We’ve come a long way baby!
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
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