eReader Lending


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Slides for presentation at the 2011 Beyond Hope Library Conference in Prince George, BC. includes the steps for developing your own eReader lending program.

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  • Thank you for inviting me. My background, library technician diploma, grad 2009, started working as a permanent full-time public service assistant for the new Community Computing Centre at West Van a month before graduation. At my job I help the public with a range of computer questions, helping out not only with the libraries public computers, but with laptops and sometimes with people calling in with minor (library-related) issues with their home computers. I also work a lot with patrons with Library to Go the BC Public Libraries branch of Overdrive. When the International Kindle became available in December of 2009 I was one of the people included in the discussions of lending these devices out to the public. This was a project of the Technology Department, not our Information Services department. Although they were involved as well. One of the reasons we started thinking about lending eReaders was that we already made library eBooks and eAudiobooks available through Overdrive for our patrons, and eReaders seemed like another way to give our patrons an opportunity to try out a eBooks/eReaders without purchasing anything. The Kindle was chosen without too much thought for us. It was available first, and it was a familiar brand. We did know that we would be unable to load up library ebooks onto them, but we felt that for a pilot project, this would make the lending process smoother and easier for staff. We had several staff members from various departments choose 50 titles to have on the kindles, and then myself and our deputy director, purchased the titles and downloaded them all onto our original six kindles. This took a fair amount of time. At that point we started the process of working further on our program. The following powerpoint presentation will be talking about the steps involved in the process, and we will have time at the end for questions.
  • 75min – 1 hour (or less) for presentation, rest for questions Touch on each point, presentation will be any outline of WVML practices with examples of other programs interspersed
  • This is the important part – background of any program, everything that you do behind the scenes
  • Kindle? Sony? Kobo? Pandigital? iPad? Libre? Cost, ease of use, purpose. They are all pretty durable, but do think about how much work will be involved in maintaining the devices. How many is also related to cost and ease of use as well. As well as, what do you but on them? Nothing? 5 titles? 50? By request? The “why” – our why was to offer up a new format to our community to try out, a message that we are interested in new developments Your why might been to offer devices with “collections” on them – ie the mystery-must read kindle or to have books in your collection that would otherwise be gained by ILL. NVCL is lending Kobos and worked with Kobo to create a program that worked well for both the library and the company. Sony has an eReader program for libraries in the states, where they help set-up the program. You might also plan to allow patrons to request books to be purchased, at a cost, or one request each for free… Maybe set-up a wishlist on amazon or other website
  • Planning ahead means no surprises, and you’re ready for opportunities when they arise. A “package” of e-readers (and possibly purchased titles) has a pretty reasonable price tag. Grants – technology is attractive to funders, as are programs that promote equitable access to technology Donations – “adopt an e-book” or “sponsor an e-reader”? Again, technology is attractive to potential donors. (of note: Sony e-Readers come with free engraving) AND… if you haven’t thought yet about how you allocate materials budgets – with an eye to figuring out where e-books fit in – now is the time to start thinking about it!
  • Examples from the West Van library catalogue. Kindle has 650s for all of the titles included, while the sony and the kobo do not – mostly because they are demo units. Many libraries have their titles in a 520 field. Our cataloguers made the decision about the level of detail.
  • Sarah: We have zippered cases with barcodes and RFID tags, a contents list and basic borrower agreement.  Inside there is the cord, customized bsic instructions, user survey and of course, the device in it's case.  The RFID tag is purely cosmetic because metalic items cannot be read by RFID.
  • While we decided not to restrict borrowing, cost of replacement was set by policy - San Diego with Sony Readers, have to sign a waiver So do most academic libraries We don’t have a waiver, feeling that we let people walk out the door with very valuable items all the times. Work with what you already have in place.
  • It is helpful to ask beforehand- think about concerns before things go wrong We had a group of staff from our Technology and Technical Services department discussing the project, and late consulted with our communications librarian, circulation staff and information desk staff.
  • Same as any new program – but if there are restrictions, make sure that people know about it from the onset For example we put out a press release which was first picked up by a local blog, then the local community newspapers and then CBC, and even a Mexican Newspaper. You never know who is going to be interested! After our press release went out we went from 12 holds on our Kindles to over 150. Luckily, people have been really understanding about the long wait list. And, we do have reference models of the Kindle and other eReaders.
  • WVML monthly eReader seminar poster
  • Important! Patrons want to know how to use the resources that the library is offering. Staff need to have some training in case point person in unavailable. And to answer basic questions – how long is the loan, the waitlist, am I allowed to load books on the device, what other options are out there? Basic questions should be answerable by all staff
  • We had poplabs for staff before launching the program, and just after and we recently offered a refresher. There was also a lot of one-on-one training. In addition to this, while we were developing the program, we made the kindles available for staff to take home and try out. -Supporting Staff with Documentation Examples: Duotang with inhouse procedures and troubleshooting Circulation cheatsheet Documents on the employee intranet Google Site just for staff
  • Deb: What advice would you give our audience about how to roll out a program like this to staff? (What method of communication with staff has been most (or least) successful?) Rina: Face to face announcements (I went to meetings with Managers, Branch/Dept Heads, and Circ Sups and showed them the ereaders and talked them through what we would be doing and why); hands-on training; time for staff to play with the ereaders and get comfortable and excited about them. Sarah: After purcahse in December 2009, until we processed them (Spring 2010) the devices were available for staff to borrow and try out. After policies and procedures were decided we had several group and one-on-one hands-on training, and created easy to locate documentation (and have had refreshers!) Chris: Prior to the public launch last September, we launched in August with loans to our circ staff and our City Hall staff. This allowed Library staff to get used to the logistics of check-outs and check-ins, helped identify any unforeseen issues, and also allowed staff to become familar with operation of the units. This proved wise as I was not needed as the sole resource for any customers or staff who had utilization issues. General announcements to all staff proceeded actual launch to the public.
  • We’re learning as everyone else does- dropins have lots of questions on things that I don’t know. But we do need to be available to answer questions Emerging technologies can be scary, but fun!
  • This is a picture from one of our first eReader dropin sessions. Patrons dropped in at a predetermined time when a staff member was available – and dedicated to – answering questions on ebooks and ereaders. Since then interest seems to keep growing. We’ve had to adapt and expand to another space, from 4 in November to 40 in January! We answer questions ranging from “how do I turn this on?” to “if I annotate a library eBook, will the annotations still be available after the ebook expires?” Make sure you have someone available to research the answers to the more complicated questions, and can follow-up with the answers.
  • Have as much or as little as your patrons will use. Project Gutenberg is always an excellent resource, for free quality content how to’s from content providers are often available. Many libraries have a page on their website that serves as a FAQ Link to traing videos like ones from the King County Library.
  • For example West Van created a wiki: Cheap, cheerful and easy to update. New information is always appearing, and it is important to have resources at hand for both staff and patrons to access. It includes information, not only on our kindle lending program, but on other ereaders, as well as information on Library to Go, our Overdrive site. Most of the information is actually on Library to Go, since the service is so complex. With our wiki we want to have as much information available to patrons as possible and in a clear and friendly way. Many other libraries have linked to our wiki for assistance for their staff.
  • This was, and is a pilot project for us. We have been so busy with new developments, and other eBook related work that we haven’t had a chance to formally evaulate our project yet! -changes in title availability (for new kindles) – Canadian books example Weeding e-resources – do you have a policy? Replacing broken / old devices Consultation with public, via surveys We include a user survey with each kindle that goes out.
  • Talk about the kindle survey responses, comments from staff
  • Semi-negative feedback – the program has restrictions
  • Recently held two focus group session to chat about what our patrons liked & didn't like about the program, what they would like to see the library to in regards to lending ebooks and ereaders Overall they might represent an outlier population, retired or semi-returned West Vancouver residents, travel a lot and all were very heavy library users. They liked what we were doing, but didn’t nessessarily want to see more of the same, perhaps different readers. Having someone at the library to help, download station, not sure about the long term viability of the program. (report available soon)
  • we’re thinking about having a dedicated computers for ebooks where people can download ebooks to their device directly Might need more support available to do this Web-casts for support (many questions would benefit from watching someone demonstrate
  • It seems impossible to keep up, but something as simple as keeping an accessible & updated compatibility grid might be the best thing you can do (as well as tracking blogs) Next question, how does your library support library-related apps?!
  • End notes, we’ve had a ton of fun with our program, and our patrons really appreciate both the lending program and the petting zoo/drop-in sessions We are so glad that we have this program. Since we started, not only have we had people coming to the library on their own to ask about eReaders, but eBooks in general have been making the news. The whole eBook industry is in chaos over the future of ebooks, and it is a wonderful time to be keeping on top of the news. eReaders are just on part of the greater discussion, but an important one. Thank you.
  • eReader Lending

    1. 1. eReader Lending Beyond Hope Library Conference3:30-4:45pm, Monday June 6, 2011 Sarah Felkar
    2. 2. Presentation Outline• Program Development• Training• Program Feedback• Future Directions• Questions
    3. 3. Part 1: Program Development• Planning• Purchasing• Cataloguing• Processing• Circulating• Staff feedback
    4. 4. Planning • What eReader to offer? • How many? • How to configure? • Why? (impacts collection development) vsFrom: and by steven warburton
    5. 5. Purchasing• Make a budget part of your proposal• Good way to use: o Year-end funds o Grants o Donations• If you haven’t yet thought about how you allocate your materials budgets…
    6. 6. Cataloguing vs
    7. 7. Processing• How many stickers?• Folders?• Parts?
    8. 8. WVML Kindle & Packaging
    9. 9. North Vancouver City Library - Kobos and Kindles(Sonys coming soon!)
    10. 10. GVPL Kobo Processing
    11. 11. Circulating• Can they be returned through the bookdrop?• Can they be renewed?• How long is the loan?• What cost for late/damage?• Do you have to sign a waiver to check-out?• Do you lend to minors?
    12. 12. Staff Input• Involve all of your departments• What does circulation think would be easiest?• Who will be answering troubleshooting questions?• Where will the devices be kept?
    13. 13. Advertising• How do you let people know about your new program?
    14. 14. Part 2: Training• Staff and patrons
    15. 15. Training Staff• Before the program launches• Have instructions available• Offer refreshers
    16. 16. Training Patrons• Necessary• Be flexible!
    17. 17. Online Resources• What to link to? o Local, reliable, accessible and free• What to create? o Make sure to have documentation for any local or specialized content
    18. 18.
    19. 19. Part 3: Program Feedback• Evaluation
    20. 20. Feedback• “Thoroughly enjoyed my first experience with kindle. Thank you for supplying!”• “It was very good and I learned a lot of new vocabulary from it. Thank you to the library. I wish we could keep it longer or have another chance.”• “came from Kitsilano to borrow this. Great fun to try. While I wouldnt say "no" if given one as a gift, I dont intend to buy one right now. The size is very convenient.”
    21. 21. Feedback• “it would be nice to be able to choose the books for the kindle.”• “I would consider buying one if I could load it with material at the library. It was pleasant to set the text size.”• “I have mac degen - it was very difficult to read key pad and had to change the pages every sentence/paragraph”
    22. 22. Feedback: Focus Group• Like having a “no pressure” option• Love having the library support the program• Don’t want to lose the regular book collection!
    23. 23. Part 4: Future Thoughts• Where do we go next?
    24. 24. Future Thoughts• Overdrive eBook lending was up 200% in 2010 over 2009• Amazon announced that eBook sales are greater than physical books• Tablet PCs and Smartphones are in the market and expanding quickly!
    25. 25. Questions?
    26. 26. Thank You! • Slides & Handouts: see conference website