Event Recap: The Digital Bookmobile Visits the Mission Viejo Library

Digital bookmobile photo by Leila S.Some rainy weather on Saturday, March 1 could not keep the 140+ eager visitors from stopping by the Digital Bookmobile in the Mission Viejo Library parking lot. The event took place from 10 am to 4 pm. The Digital Bookmobile is an 18-wheel truck, sponsored by OverDrive, which is full of interactive devices to teach others about the digital media technology.

The truck featured several computers where visitors were encouraged to explore different kinds of media. Guests could browse the available selection of digital materials and preview eBooks or listen to a song! An informational video was showing on a television screen to further elaborate on how to use the OverDrive digital library. In addition, there were knowledgeable staff members available to answer any questions and walk visitors through the process of downloading an app onto their device(s), signing onto the library, and borrowing an eBook or audio book.

Digital Bookmobile interior photo by Leila S.Depending on the device you wish to use for viewing or listening to your digital media, it is recommended that you download the OverDrive Media Console app. From there, search for an eBook and click to borrow and then finally to download it. Your item will be checked out for two weeks, after which it will automatically expire, unless you renew it. And for all you avid readers, this means no late fees!

Also, posted on the walls of the truck were interesting facts and statistics, including:

“The first electronic text ever created was a copy of the Declaration of Independence.”
“The United States has more public libraries the McDonald’s.”
“1.1 billion people go to the library every year, compared to 204 million tickets sold to sporting events.”
“The most popular eBook categories: 1. Romance 2. Business 3. Historical Fiction 4. Suspense 5. Self-improvement.”

The Bookmobile was launched in front of Central Park, New York six years ago. Ever since then, the Bookmobile has been traveling to libraries and schools all around the country. The Bookmobile can also be found at festivals and other book related events. This year, the Bookmobile’s focus has been merging educational reading with entertainment related reading. Their target audience is pretty much everyone, since there is such a wide range of books and other media that can be accessed digitally, which is appealing to all ages. Digital Media Event Specialist Katie Yap explained that “the goal is to promote getting free eBooks and audio books from your library on pretty much any device, such as smart phones, tablets, computers, laptops, and e-readers.” When asked how people use the library’s “virtual branch,” Katie responded that “for most tablet (owners), it’s reading. And then (on) smart phones, they want to do audio books, because it’s so easy to connect it to your stereo and listen to it while you are stuck in traffic or doing errands.”

Overall, this event was quite informational. I have already downloaded the app and browsed the wide selection on Mission Viejo Library’s “virtual branch,” the Southern California Digital Library. In addition to all the media they already have, Katie Yap explained that OverDrive is now looking into putting textbooks and other educational resources online so that students can work on those research papers even when the library is closed!

– Leila S., 8th grade

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