Defining success when it comes to your Dial-A-Story service

Submitted by loriayre on Thu, 07/29/2021 - 02:46 PM PDT

One of the challenges of offering a dial-a-story service is that the people who need it most are not online. That's the point. We are offering a service for people that don't have Internet access and rely on their phone for connectivity.  So, putting ads on the Facebook page and on the library website aren't going to reach the target audience.

We've see the most success with libraries that promote the phone number in flyers that get posted around town, some have included the number in radio spots (public service announcements are free!), and making sure the Dial-a-Story numbers are on the calendar that gets broadly distributed online and in person.

It's a bit of a slow process to get people started with dial-a-story (DAS) and it is easy to think it isn't a "popular" service because people aren't jumping on it right from the start.  But it is a slow ramp up.  We are seeing it taking a couple months just to get things started and then there are some fits and starts for a couple more months and then the user base starts and listening minutes start to slowly but steadily increase.

The more a library changes their story, the more often people will come back.  We encourage libraries to change the featured story on each line AT LEAST every week. That's what we offer in our Storytime Direct Dial-a-Story service.  We rotate the story every week and we are working up to making it a new story every day!  

Because of the work involved when a library provides their own DAS service, they only put up a new story every month or so but with help (like grabbing some good stories from our Storytime Commons) you can easily post a new story every week.  And that will help keep those kids engaged!

We've now got a few customers that have gone over the 1000 minute per month mark.  That means some 1000 minutes of kids listening and learning and being engaged with a book instead of staring at their computer screens (or getting into some other kind of trouble!)  and that makes us super happy!