays.  We also made table markers so that students would sit at tables based on device (this was to make it easier for us).  And I bought M&Ms. Because they are tasty.  And what's a party without snacks?

Instruction sheet for downloading the app.
These work for iPad, iPhone, and Nook Color/HD.
We also had instructions for Kindle and Nook Simple Touch. 

The table set up. Nice and simple.

Day Of: Party Time!
We set up the tables (see above photo) before the first lunch period and then it was go time.  At the start of each lunch period I went across to the cafeteria and reminded students to bring their lunch and ereader to the library ASAP so that we could get started.  As students came in we would look up their library card numbers and direct them to the appropriate table.  I took the OverDrive App tables (iDevices and Nook Color/HD) and Sereena took the Kindle and Nook Simple Touch tables.  We first connected the devices to our "Guest" network.  Then we walked the students through the instructions.  It went pretty quickly and most students were able to get connected, download a book and eat with plenty of time for socializing and picking out all the yellow M&Ms.  And that was with a shortened 35 minute class schedule due to the delay!

Kindles and iPads and Nooks, oh my!
iPad mini gets in on the action!
One student even brought his brand
new Microsoft Surface tablet.
We had about 13 students from 6th grade, 16 from 7th grade and 6 from 8th grade.  And they all left happy with something to read.

We have about 300 students at the middle school and over 30 attended one of the parties.  Which is pretty awesome.  Since the parties, I've also helped the handful of students who forgot to bring their ereaders on the party day (2-hour delay for snow = forgetful tweens) to get connected to OverDrive.

This was such a great way to get students into the library, familiar with OverDrive and excited about reading.  I highly recommend hosting such a program! Even if your school library doesn't offer OverDrive, your local public library probably does.  Host the event together! Maybe they can even promote their tween/teen programming and it can be the start of a beautiful partnership.

*Shout out to Sereena!

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1 comment:

  1. This was a great event (and not just because of the awesome intern-created flyers ;-). Students loved it and it went really smoothly! I'd also recommend it highly.