Her Digital Story
Recent library school graduate Sam Chada has become a catalyst for digital development at Sandusky Library. She created My Digital Story, a series of four classes that introduces patrons and staff to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, ereaders, and web applications and helped ebook circulation almost double in six months—from 754 to 1,446.
“I think that everyone realizes the traditional library is evolving,” Chada says. “While people still come and love their physical books, they also want more.”
After introducing staff to online technologies and their application in the library, Chada introduced patrons to social media and other digital and web-based tools. Chada says that she not only focused on the how-to but also educated library patrons to be aware of the digital imprint they create.
This past winter, she planned a series of classes for local retailers on creating their own digital presence and helped prepare her coworkers for what she calls “the ebook boom of 2012.”
Chada’s work teaching patrons how to download ebooks helped the library obtain a $50,000 grant from the local Randolph J. and Estelle M. Dorn Foundation. The grant expanded the downloadable collection and put 24 ereaders into circulation.
Chada removes people’s fear of learning new technologies, says Catherine Hakala-Ausperk, executive director, Northeast Ohio Regional Library System, and one of Chada’s library school professors.
“She makes people believe they can do it,” Hakala-Ausperk says. “She’s a perfect example of tomorrow’s librarian.”