In 1996, the Chief of Staff (CSAF) of the US Air Force created a professional reading list to develop a common frame of reference among Air Force members – and every CSAF since then has continued the Professional Reading Program. The books are always available for check-out in our over 100 US Air Force libraries around the world. The 2011 list was selected with an eye to titles that were available electronically.
The Air Force, along with all military services, has a high number of deployments and our Airmen are often on the go. Having titles available in downloadable format as well as the traditional formats makes it easier for our Airmen to learn about leadership, military heritage and military strategy. There’s something for everyone – from Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Relin to Cyber War by Richard A. Clarke and Robert Knake.
When the 14 title CSAF list was released in January, we bought all nine titles offered by OverDrive. So our customers could find this new collection easily, OverDrive staff added a special category for the CSAF books, front and center on our landing page.
We also asked OverDrive to work with the publishers of the remaining titles on a case by case basis – to date, one has agreed to add their title in EPUB format for us. We’re using the OverDrive Reports function to closely monitor waiting lists. One of our reference librarians designed a brochure template for all libraries to customize and hand out to their customers with library holdings – and information on how to sign up for an OverDrive account. We’re adding more customers daily and when they join to read the CSAF books, we hope they’ll stick around to enjoy our other titles. Time, and the Reports function, will tell.
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