Tell us how you’ve implemented ebooks and ereaders in your library and you could win:
- E2 Experts Award:
- Up to $1750 to use towards presenting a paper at an appropriate conference or professional development event. This is a great opportunity to showcase how your library and NZ has attacked the ebook/ereader beast.
- Best Implementation Idea:
- First place: $500
- Second place: $300
- Third place: $200
Note: this competition is only open to New Zealand public library staff.
Nominations need to be submitted by 5pm Friday 14 September 2012 to Helen Hennessey, APLM Executive Director. Applications will be considered by a panel with winners announced at LIANZA Conference in Palmerston North. The awards panel is Ian Littleworth (APLM chair), Sally Pewhairangi (Finding Heroes) and Paul Nielsen (APLM Project Sponsor).
Earlier this year the Association of Public Library Managers (APLM) partnered with Sally Pewhairangi of Finding Heroes in the Travel Light This Summer With Library Ebooks tour and the follow-up E2 Experts Train the Trainer sessions. These popular training sessions armed public library staff with the expertise to on-train colleagues and deal with the increasing volume of technical problem-solving for library customers.
Sally visited eleven locations and facilitated 23 workshops with a total of 247 staff from 37 libraries attending the training sessions. The most valuable aspect of training was the hands-on use of different devices with confidence in using e-readers increased by 45% for E2 Experts graduates.
For further information email Helen Hennessey, APLM Executive Director.
Remember the flurry of excitement when Whitcoulls announced the release of New Zealand’s first dedicated eReader device? Our then Director of Libraries Faye Clark was at the front of the queue, snapping up 10 Kobos. Her vision was for these eReaders to be available for hire by our library members, and a small team with diverse talents was created to see it to fruition. We think we are the only public library in New Zealand offering eReaders for hire and we’re pretty proud of being so innovative!
So how does it work? Our Kobos are loaned out at $6 for seven days hire and they come preloaded with a selection of awesome titles. We organise our Kobos by genre and they include Classics, New Zealand, Notable Non-Fiction, General, Adventure, Mystery, Romance, Chick Lit and SciFi/Fantasy. We also had “Saucy” but this one proved too hot to handle and suffered a hardware malfunction. As it was the least popular of our range, it was not replaced.
Originally each Kobo was loaded with ten titles; five being best sellers and five being classic titles. Later we added a further two best seller titles to each one. The exception was the Classics Kobo which had the full 100 free (Project Gutenberg) titles all Kobos came with as standard at that time. The best seller titles were purchased through Whitcoulls as we didn’t have eBooks for lending at that time.
The response from the Hamilton public was pretty astounding – they were quickly loaned out and a steady stream of reservations placed, especially on the Classics Kobo. Even now, almost a year after their launch, they are still well used. And they really have stood up to the task: we’ve been absolutely delighted that no Kobos have been harmed in the making of this experiment. This might also partly be due to our investment in leather protective cases for them all as well as the contract all Kobo borrowers must sign accepting liability for any damage while in their care.
Of course it wasn’t all smooth sailing. It took close to a year to get everything sorted and ready for customers to start hiring. Initial hurdles included having to gain special permission from Kobo to have all 10 devices linked to the one account, rather than their usual maximum of six. We also discovered we had to use a computer outside our council network to download content and we needed to purchase adapters so the USB cord could be plugged into a power point.
In a perfect world where money was no object, there are definitely things we’d do differently. For instance, the Kobos we have are all first generation and as a result are now outdated – our customers expect a better quality product. We would not invest in just one brand and maybe purchase some newer models as they came to market. We would also look at extending the loan period – our customer feedback forms tell us seven days to try and get through 12 titles is a big ask, and we agree. As a result we have implemented renewals for an additional week if no reserves are waiting, for an additional hire fee. Lastly, we would refresh the titles more frequently as well to help encourage new borrowers and repeat borrowing.
Customer Services Representative
Hamilton City Libraries
Ebooks and ereaders at Upper Hutt City Library
As a continuation of the great user ed provided by the Travel Light this Summer tour in December with Sally Pewhairangi, we have introduced Ebook/Ereader Hot Seats to help our customers to get to grips with the new-ish technology of ebooks and ereaders.(A Hot Seat is: is a dedicated desk with wifi connectivity for community “experts” to provide free information to individuals or small groups).
My Hot Seat is really neat, with a variety of people and questions coming through. I set myself up 3 times a month, with the laptop, library ereaders, and the ipad (and my tablet!) Anybody can come up and ask me about ereaders or ebooks. I have been getting between 2 and 5 people a session, and the people coming up range from complete novices to people with computer backgrounds, with many appearing to be more mature adults, who are sometimes a little less confident with the technology.
Frequent examples of customer queries include:
- ‘What is an ebook?’
- ‘What type of ereader should I get my wife/husband/child/for me!?’
- ‘So all the books on the shelf are available as an ebook?’
If they are asking about what type of ereader they should get, I ask them what they want to do with it. I talk about connectivity, page and font size, ease of use, etc. I also encourage them to try using ebooks on their PC or laptop before they choose a device, so they become familiar with the basics. In the past I have recommended borrowers get a Kindle, because of the level of reading and the types of books they read, but most customers are already looking at Kobo’s or Sony’s, or they are swayed by my beautiful Samsung Tab 10.1!
If they have their device with them, I help them with the basic operation utilising the library’s wireless capability, or demonstrate the devices we own, to show them how easy it is to download and/or transfer files. If needed, I will also help them sign up to Adobe, so that when they get home they can get straight into authorising their device and downloading an ebook. I have come across 2 or 3 people with unregistered devices, which makes it difficult for them to use.
I also explain the Epukapuka and the Wheelers platforms . I show them the basics, talk about the loan conditions and complete a download on our devices. Then if they are interested I talk a bit about the wider world of ebooks, Amazon, digital rights management, publishing – whatever they want to know.
All of the basic information is available in a handout, and is available on our website. Epukapuka does have a great FAQ section, and as I say to people who are new to this, once you get going, you’re away!
Customer Service Co-ordinator
Upper Hutt City Library
From Central Hawke’s Bay District, Librarian Sue Fargher and myself travelled up to Napier to attend the Travel Lights Ebook Workshop [now called E2 Experts] hosted by Sally Pewhairangi: Tour Leader extraordinaire. We joined around 14 other Hawke’s Bay and East Coast library staff and together we represented the full spectrum of ebook users – from newbies to old hands.
First up Sally gave us a rundown on Digital Rights Management and introduced us to dedicated ereaders and other devices to read ebooks on then she let us loose on the many gadgets she had available. These included Sonys, Kobos, Kindles, Ipads, Android tablets, Ipod Touch &Smart Phone.
What worked so well was the ability to physically try all these devices, and using a handy questionnaire that Sally gave out, see what the different ereaders were capable of. This time to just play was the best way to learn especially for the super busy managers in the room who very rarely get this opportunity.
It was interesting to see that there were a lot of differing points of view regarding the favourite ereader experience. The favourite dedicated ereader tended to be the Sony with the Kindle coming out second. However many liked the Ipad experience of reading just as well. The Kobo Vox was quite a hit although many commented on its weight.
Finally we investigated ways of taking back what we learned to our libraries and passing it on to our communities.
All of us came out of this workshop with an increased knowledge of ereaders and the ebook experience.
Thanks to Sally for the Travel Light treatment!!
CHB District Libraries
After a summer hiatus to reassess the project following the successful pre-Christmas pilot tour of Wellington and Wairarapa, Sally is back on the road now delivering our E2 Experts training sessions for librarians around the country. These sessions began last week in the deep south and will continue throughout March and April.
The reasons for this change of approach came out of the pilot tour: Our two key learnings were: 1) the project was insufficiently resourced to rollout the facilitated roadshow format across the whole country; and 2) the need for all library staff to upskill in this area in order to deal with the influx of customers and technological questions.
So, we are now focussing on training the library staff to better deal with the influx of customers and technological questions. The libraries will then launch their own user education sessions in coming months. The one aspect that has not changed is that public librarians will continue to play a key role in demystifying digital books and audio by offering knowledgeable, practical and impartial digital services and advice.
The new ebook lending services that gave rise to Travel Light launched in November last year. In that time there have already been over 13,000 e-books checked out across the country. With ebooks available at over 70% of New Zealand public libraries to date, there have been some dramatic increases in borrowing. Since the service was launched, some areas are seeing increases in borrowing of up to 400%. Downloadable audio-books have also proved popular with nearly 2,500 checked out over the same period.
This demand was evident during roadshow events in the Wellington and Wairarapa region last December. Nearly 200 people of varying age and digital ability turned out across the region to get the e-book lowdown. So, while the project has changed and we seem to have seen the last of summer, we are still committed to helping library users navigate the ‘e’ world. Please check with your local library as to when their public sessions will be held. Where possible we will help promote publicity of these session via the blog, so stay tuned……
We are in the process of finalising the tour plan and schedule for the rest of the country at present. Keep checking the blog for updates to see when ‘Travel Light..’ is coming to a library near you.
This morning we visited Masterton Library and were greeted by 18 people keen to learn about borrowing ebooks and the latest ereaders.
Justin Matich from Hutt City Libraries led the session, ably supported by Michelle Clausen and Jeremy from Masterton Library.
Masterton Library has a range of popular ereaders and tablets for customers to test in the library and are more than happy for customers to bring their own devices in if they would like assistance in downloading ebooks or audiobooks from epukapuka.
The audience today were interested in making thorough comparisons between different devices. There was a lot of interest in comparing an ipad with a Samsung Galaxy tablet with discussions covering how it felt in your hands, the intuitiveness (is that a word?) of each one, and the way the menu options were displayed.
Comparisons were also made between the Sony
Touch and Kobo Touch – searching within a book, usability, and highlighting words. And the final comparison was made between dedicated ereaders and tablets – weight, screen size, readability plus other functionality. I’m sure the local shops will be selling a few more ereaders after this session.
Masterton have also added some photos from Wednesday’s session on their facebook page.
Nearing the end
The last two sessions of the tour are at the War Memorial Library and Hutt City Libraries staff will be running these. My job is done. The tour isn’t quite over, but my role on this leg is.
Thank you to everyone involved in the tour, especially Shane O’Connor from Hutt City Libraries who made sure we got where we needed to go, the local experts and library managers. But the biggest thank you of all goes to all the wonderful customers we met along the way, the stories we shared and the discoveries we made together.
Best wishes for the festive season and may you Travel Light This Summer With Library Ebooks.