The Technology-Based ReferenceInterview Gadget Edition: Spring 2011
Deep breath... Relax. It’s just technology.
Our Goal• To welcome technology-based reference questions from patrons
By...• Discussing the similarities between traditional, non-tech reference and gadget-based reference• Examining different scenarios of gadget-based questions• Learning about mobile devices
What business are we
Are we in the bookbusiness?Historically, books were valuable.We protected the books.Books contained knowledge,information.
Librarianshipreally isn’t about“protecting”books. Is it?
Are we in thethe informationbusiness?Books contain information.But now information is found in moreplaces than just books.
Are we in the computerbusiness?It feels like it...
Are we in the entertain-ment business?We offer novels, DVDs, videogames, storytimes, show movies,present performers, etc.
What business are we really in?
We are in the PEOPLE business!
Customer Service & Community
Why Gadgets?• People have gadgets.• People use these gadgets to get the services we provide.• We could ignore their needs, but would that make people happy with us?
Not so much.
Whoa! Wait a minute.• There are a lot of gadgets out there!• There’s no way we can deal with all of these.
Our excuses• I’m not a techie.• I don’t even have a smart phone.• I’ve never read an eBook.• I’m afraid I’ll break it.• I don’t have any interest in technology.• I have too much real library work to do.
Tip #1When confronted with a techquestion, don’t dwell on the tech and think like a librarian.
Why You Can Do Tech Reference...• You are smart.• You already research so many different things for people.• None of us are subject specialists in EVERYTHING! But yet we research it all.• Tech reference is still reference.• There is a lot of information already written about technology -- you just need to find it.
Why you shouldIt rocks making people happy!
The resources are available.✴ The blog: http://nhdbooks.blogspot.com✴The help instructions: http://nh.lib.overdrive.com/help.htm✴The compatible device site: http://nh.lib.overdrive.com >>Supported Readers & Players✴Google! Googling the error message is always helpful!✴CNet Reviews: http://cnet.com✴Mobile Read Forums: http://mobileread.com/forums
The reference interview
Traditional• Greet the patron• Listen to question• Reword the question to confirm• Provide answer/resource• Conclude interview
Questions We Answer• History• Science• Genealogy• Readers’ Advisory• Value of antiques, coins, paintings
Do we say...?• I’m sorry, but I didn’t take any art classes in college. I wouldn’t know where to start to help.• Oh, I’m too young to know anything about history. Please go ask that older librarian for help.• I don’t have time to listen to you talk about genealogy.• Oh! You read that trash! I can’t help you.
Why do we giveourselves permissionto get out of gadgetquestions?There’s really no good excuse.
Differences• There are differences between the tech-based reference interview and the tradition one.• Let’s start at the beginning...
What to look for:• The patron walks to the reference desk holding a gadget still in its original packaging.• There is a desperate look in their eyes.• There is an edge in their voice that can only come from a frustrating evening trying to make technology work correctly.
GreetingYour patron might have spentseveral hours fighting withtechnology.
They might be feeling...• Angry• Frustrated• Stupid• Embarrassed• Resentful (of the library, librarians, you!)
What You Cannot Do• Run away• Point to a coworker• Yell for a coworker• Sigh (audibly)• Roll your eyes
Do not shut down.
What you’ve gotta do:• Take a deep breath.• Continue smiling.• Show enthusiasm.
Fake it, if necessary.
ConfidenceJust like trained guard dogs, gadgets can sense fear.
Confidence?By smiling, being friendly, and showing confidence you are takingcontrol of the situation. You can’t let the question fill you with fearand addle your brain.
Tip #2From the moment the interview begins, you caninformally start gathering information about thegadget and the problem.Use the greeting period as an opportunity to figureout how to proceed with the interview.
New, fully packaged
Feel flattered!You are a tech superstar in their eyes.
Before breaking the seal:• Ask what they want to use the gadget for.• Is it compatible?• Look at some reviews.• Explain that it probably needs to be fully charged before you can help.
RepackagedWhat it means...
Repackaged• They’ve tried it out.• It was confusing.• Something didn’t work right.• They need help getting started.
Summary: New Gadget• Make note of the model• Check that the device will do what the patron hopes it will do.• Find reviews. Good buy? Will the PERSON be HAPPY accessing the LIBRARY SERVICE with this device?• Find and print/email the user guide to the patron.• Direct them to the getting started information for the library service.• Send the patron home to charge the device/read through the user
Exercise: Is thiscompatible?PocketBook Pro 602
Scenario: Can I read library eBooks on this? How?• Find out it if is compatible with NHDB service.• Is there anything else special to know about it?• (Try Googling the model name. A good resource is the MobileRead forums.)• Does it get good reviews? Did you find any YouTube videos?• Can you find a user guide?
New gadget, nopackaging• Similar steps as the packaged gadget, but lacking: • Clearly labeled gadget ID • Meager instructions • Cables • Ability to play the “go-home- to-charge-it” card.
What’s probably happening...• They’ve either had the device and haven’t been using it (for fear of having to set it up)• Or they’ve been using the phone, player, or ereader for other purposes and now want to make the gadget work with a library service you offer. • Either they tried to make it work with the service and ran into problems. • Or they didn’t know where to start.
Tip #3Keep your questions nonthreatening.
Some of my favs:• When did you get it?• Where did you get it from?• Have you been using it a lot? / Do you like it?• What did you get it to specifically do?
And finally...• What is it not doing properly? You now have enough information to determine if the problem lies with the abilities of the device or the actions of the user.
How to manage unsuccessful results• Did you get a specific error message?• Can you tell me what it was? With the help of Google, even a partial error message and the name of the device or service (software) will point you to good results.• Can I direct you to a tutorial to help you get started? Oftentimes it is simply user error that causes unsuccessful results. The best way to manage user error problems is by knowing the steps of using the service with various devices!
Researching Specific Error Messages• Finding an answer to an error message is like detective work!• You might need to dig to find the right answer.• Places to start include: The blog, MobileReads forums, a Google search of the error message.
In summary:• What is the device/model?• What does the patron wish to do with the device?• What is the device not doing correctly?• What is the patron not doing correctly?• What error messages are there?
Research Question:I’m a Mac user.I have a new Nook.I get the error, “User Not Activated.”What should I do?
Logic QuestionWhat’s happening here: My husband and I both have Nooks. When I connect the Nook to my computer I keep losing my eBooks. What can I do?
Know-the-service questionI can’t get this audiobook on my iPod
Questions to ask:Is this the first time you are using the service?Which type of computer are you using?Have you installed the free software? (OverDrive Media Console)Did you download the audiobook?Can you play it from the OverDrive Media Console program?Have you set your import settings in iTunes and are you manuallymanaging your music and videos?Is iTunes open? Can you see your iPod?
The “faulty” device (no patron-supplied error message) 1) The device is incompatible with the service: • Check the compatibility list. 2) The user needs assistance to learn how to make the device work as you suspect it should. • Provide them with the getting started guide. It could be simple user error 3) The device itself is faulty or the DRM is causing problems. • Contact OverDrive support or manufacturer support.
AndroidGoogle’s Operating System
Android Hints• Is it an Android? Look for the • Direct download of MP3 “Google” brand or the four audiobooks, but transfer (with “buttons” at the bottom of the cable) from computer screen. recommended• Open source operating system • Direct download of eBooks with OMC app.• Used by many, many phone and tablet manufacturers • To download eBooks, must be authorized with an Adobe ID.• Each manufacturer makes changes to the system
AppleWhat to know
Apple Hints• Uses proprietary DRM • Read OverDrive eBooks with OMC app or Bluefire Reader• Purchase music & video app through iTunes • All eBook apps must be• Purchase eBooks through authorized with an Adobe ID iBooks app • Directly download MP3• Purchase MP3 audiobooks with audiobooks via wireless or cellular connection. Amazon • It’s recommended to download MP3 to computer and transfer with cable via iTunes
Dedicated Readers• May offer wireless or cellular • Often developed on closed download of eBooks purchased Android operating system from store• All OverDrive eBooks are transferred from computer with cable via Adobe Digital Editions (or Sony Reader Library)• Early returns through Adobe Digital Editions (or Sony Reader Library) only
The Kindle• Created by Amazon • Now allows wireless downloads of Audible audiobooks (wifi, not cellular)• Uses proprietary DRM • Wireless Internet access to check• Does not use EPUB (the format email, use Wikipedia, etc. NHDB uses)• Not compatible with OverDrive• Allows wireless downloads of Kindle eBooks