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?

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Wow! It’s so great to be here! I'm so excited to share my thoughts and insights about the library field with you all! 

I’ve been pondering this first post for the better part of a week … I could talk about that interesting Pew Internet study that hit the interwebs earlier this week … or how eBooks are taking a toll on libraries and publishing … or how book clubs are awesome and every library should have one or three … however, I chose to leave those beefy posts for a bit later. And tell you a little about me because it’s always nice to know a little about the voice behind the voice, if you know what I mean. 

So grab your coffee and prop up your feet … go ahead … I’ll wait ….

So remember when you interviewed for your first library job, or if you’re not there yet, when you got asked that age old question “Why do you want to be a librarian?” 

To that I answer: I have a passion for reading (don’t we all) and I enjoy working with all kinds of people, which is a good thing considering I interact with a variety of folks on a daily basis.  But the BEST part, in my opinion, is ALL of the questions I get to ask every day! I thrive on questions and answers and am forever asking my coworkers, my twitter followers, and my family and friends oodles of questions. Even questioning things that I know the answer to, just do double check myself. 

And second best is the technology – oh the technology involved in librarianship – staggering how fast it moves huh!?  Part of my job is to learn and to actively keep up with this technology….and, well, I’ll be honest, it makes my heart skip a beat. 

But that’s enough about me – tell me about you dear readers – why did you decide to be a librarian? Or if you’re pursuing your MLS, what made you make that leap? 

Til next time …

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Welcome to the New 2013 Official BEA Librarian Blogger: Erin Holt

Before we introduce the 2013 Official BEA Librarian Blogger, we want to thank our 2012 Official BEA Librarian Blogger, Julie Jurgens. Julie was a pleasure to work with on our Librarian Blog for BEA 2012.

Now we would like to welcome the 2013 Official BEA Librarian Blogger: Erin Holt, Reference Librarian in Franklin, TN. Erin loves young adult literature, social media and  inter library loan; she looks forward to ending each day with her nose in a book, letting her imagination run free. Before attending library school, Erin worked in advertising in New York City. You can follow her on twitter at twitter.com/LibrarianE13, and, of course, here on the Official BEA Librarian Blog!

Please join us in giving Erin a warm welcome to the BEA blogosphere! We're so excited to be working with Erin this year and can't wait to start hearing her thoughts & insights; and we're sure she'll start some dynamic conversations with all our Librarian followers about the industry and BEA!