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In the spring of 2010, Hunter Library at Western Carolina University formed a committee – of course – to explore the possibility of expanding its Leisure Reading collection by offering e-reader devices for patron use. The committee faced a number of questions: Why should we do this? Which device(s) should we buy? How are we going to manage the technical aspects, particularly the cataloging? What materials should we load onto the devices? How will we manage circulation of the items? How will we measure use of and satisfaction with the devices and the content that are selected? And, critically, how will we do all of this with limited funds? An inter-departmental task force worked to answer these questions, choosing Amazon’s Kindle e-readers and implementing a pilot study to test them out. After a successful trial period, the library has moved the experiment from a project to a product. Assessment has been a key component throughout the process.
In this session, the presenters will answer the questions above, describing the process and lessons learned at Western Carolina University, and will offer suggestions to those hoping to initiate similar projects.