Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Gadget Zoos and eBooks Oh My!

There was this little study posted recently by Pew, maybe you’ve heard of it?

And it’s getting talked about everywhere, including one of my go-to sites, Mashable. You can read their thoughts here.

The study basically goes over how libraries are used in various communities, particularly when it comes to eBooks and technology in general. It goes on to discuss how libraries are adjusting their services to meet the needs of their patrons in this digital age.

And this got me to thinking – what does your library do to meet these needs in a time when ALL THE THINGS are going online? 

It’s crazy how in one shift on the reference desk, I can have one patron come in wanting to know where the card catalog, the literal paper card catalog, and I have to explain that it’s all online now and point them to the OPAC. And then the next interaction involves a patron asking for my help in downloading eBooks to their brand-new-out -of -the -box iPad. 

So, my library has adjusted … in the form of Gadget Zoos and eBooks 101 workshops.
We purchase the latest and greatest devices, tinker with them, download books to them, create step by step instructions for downloading said books, and basically get to know them…you know, as well as you can get to know a device. Then we release them to the public in a Gadget Zoo workshop where we teach our patrons all we know in hopes that it helps them to make an informed purchasing decision. 

Oh, and we circulate Nooks and Kindles so if they like what they learn at the class, they can check one out and see if they still like it in action! 

In our eBooks 101 workshops we go over the OverDrive website and what an eBook is and a little bit about publisher restrictions. We then break out into device specific groups and show them exactly how to download their ebooks and answer any questions they may have. A lot of troubleshooting as you can imagine. But also a lot of fun and our patrons are incredibly thankful for this service. 

But enough about what my library does, what does your library do to keep up with the trends?

1 comment:

  1. I haven't visit a library in a while,but I'm going to start back doing so.I don't have a personal ereader,I have the app for my computer for when I want to read a book.But,I want to get back to the traditional way of reading of paperbacks.