Cheers to a Successful 2017 Tour!

We did it! From June to November 2017 (only 5 1/2 months), the Digital Bookmobile held 69 events at public libraries and schools in 63 cities, 25 states, and 1 Canadian province. Cheers to an incredibly successful 2017 tour!


  • 8,526 – Total number of people who visited the Digital Bookmobile
  • 757 – Of the 8,526 visitors, 757 were amazing library and school staff
  • States – The Digital Bookmobile visited AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MD, MI, MO, NY, NC, OH, OK, PA, TN, TX, UT, and WI
  • Canada – The Digital Bookmobile visited 5 cities in the province of Ontario (Canada 150 blog post)
  • Libby – OverDrive rolled out their one-tap reading app to new users in June 2017, right as the Digital Bookmobile hit the road!

Where to Next?

The 2018 tour will start early February in sunny California and will run until November. In the meantime, we are preparing a full year of amazing events. Just think how many places we can visit in 10 months!

Students from East High School in Salt Lake City, UT


Digital Bookmobile in the Golden State

Eureka! We hit gold in California with six great Digital Bookmobile events. These were all great, but we’re going to highlight three that really stood out.

10/28 Buena Park Library District

Who needs Taco Tuesday when you can have Taco Saturday at your local library?! Buena Park Library District offered free taco plates to patrons who learned about eBooks and more during their Digital Bookmobile event. This drew in quite the lunch crowd as we saw a total of 166 patrons, many whom were unaware that the library offered so many digital titles for free!

11/3 California Library Association (CLA)

When patterns are broken, New Worlds Emerge. This was the guiding theme at this year’s California Library Association Conference. OverDrive was a sponsor during this three day event and brought along its new and improved 42-foot long Digital Bookmobile to the second day!

Digital Bookmobile_CLA

Library staff from around the state got a chance to see the Digital Bookmobile and request it to visit their home library. It was great to hear that a majority of visitors offered OverDrive at their libraries and that they enjoyed our new app Libby!

11/7 Santa Clara High School

What happens when you host 10 minute class presentations on the Digital Bookmobile? You get to see 444 students! We saw a lot of students at Santa Clara High School during English classes and drop-in times.

Digital Bookmobile_Santa Clara High School

During drop-in time, students went right to the devices, put on a pair of headphones, and started browsing digital titles on the Digital Bookmobile. We overheard one student tell her friend, “We should both read this book and then discuss it,” while browsing the digital collection on an iPad.

Overall, we had a great time in California and look forward to visiting in 2018! View our Flickr page to browse more photos from our events.

Top Questions About the Digital Bookmobile Answered!

The Digital Bookmobile gets a lot of curious visitors with a lot of curious questions. As the full time staff member traveling with the vehicle, I get to hear all of them. Heck, when I started traveling with the digital bookmobile six months ago, I wanted to know the same thing! Here are the most frequently asked questions… and answers… I get on the road.

Do you drive this?

No. We contract a driver through Legacy and the driver must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL). It’s a big Toterhome!

Do you sleep on here?

I don’t, but the driver does. In the front cabin, there is a twin bed, sink, microwave, mini refrigerator, and TV for the driver. Think tiny house. The Digital Bookmobile typically stops at a truck stop for the night and OverDrive staff spend the night in a hotel.

Where do you sit when it’s moving?

When the Digital Bookmobile closes up for the day, we slide the walls in and lock up the back. No one can be in the vehicle while it’s moving except the driver. OverDrive staff and I drive a separate rental car to and from events.

Do you get to travel everywhere with the Digital Bookmobile?

Yes! I am the current full-time staff member on the Digital Bookmobile, executing all events for our North American tour. A second OverDrive team member will typically join me for two events in a row then return to the office in Cleveland, OH. Staff at OverDrive have the chance to sign up to the Digital Bookmobile roster to work with the public at a Digital Bookmobile event. Our driver is also hired full-time and travels to all events.

It smells new.

This isn’t a question, but we often hear, “This smells like a new car!” The current Digital Bookmobile was finished in June of 2017, so it’s still pretty new! And we Swiffer, does that help? The old Digital Bookmobile retired at the end of 2015.

Those are the top five questions I get on the Digital Bookmobile. Have one of your own? Leave a reply and we’ll answer it for you!

Four Amazing Events in Texas

Photo Credit: Kevin Brown/State Fair of Texas

This October, the Digital Bookmobile visited the Lone Star State. We began our trip by visiting two elementary schools near Dallas and finished by visiting two public libraries near San Antonio. We saw excitement, diversity, and creativity among events.

10/11 Central Elementary – Lewisville ISD

The Digital Bookmobile hosted six, 45-minute presentations to fifth grade classes at Central Elementary. Presentations provided an overview of their school’s digital library where students can borrow up to three eBooks or audiobooks at a time. Central has a large Hispanic population so we were able to highlight their vast collection of Spanish titles. Students were also excited to see many eBooks of interest, especially Minecraft, a video game series.

10/12 Gentry Elementary – Mesquite ISD

Who knew fourth graders were so much fun? The entire fourth grade class of 140 students at Gentry Elementary took a trip to their parking lot to visit the Digital Bookmobile. With iPads in hand, students browsed their digital collection while OverDrive staff demonstrated on a large 75″ TV.

Staff at Gentry Elementary said, “”It was a great day! Students were fully engaged and learned about our digital library! Bookmobile staff was very friendly and helpful!”

Watch this ADORABLE video of the event on YouTube.

10/14 San Antonio Public Library

We took part in Landa Branch Library’s Grand Reopening and 70th Anniversary Celebration. With a myriad of activities planned outside, the Digital Bookmobile fit right in. Some fun activities for the celebration included the Digital Bookmobile, crafts, ballet workshop, face painting, balloon artist, live music, book sale, and a reading village with teepees!

Even a police officer joined in on the fun and downloaded the Libby app while posted near the Digital Bookmobile. Over 120 visitors in this walking community learned about additional ways to read for free through their digital library.

10/15 San Marcos Public Library

Library staff Patsy Liao and Suzanne Sanders were rock stars at San Marcos Public Library! They encouraged  patrons, especially senior citizens, to bring their electronic devices onto the Digital Bookmobile to get set up with their digital collection of eBooks, audiobooks, and video. San Marcos Public Library visited retirement centers ahead of time to distribute flyers as a marketing tool. Users of all ages stopped on though, including several students from the University of Texas who were excited to download the Libby app.

The excitement of students, diversity in population, and creativity of events were the perfect mix for four amazing events. More photos from our events “deep in the heart of Texas” can be viewed on Flickr.

Top 3 Features Students Learn on the Digital Bookmobile

10th Graders at Auburn High School explore their library’s digital collection of eBooks & more on their personal devices.

The new Digital Bookmobile made its first school stop to Auburn High School in Alabama! On Friday, September 22, 2017, students from four English classes learned how to borrow titles from OverDrive on the Digital Bookmobile itself! The Digital Bookmobile can come to your school too. We are currently taking requests to visit school libraries who want to promote their OverDrive collection, for FREE. We will work with your school to arrange times for classes to visit the Digital Bookmobile and will teach students about borrowing eBooks & more in a fun and interactive way. To request the Digital Bookmobile at your school, visit our website and fill out the “Contact Us” form.

Take a peek at the top three OverDrive features students learn on the Digital Bookmobile:

1. Formats

OverDrive offers eBooks, audiobooks, streaming video, and read-alongs for classroom and personal use. Each are distinguished with an icon in the upper right hand corner of the cover.

Read-alongs are a must for young or struggling readers! Read-alongs are OverDrive Read eBooks with professionally recorded narration that plays along while you read. Pages automatically turn when the narrator reaches the end of the page. If you’d like the narrator to repeat any word, sentence, or paragraph, simply click on the word you’d like to hear again.

2. Dyslexic Font

OpenDyslexic is a font created to increase readability for readers with dyslexia. A heavier bottom is used to show which way is supposed to be down. Visit to learn how to enable dyslexic font on your library’s OverDrive website, in the OverDrive app, or in OverDrive Read

3. Definition, Notes and Highlights

In OverDrive Read, you can look up word definitions, highlight words or sections of an eBook, and add notes. To look up a definition or add a highlight, click (or tap) and hold a word, then select from the pop-up menu. When you add a highlight, you’ll have the option to add a note.

Notes and highlights can even be saved and exported from your school website. This offers a great opportunity for students to quickly send notes to their teacher, print as a study guide, keep personal notes, and more.

We end school events with an exciting game of Kahoot! Kahoot is a review style game where players answer multiple choice questions on their own devices. The top three winners on the Digital Bookmobile win prizes! 😃

For more information on all the features of OverDrive, please visit our help site.

Note – Some features will vary between the digital collections of a school library and public library. In addition, by submitting a request for the Digital Bookmobile, you are not guaranteed a spot on the tour.

One Advertising Technique to Promote Your Digital Collection

One creative way to promote your digital collection is to use the following advertising technique from marketing pioneer Berma-Shave: Post humorous rhyming poems on small sequential highway roadside signs.


Burma-Shave was a Minneapolis based shaving company famous for its advertising. Typically, they posted a series of six small signs along highways, spaced for sequential reading by passing motorists. The last sign would feature the Berma Shave logo. According to Advertising Age (2003), about 600 different Burma-Shave verses appeared in more than 7,000 locations in 45 states.

One example from 1929 read: Every shaver / Now can snore / Six more minutes / Than before / By using / Burma-Shave.

When the Digital Bookmobile visited Mauney Memorial Library in Kings Mountain, NC this September, we saw this great marketing idea! Library Assistant Trey Ross created the rhyming poem to promote their digital colleciton of eBooks and audiobooks.

Now it’s your turn. Create your own Berma-Shave jingle to promote your digital collection, your library, your school, anything! You’ll be sure to bring back memories and raise awareness in a lively way.

Digital Bookmobile Celebrates Canada 150

This is a big year for Canada as it celebrates it’s 150th anniversary!

The Digital Bookmobile paid tribute to this monumental year by visiting five libraries in Ontario, Canada this past July.

7/18 Toronto Public Library – Agincourt Branch

Senior Collections Specialist / “eBook Goddess” Maria Cipriano got everyone fired up to visit the Digital Bookmobile at our first stop in Canada on our 2017 tour. Library staff worked two tables outside to promote their e-materials, including OverDrive. They had a prize wheel, candy, and give aways. At the end of the event, one lucky winner went home with a Samsung Galaxy Tablet.

7/19 Brampton Library – Cyril Clark Branch

Brampton built on community relationships with Starbucks and Tim Hortons to sponsor free coffee at this event. With all hands on deck, freezies, and a prize wheel, they had 377 visitors walk through the Digital Bookmobile!

7/21 Bibliotheque Publique de Clarence-Rockland – Rockland Branch

Library Director Catherina was so excited to share her library’s digital collection of eBooks, audiobooks and video with her community of French and English readers. Preschool students even stopped by the Digital Bookmobile!

7/22 Ottawa Public Library – Sunnyside Branch

The quaint Sunnyside Branch hosted 180 visitors on the Digital Bookmobile during our visit. Business Librarian Amy H. said, “The event was incredibly successful – lots of dedicated interest as well as those just curious.”

7/24 Chatham-Kent Public Library

A windy day brought in a gust of visitors who were interested in trying something new and learning about OverDrive’s newest app, Libby! Chatham-Kent did a great job reaching out to their local media and received coverage during the event from at least four different media outlets.

Happy anniversary Canada.

Team OverDrive

Did the Digital Bookmobile Go Inside a Building?

Can a 42-foot-long Toterhome that runs on a generator fit and run inside of a building? We put it to the test this year at Digipalooza.

Every two years, OverDrive hosts Digipalooza, an international user group conference for partner libraries and schools that offers a unique blend of education, networking and fun. The conference is packed full of valuable librarian-led sessions and networking activities with publishers and industry experts.

When planning this year’s conference, staff members thought outside the box and envisioned the Digital Bookmobile inside the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland. It had to be close enough to sessions and convenient enough for attendees to visit during breaks. I mean, what if it rained!? (It did

Did it go inside a building? Yes, yes it did.

Digital Bookmobile inside Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland

With the help of convention center staff, our driver Ira, and pre-planning, over 400 attendees saw the Digital Bookmobile inside the convention center, and many got a tour! The Digital Bookmobile was set up to safely run inside on battery power and showcased our traveling exhibit to library and school partners.

This was our second stop during Digipalooza. Our first stop saw 244 visitors at Punch Bowl Social, Digipalooza’s Kickoff Social. Both days were fun, but there’s something special about being somewhere you’re traditionally not supposed to be.

Digipalooza attendees visit the Digital Bookmobile inside the convention center

For more photos from the event, please visit our Flickr page.

ADA Accessible Digital Bookmobile Empowers Patrons in Evanston, IL

On Monday, June 12th, the ADA Accessible Digital Bookmobile was in the city of Evanston!

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ensures people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. For that reason, the Digital Bookmobile is equipped with a BraunAbility wheelchair lift to ensure people of all abilities can safely enter the Digital Bookmobile.

Evanston Public Library is at the heart of a diverse community and promotes the development of independent, self-confident, and literate citizens.

Heat in the mid-90’s didn’t deter patrons from stepping outside the library and into the air conditioned Digital Bookmobile located in Evanston Public Library’s back parking lot. Here, visitors learned about borrowing eBooks and audiobooks for free on their personal devices.

The day didn’t end there! At 5pm we went to our second stop at Over the Rainbow Association (OTR). OTR is an Illinois non-profit organization dedicated to providing independent living solutions for individuals with physical disabilities. Twice a month, staff from Evanston Public Library visit OTR with library materials that residents can check out.

That Monday, residents learned about a whole new way of borrowing materials… digitally. Fifth Ward Alderman Robin Rue Simmons partnered with Evanston Public Library to bring the Digital Bookmobile to the Hill Arboretum Apartments!

Photo from @OverTheRainbowAssociation on Facebook

OTR resident Katelyn learned how to borrow digital materials from OverDrive employee Leslie inside the Digital Bookmobile!

OTR resident Anthony said, “This is so cool! We never had this type of stuff when I was a kid,” as he browsed the Star Wars audiobook collection.

Overall, a total of 70 people visited the Digital Bookmobile from both locations to explore Evanston Public Library’s digital collection, “My Media Mall,” of around 23,000 eBooks, 10,800 audiobooks, and 133 videos.

“It was great! For such a hot, humid day, and two locations,” said Supervisory Librarian Heather Norborg.

No matter your age or ability, borrowing eBooks & more from your library promotes independence, self-confidence, and literacy.

An article posted in the Evanston Round Table following the event can be found here.

New Digital Bookmobile, Who Saw it First?

Delicious brats and cheese curds. The birthplace of Frank Lloyd Wright and Laura Ingalls Wilder. Dubbed the Badger state and America’s Dairyland. Get where I’m going here? The Digital Bookmobile powered by OverDrive made its first two stops of 2017 in Wisconsin!

First up was Waukesha Public Library on June 9th. Waukesha’s beautiful library was complimented by the Digital Bookmobile on the first day of summer break and welcomed 128 visitors.

Two brothers browsed Wisconsin Public Library’s collection of 53,000 eBooks, 16,500 audiobooks, and 500 videos!

Kori Hall, Head of Program Development and Community Engagement said, “(The) event was excellent!”

Second stop was in the charming village of Greendale, WI. Walking down Broad St. you were guided by rows of flowers, statues, and trucks.. lots of trucks.

Greendale Public Library hosted “Dozer Days” on June 10th which brought in the Digital Bookmobile, an ambulance, fire truck, garbage truck, and more. Young kids filled the streets with their parents and learned about thousands of kids eBooks and Read-Alongs they can enjoy this summer.

Children weren’t the only ones exploring the Digital Bookmobile. A total of 199 users of all ages came on board and got started reading eBooks and listening to audiobooks on their personal devices.

To end our stay in Wisconsin, the OverDrive team couldn’t help but stop at Culver’s and explore their 80+ flavors of custard! Mmm