Practical Tips to Help Patrons with eBooks


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Tips and information for library staff to help their patrons learn how to use their e-readers and how to download ebooks from Overdrive. First presented in April 2011 and updated in Sept 2011.

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Practical Tips to Help Patrons with eBooks

  1. 1. Practical Tips to Help Patrons with eBooks<br />Kathy PetlewskiPlymouth District Library2011<br />
  2. 2. If possible, purchase a variety of e-readers for staff use.<br />Our goal was to have every person who staffed a public service desk become comfortable with all seven devices and an expert on one.<br />Staff was encouraged to check out an e-reader for a week or two & practice downloading OverDrive materials.<br />Train Your Staff First !<br />
  3. 3. Not only librarians, but circulation staff wanted to participate.<br />There were definitely some “hot” e-readers and others that no one wanted to use.<br />Even among tech-savvy librarians, the steepest learning curve was with the iPad since it came with no instructions. (Think of it as a large iPhone!)<br />Staff Reaction<br />
  4. 4. As part of my device evaluation process, I described my experiences in my blog – The Well-Rounded Librarian. Many staff members followed my postings as well as those by Holly Hibner, who also blogged her evaluations.<br /><br /><br />Help from Blog-land<br />
  5. 5. Inability to register some e-readers due to restrictions on Library WiFi access.<br />Staff computers didn’t have administrative rights, so they couldn’t install Adobe software.<br />Restrictions on Adobe Digital Editions – only 6 authorizations per account!<br />Practical Side of Staff Training<br />
  6. 6. Offer patron instruction in a variety of formats!<br />Handouts for patrons to take home with them.<br />Online instructionsspecific to your own Library.<br />Videos on YouTube from live presentations.<br />Slide Presentationson SlideShare.<br /><br />Then On To Patron Training<br />
  7. 7. All come with wifi and some with 3G, depending on model.<br />Lightweight at 8.7 oz with stereo speakers.<br />Over 750,000 titles in Kindle version at Also “lending” option for a select number of books.<br />Offers “syncing” between devices.<br />Battery life – 8,000 pages with wifi & 3G off. (approx 20 days)<br />Will soon be used with OverDrive.<br />Kindle Reader<br />
  8. 8. Kobo Reader<br />Comes with wifi already installed. Also “syncs” between devices with apps.<br />Black & white, uses e-ink technology reducing glare.<br />Lightweight at under 8 oz<br />Preloaded with 100 classic books.<br />Battery life – 10,000 pages with wifi off.<br />May be used with OverDrive.<br /><br />
  9. 9. Original Nook<br />Black & white, uses e-ink technology reducing glare but has color touch pad at bottom.<br /> 12.1 oz in weight & shorter battery life than Kindle due to color pad.<br />Some books may be “loaned” between friends. Advertises “over 2 million books” online but really 500,000 not including free.<br />May be used with OverDrive.<br />Comes with wifi & 3G, <br />depending on the model.<br />
  10. 10. Nook Color<br />Comes with wifi only, but built in social networking ability.<br />15.8 oz in weight, external speaker and 8 hr. battery life.<br />“Read to Me” children’s picture books available.<br />Build on “Droid” platform & includes several apps.<br />May be used with OverDrive.<br />LCD 7” color touch screen.<br />
  11. 11. Nook Simple Touch<br /><ul><li>WiFi only at this point
  12. 12. Lightweight at under 7.5 oz.
  13. 13. 6” touchscreen with e-ink technology
  14. 14. Battery life of 2 months (with 30 min. per day use.)
  15. 15. May be used with OverDrive.</li></li></ul><li>Sony Reader<br />No Wifi except on “Daily Edition” version & no external speakers.<br />Must be connected to PC to get books.<br />Black & white, uses e-ink technology reducing glare.<br />Lightweight at 7.5 oz<br />200,000 books from Sony Reader Store.<br />Battery life – 14 days.<br />May be used with OverDrive.<br />
  16. 16. Apple iPad I or II<br />Comes with wifi & 3G depending on the model.<br />Full color touch 9.7” LED backlit screen and weighs 1.5 lbs. or less.<br />Up to 10 hours of battery life.<br />Access over 150,000 titles from iBookstore from Apple. <br />Special free “app” for OverDrive from Apple App Store.<br />
  17. 17. Formal presentation to a large gathering using a PowerPoint presentation and lots of time for Q & A.<br />Have devices available for hands-on time after the presentation, depending on the number of attendees. Sometimes this isn’t practical.<br />Find out how many already own devices and how many are considering purchasing them.<br />Different Kinds of Programs – Formal Presentation<br />
  18. 18. Informal drop-by sessions in a less formal environment. <br />Have devices ready for hands-on by patrons. Make sure all are fully charged!<br />Make several staff members available for specific questions.<br />Include a laptop connected to OverDrive site so you can demo how to search and download.<br />
  19. 19. First Attempt at “Informal” Training<br />March 17, 2011 ~ 7:00 – 8:30 pm ~ Drop-in Session<br />
  20. 20. Concept of 1 license = 1 book = possible waiting lists despite the fact it’s electronic.<br />Necessity of downloading software (Adobe or OverDrive Console) before you try to get your digital item.<br />Reality that most libraries only allow their own residents to download from their site.<br />Despite the fact that your book “expires”, you must delete the file from your device.<br />Help is available from your Library !!<br />Be Sure to Talk About….<br />
  21. 21. We have Adobe Digital Editions loaded on all Service Desk Computers so we can show patrons what it looks like. E-readers are also kept at Reader’s Advisory Desk.<br />Although we can’t download OverDrive e-books, we have 500 of the most frequently requested Project Gutenberg books in our catalog that we can get for patrons – even for Kindle owners on a dedicated machine.<br />One-On-One Help at the Desk<br />
  22. 22. Call us to set up one-on-one appointments when we are off the desk.<br />Regularly scheduled hours in the computer lab for e-reader help are now planned and an E-reader Users Group had their first meeting in June.<br />For More Detailed Help…<br />
  23. 23. Gives patrons a chance to share experiences with various devices and accessories that we may not have purchased.<br />Information sharing from your staff to patrons – ie: what to do about Kobos, when will Kindles work on OverDrive, new updates to OverDrive site etc.<br />Shows the Library is actively involved in e-books and e-readers.<br />Why Have a User’s Group?<br />
  24. 24. Have a speaker from Barnes and Noble or Best Buy do a program at your Library. (Royal Oak Public)<br />Be a guest speaker at one of the Barnes and Noble stores in your area. (Howell Library)<br />Great Ideas From Other Libraries<br />
  25. 25. OverDrive’s Latest Help<br />Now has e-reader device-specific help in an easy to use format.<br />Step by step instructions by format and brand.<br />Still must back out of this page and fill out help form if problem can’t be solved with the MyHelp! Screens.<br />
  26. 26. News to Make Us Happy, Perhaps!<br />Patron driven acquisition, an opt-in program that will allow readers to recommend a title to a library or buy it for the library if budget option enabled.<br /> DRM-free “open e-book” titles from certain publishers. (currently 1500 titles available)<br />Touch screen e-book download stations being tested.<br />Working with Adobe to remove “authorization” from patron end.<br />
  27. 27. News to Make Us Happy, Perhaps!<br />Ability to do “early returns” on e-book titles on mobile devices. <br />Max-Access e-books from Lonely Planet and other publishers.<br />Streamlined searching with all formats listed under one entry for a title.<br />All of these changes mean that staff must inform/train patrons and other staff members.<br />
  28. 28. The Continuing Challenges<br />New devices constantly being released – how can we afford to keep up?<br />Possible incorrect information being given to users at point-of-sale.<br />New collections offered through vendors – ie: Disney Digital Storybooks<br />Changing publisher policies. (Harper Collins)<br />Trying to remember unique features for each device if you don’t use it often.<br />