Serving UpDownloadsBest practices in ereading customer serviceKaty Dillman, James Blackstone Memorial LibraryPhoto: Flickr user sucelloleiloes
Why support digital downloads?Libraries have a huge opportunity to attract new patrons to this and other services andshow how we continue to add value to their lives. We provide computer help, and we viewe-readers/tablets as an extension of that help.— Judy Sparzo, Reference Associate , Fairfield Public Library, Fairfield• Pew Research Center report on libraries and ebooklending findings:• Ebooks reading on the rise – 16% in 2011 to 23% in 2012• 40% of Americans have tablet/ereader; 50% have smartphones• Public libraries offering ebook lending: from 38% to 76% in last 5years• Growing awareness of ebook lending, but most people/patronsstill don’t know about it Of those who have borrowed ebooks, 46% likely borrow ereaderwith books on it; 32% likely take downloading class
Why support digital downloads?• Potential frustrations:• Limited ebook offerings• Device/format compatibility issues• Book wanted is not available/waiting list for ebook• Navigating steps to checkout/download can be tricky• Expectations can be managed — talk to patrons• eBook lending is still new and improving all the time• Libraries and groups working with publishers to increase access
Why support digital downloads?• eBooks new medium for accessing knowledge• Libraries have responsibility/opportunity to provide access Includes helping patrons navigate process• Patrons have different levels of tech knowledge:still need librarians!• Advocacy and access• Navigating downloads• Hands-on experience with new technologyOn ebook downloading help:• I view it as an extension of reference service.• It’s an opportunity to bridge an information gap in the community.• People LOVE it. It’s one of the most appreciated, referred, and in-demand services we offer.• It shows that the library is current, relevant, and responsive to changing technology.• It helps e-book circulation.Ultimately I think it is our responsibility to be aware of and respond to the information needs of ourcommunities as a whole. We provide e-reader training because it’s information that ourcommunity needs right now.—Rebecca Harlow, Head of Reference and Adult Services, Case Memorial Library, Orange
Digital Books @ Blackstone• Offer Digital Downloads• Access to Overdrive Digital Media for audiobook/ebook lending• OneClickDigital for additional audiobooks through iconn.org• Support patrons with:• Customized handouts• One-on-one help• Offer classes on downloading from digital catalog• Devices for staff training/use
Digital Books @ Blackstone• Handouts• Two-sided half-sheets• Basic steps for downloading• Includes our website, email, & phone number• Made for Nook, Kindle ereaders & tablets, iPads/iphones
Digital Books @ Blackstone• One-On-One Help• Try to answer questions as asked• Can be time-consuming, but still part of Reference services• Walk person through steps, check book out to our Referencecard while they watch, answer questions as they come up Put monitor on lazy susan stand so patrons can see screen• Can’t always answer a question Device issue User/home computer error Patron responsible for learning device;Library staff responsible for learningcheck-out/downloading process
Digital Books @ Blackstone• Downloading Classes• Classes for Kindle check-out/downloading Contracted with technology instructor to offer Kindle class• Classes for app-based devices (iPad, Kindle Fire, smartphones) Held by on-staff librarian, gave out more detailed help sheet Lasted 90 minutes, much time spent retrieving/resetting passwords• Pros: able to take multiple people throughcheckout process in one shot; answer Q’s theydidn’t know they had• Cons: people move at different paces, levels ofhelp needed vary, difficult to quickly look upanswer in front of group
Digital Books @ Blackstone• Circulating eReaders• Started with 6 Nooks with adult titles, 6 Nooks with kid’s titles• Kept 2 Nooks for adults, rest to Children’s (summer reading)• Added 2 Kindle Touch, 2 Nook Touch 5 new, fiction/nonfiction books on each• Circ for week usually give more time• With power cord Don’t worry about always recharging• Check-out/return devices at Ref• Looking to circ tablets at some point? Issues with user data/resetting info
Digital Books @ Blackstone• Staff Training is key• Must be comfortable/familiar with check-out/download process• Get staff hands-on with devices, encourage use(checkout/download)• Kept in our Reference office: iPad (1st gen) Kindle Fire & Touch Nook Color & Touch• Staff (Ref especially) encouraged to borrow/handle devices,check-out books, get familiar with devices/processes
Digital Books @ Blackstone• Need to own newer/latest devices?• Ebook formats: Kindle & EPUB are main, also in PDF, browser• Three ways to download ebooks: Kindle way (Kindle books and PDF; wireless and USB transfer) Digital Editions way (EPUB and PDF, USB transfer) App way (EPUB books; wireless transfer)• iPad, Kindle Fire, Nook Color, smartphones• If familiar with these downloadingprocesses, do not necessarily need latestdevices• Will depend on how knowledgeable/in-depthyou want to be about specific device
Other Considerations• Frustrations with digital book availability/process• Some books USB-transfer only or not available at all• OK to share that we’re in struggle with publishers License restrictions and/or cost-prohibitive prices Make patrons your ally Stay generally aware of news/trends, read ebook articles Attend meetings re: digital media – fight for your patrons!Image from The Passive Voice blog: http://www.thepassivevoice.com/03/2012/penguin-annoys-library-readers-with-usb-only-ebooks/
Other Considerations• Promoting service/downloads• Most people don’t know libraries lend digital books• Promote on: Links & pictures on website, Facebook, Twitter Write-up in blog, local papers, email newsletter Flyers & signs – in library or local businesses In-catalog & in-personArapahoe Library District (CO) Facebook Post
Other ConsiderationsHow about TV?Blog about ad: http://goodereader.com/blog/e-book-news/the-first-ebook-television-commercial-increases-circulation-for-one-library/TV Ad link: http://vimeo.com/55612963
Digital Books in ConnecticutHenry Carter Hull Library, ClintonLibrary Website
Digital Books in ConnecticutGuilford Free LibraryLibrary Email Newsletter
Digital Books in ConnecticutEC Scranton Library, MadisonLibrary Email NewsletterSenior Center Newsletter
Digital Books in ConnecticutDarien LibraryLibrary Website
Service around ConnecticutFrancie Berger, Reference Librarian, Hall Memorial Library, Ellington CTSince Kindle and Nook are most common, weve developed handouts on basicoperations as well as ebook downloads from Overdrive. When patrons comein we give them the appropriate handouts and then do a quick demo onOverdrive. As for other devices, I try to find youtube videos that they can watchon their own.Louise LeClaire, Tech Svcs, Cheshire Public Library, CheshireWe provide "cheat sheets" …as hard copies in the library and also onlinethrough our website. These are the first things we give people when they have e-reader questions, and is often all the help they need.If more extensive help is needed, we offer e-Reader Help Desk sessions acouple of times a month where patrons can sign up for an hour of 1-on-1 helpwith a staff member. We try to keep the focus on how to use the deviceto download library books, but there are always general questions about thedevices themselves.Rebecca Harlow, Head of Reference and Adult Services, Case Memorial Library,OrangeOffers ereader/Overdrive training by appointment, as well as custom handoutscovering downloading/holds/returns.―I think no matter what type of help you offer it’s important to establish limits onwhat you will provide and reevaluate your services periodically.‖Handouts(in person,online)Demos(on screen,videos)One-on-one(drop-in,appointment-based)
Service Around the NationMain Concerns:• Teaching patrons US libraries offering similar services to CT• Staff training Libraries have highlighted 2 key points for staff:• Know what you need to know• Get hands-on with devices
Staff: Know What You Need to KnowTwinsburg Public Library (TPL), Ohio, created a CoreCompetencies list.• Two levels of competencies, including device-specific troubleshooting• List will vary depending on library size/staff &patron needs• Created suggested Core Compentencies listbased on TPL list - Use these as a guide to―know what you need to know.‖http://libraryrenewal.org/2011/11/08/helping-staff-help-themselves-ereaders-and-training/
Staff: Know What You Need to KnowSuggested Core Competencies – Should Know:• Know main devices available & compatible with digital books.• Know the difference between tablets & e-readers.• Know the difference between Wi-Fi and 3G.• Know what an ―app‖ is and how to download one on the tabletvs. the computer.• Know basic FAQs: why there are waiting lists, how to explainpublisher licensing.• Know how to check out an item, return an item early, downloadsoftware associated with digital books, and how to transfer a file.• Know the basic difference between file types.
Staff: Know What You Need to KnowSuggested Core Competencies – Helpful-but-not-necessary-to-know• Know how to uninstall software and reset devices.• Know how to purchase books online on each device and how theprocess compares to the checkout process for OverDrive.
Hands-On Experience for StaffDouglas County Libraries (DCL) in Colorado and La Crosse Public Libraryin Wisconsin developed programs to get their staffers hands-onexperience with ereaders/tablets. They feel the best way to train staff iswith hands-on experience.• DCL’s Foundation provided staff members with $50 toward the purchase ofone of six preselected ereaders or tablets. Rebate counted ascompensation, employees received the full amount after taxes.• 104 employees took part.• Director Jamie LaRue wrote, ―It was cheap, effective, and quick. It movedthe whole staff rapidly forward in tech savvy.‖http://libraryrenewal.org/2011/11/08/helping-staff-help-themselves-ereaders-and-training/
Hands-On Experience for StaffLa Crosse Public Library provides ereaders (Nooks or Kindles) to staffon an extended loan.• The devices remain the property of the library – for duration ofemployment, staff members can take device home for personal use(with the expectation that they will use Overdrive).• Expected to share the skills that they have gained by using device insome capacity with the library.• Along with the loan of the device, they get an annual stipend of $50 tospend on ebooks.…ebook/ereader training [for staff] ―tends to be expensive and slippery.It costs a lot – in equipment, presenter time, or staff time – to give asolid introduction to all the issues, and unless a staff member USESthat particular device, it all fades away fast.‖—DCL Director Jamie LaRuehttp://libraryrenewal.org/2011/11/08/helping-staff-help-themselves-ereaders-and-training/
Things to Do• Know what you need to know• Get staffers hands-on with devices• Purchase some basic devices• Routinely check out digital books• Offer training• Classes: Overdrive App & Dedicated eReader (Digital Editions-basedand/or Kindle-based)• One-on-one: drop-in or sign-up• Offer hand-outs• Personalize with library info• Specific enough to be helpful, general enough to be relevant• Available in library, online• Use web, Facebook, Twitter, blogs to remind people aboutdigital offerings from library, start conversation aboutdownloading• Make it as easy as possible to checkout digital media!
Collaborate & Sharehttp://digitalhelp.weebly.com/• Created website to share documents, handouts, program ideas, etc.• Email me to share ideas, files, etc. Let’s build a great support site together!