Earlier this year, the staff of the Delaware County District Library took a look at the population we serve — primarily the school districts of Buckeye Valley, Delaware City and Olentangy Local schools — and compared it to the amount of registered cardholders we have. For the 126,000 people we serve, we only had about 70,600 registered cardholders. That means about 56 percent of those we serve have a library card.
For libraries of our size, 56 percent is a little on the low side, and so we made a goal to see that percentage increase over the course of 2017. One of the solutions we instituted was creating an easier process for interested individuals to register for a library card.
Until this year the library card registration process was rather cumbersome. A person either had to be physically at one of the four library locations, or speaking with a library staff member either at an event or who was part of our Community and Family Outreach Services department. That person then had to fill out a piece of paper, which was then typed into a computer, and eventually a new card was scanned, the information was linked, and that person was an official cardholder at the Delaware County District Library.
We said to ourselves, “There has got to be a better a way.” And so the digital card registration process was created. Any Ohio resident interested in obtaining a card at DCDL could visit www.delawarelibrary.org, click the “Need a Card? Get One” link on the homepage, and fill out a few quick pieces of information to become an official cardholder.
Once a person registers online, they are given a shortened identification number, which allows them access to virtually everything the Delaware Library offers. E-materials, like audiobooks, ebooks, and digital downloads from Hoopla, Overdrive and RBdigital can be consumed immediately. Research resources that require a library card number are also all open for use. Even physical materials can be requested and held with the ID number.
It’s not until something needs checked out from a branch that a person must show our staff a form of alternate identification. At that point, if the person wants a physical card, they can get one.
We’re nearing the end of 2017 and we’re slowly seeing our cardholders grow. What we’re also seeing with that growth is an increase in use of our e-materials due to the increased awareness. Hoopla was also a new addition in 2017 and it continues to be popular among our patrons. With no waits, immediate downloads, and a generous limit of six downloads per month, it can’t be beat. They’ve already got their Top Holiday Guide ready for the season. Here are some of their most popular holiday titles:
“The Christmas Train” by David Baldacci. Banned from flying after an altercation with airport security, journalist Tom Langdon must take the train to spend Christmas with his girlfriend, financing the trip by selling a story about a holiday season train ride.
“Christmas Letters” by Debbie Macomber. When Katherine O’Connor, who writes Christmas letters for other people, meets Dr. Wynn Jeffries, a child psychologist, at the French cafe on Blossom Street, their opposing viewpoints on raising children ruin Katherine’s Christmas cheer.
“Holidays on Ice” by David Sedaris. An anthology of humorous Christmas tales and essays features excerpts from the author’s “Barrel Fever” and “Naked,” as well as “The Santaland Diaries,” “Season’s Greetings to Our Friends and Family,” and a new tale of holiday mayhem.
“Eggnog Murder” by Leslie Meier. Collects holiday-themed mysteries by three popular authors including “Eggnog Murder” by Leslie Meier, in which a gift-wrapped bottle of eggnog proves to be a killer concoction for a Tinkers Cove local, and Lucy Stone must seek out the murdering mixologist.
If you have a question that you would like to see answered in this column, mail it to Nicole Fowles, Delaware County District Library, 84 E. Winter St., Delaware, OH 43015, or call us at 740-362-3861. You can also email your questions by visiting the library’s web site at www.delawarelibrary.org or directly to Nicole at [email protected] No matter how you contact us, we’re always glad you asked!