The Ten Commandments of Circulating Tablets


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This program will cover the basics of setting up a circulating tablet program including policy creation, security concerns, device selection, content selection and creation, and implementation of the program. The presenters will also share tablet experiences drawn from public and academic library environments and give an overview of trends in library tablet use.

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The Ten Commandments of Circulating Tablets

  1. 1. Stephanie Freedle University of Arkansas Libraries Physics Library Anne Gresham Springdale Public Library Kathleen Lehman University of Arkansas Libraries Physics Library
  2. 2. Thou shalt Consider the purpose of thy program What do you wish to accomplish? • Device comparison and general exploration for patrons? • Themed tablets, such as a Nook filled with Westerns • Roaming reference and library services extension • Meet the needs of various patron groups? An iPad for homebound use? This will determine your device choice, checkout lengths, etc.
  3. 3. Thou shalt Consider Thy patrons • Who owns tablets? Are we keeping in mind those who don’t? • What support/instruction will they need to get started? Understand there may be a learning curve with device use. • Are we making sure to facilitate use? • Power outlets • Wireless network • Device restrictions
  4. 4. Thou shalt honor thy library This is a perfect opportunity to promote what your library has! Load the tablets with the apps for library resources • Overdrive, Freegal, Mango, etc. *Test all apps before releasing them to patrons! Promote other library services • Add library website to home screen • Add library events to the calendar or library photos to Photos
  5. 5. A screenshot of the iPad set up at Springdale Public Library
  6. 6. An example of how books loaded on the University of Arkansas Libraries’ iPads appear in the catalog.
  7. 7. Thou shalt develop clear regulations for patrons Things to consider: • Loan period (think about your purpose) • Late returns • Damages • Theft • Replacement costs • Renewals or checkout limits • Age limits • Patron agreements • When are they signed? • How long until they have to sign again?
  8. 8. Examples of borrowing agreements
  9. 9. Thou shalt prepare and empower library staff • Involve staff in the implementation of the project • Provide staff training and a forum for staff discussion • Encourage staff checkouts
  10. 10. Thou shalt honor thy devices Have a plan for what to do when a device is returned and who cares for it: • Apple Configurator setup • Syncing trays and storage • Physical maintenance and cleaning • Staff workflow and record keeping Pictured: An Apple synching tray that attaches to a Mac and provides easy synching, charging, and storage.
  11. 11. Thou shalt have a plan for replacement and upgrading Accidents happen. Newer models come out. Be ready. • Budget for upgrades and replacements • Clear policies for patron billing • Explore warranties. (i.e., Apple Care - covers accidental damage)
  12. 12. Thou shalt review and evaluate your program How will you measure your program’s success? How can patrons request apps, books, or modifications? • Circulation statistics • Surveys • Informal feedback channels
  13. 13. Thou shalt attempt to spend someone else’s money • Look for grants or other special funding • Consider smaller grants or donations • Consider both start-up and up-keep costs in your requests and budgeting
  14. 14. Thou shalt not walk in darkness Contact us Stephanie Freedle – Anne Gresham – Kathleen Lehman – Public libraries in Arkansas may also reach out to Donovan Mays at the Arkansas State Library. Donovan can work with your library on technology plans, provide workshops, present technology “petting zoos”, and more. Contact Donovan at: (501) 682-5291 computersARLibraries/Pages/TechnicalAssistance.aspx
  15. 15. Check out what other libraries have done: Eau Claire (WI) Public Library: Springdale (AR) Public Library: Bentonville (AR) Public Library: University of Arkansas-Fayetteville Libraries: University of North Texas:
  16. 16. Image sources Slide 1: “The Ten Commandments” *video production+. (1956). Paramount Pictures. Slide 2: Devices from Slide 3: Slide 4: App icons from iTunes Slide 6: david-wilkerson-may-19-1931-april-27-2011-96260864.html Slide 9: “The Ten Commandments” [video production]. (1956). Paramount Pictures. Slide 10: Slide 11: and Slide 12: “The Ten Commandments” *video production+. (1956). Paramount Pictures. Slide 13: wealth/