Making the Most of Digital Collections Through Training and Outreach: The Innovative Librarian’s Guide

Libraries Unlimited, 2016.

bookThis book offers a practical template for training patrons to use eBook, streaming video, online music, and journal collections that is practical, adaptable, and most importantly, sustainable.

In order to make your library’s expanding digital collection worth having, customers need to know how to access these online resources—and it’s up to your staff to show them how. This unique guide explains how to use a device-centered approach to training library patrons (rather than a system-centric approach) that will enable staff to more easily assist patrons, regardless of whether your patrons use Kindles, tablets, mobile phones, or laptops. Using this approach, staff stay current and can prepare for the next technology or interface platform to access digital collections.

The book describes different patron instruction scenarios, such as drop-in, one-on-one interactions, tech petting zoos, and classroom settings, and explains how to structure and conduct specific sessions/classes. Readers will learn methods of promoting the digital collection that can be used in their entirety or a la carte, depending on your budget and locality. The final chapters address using social media, print media, and interactive displays; best practices for target marketing aimed at both in-house patrons and external customers; and how you can save money when purchasing equipment.


  • Introduces librarians to a sustainable approach to teaching or coaching patrons on how to access and use eBooks, streaming video, digital music, and digital journal collections
  • Offers a flexible approach that can be customized to libraries of different sizes and budgets
  • Builds on librarians’ reference skills to stay current with new technologies
  • Focuses on sustainability for smaller and mid-sized libraries


Marketing Our Growing Digital Collections. Public Libraries Magazine. May/June 2019. Volume 58 number 3, pages 27-30.

Bringing Virtual Reality to Our Senior PatronsPublic Libraries Online. September 5, 2017.

Teaching the Tech Side HustlePublic Libraries Online. July 10, 2017.

Will There Be Another Summer of Pokémon GO? Public Libraries Online. May 31, 2017.

Teen 3D Printing Club. VOYA: Voice of Youth Advocates, February 2017. Volume 39, issue 6, pages 20-23.

3D Printing Adventures with William Floyd. LinkedIn Pulse. January, 7 2017.

Your Library’s Digital Collection & the Post-Holiday Bump. LinkedIn Pulse. December 19, 2016.

Dungeons & Dragons & 3D Printing: A Library Adventure. LinkedIn Pulse. October 19, 2016.

3D Printing in Libraries: Putting Your Misprints to Work! LinkedIn Pulse. September 14, 2016.

Marketing Opportunities for Your Library’s Digital Collection. LinkedIn Pulse. August 20, 2016.

Using Augmented Reality to Improve Local History Collections. LinkedIn Pulse. July 18, 2016.

Pokemon & Public Libraries. LinkedIn Pulse. July 12, 2016.