It All Begins In The Hutt

December 12, 2011 at 10:24 pm 6 comments

What a day! It was full on, with three sessions at two different libraries, attracting an average of 14 eager and enthusiastic particpants at each session.

The first session at Upper Hutt City Library was fantastically led by local expert Wendy Horne. Sixteen adults and 1 child attended the session and all were regular library borrowers wanting to know what ebooks were about and how they could be used. Two people also brought along their ereaders to show and ask further questions.

Wendy discussing ebooks at Upper Hutt Library

One participant brought along his Kobo (no wifi)  because he wanted to know if we could make it work. After further discussion it turns out a relative had purchased it for him and was in the process of downloading some books before going overseas. Unfortunately there were no books downloaded, and the relative had accidently taken the usb cord with him, so the poor chap couldn’t do anything until the relative returned in March 😦 I did suggest that he ask at his local library to see whether they may have a cord that works in the interim (fingers crossed).

Another couple were surprised at how different the screens were between dedicated ereaders and tablets. They preferred the dedicated ereader screens because they were much easier to read (and they were lighter, and cheaper).

The most confident ebook reader however was a gentleman perhaps in his 80s. He has been using a Kobo for the last 2-3 years and loves it. He reads it during the ad breaks on television and wants to get through the 100 free books preloaded on the Kobo before trying the library ebooks out. He’s thoroughly enjoying “20,000 Leagues Under The Sea” at the moment.

After a spot of lunch, we then headed off to the War Memorial Library for an afternoon session led by Nicole Noldus. A local reporter also attended to find out what the fuss was all about (I hope he left suitably impressed!).

Nicole finding out what the audience knows about ebooks

This group of about 14 people included 2 children under 8 with their mum and a mix of older adults. About half the audience had an ipad and were interested in how they could borrow the libraries’ ebooks. The two kids were familar with ebooks because their grandad had an ipad, but they were actually really taken with the Kindle and Sony Touch. They sat quietly testing out the various features and making comparisons.  It seemed as if these devices fitted more snugly into their hands.

The space was a lot smaller than at Upper Hutt which made it difficult to quietly pass around the ereaders while Nicole was still speaking; something we rectified in the following session.

And the final session of the day as at 7pm; once again at the War Memorial Library. We had moved the session to a bigger space where it was easier to see the screen and we decided to show the ereaders at the end of the session instead of passing them around during the session. Both changes resulted in improvements – yay.

In the final session there was a mix of working adults and retired folks with one family interested in purchasing an ereader for their young daughter who was a avid Enid Blyton fan. Justin Matich presented a “fast and loose” session, leaving plenty of time for questions and playing with the devices. Most people at this session had limited exposure to ereaders but were all very confident computer users. This session ran over the scheduled 90 minutes, such was the enthusiasm for trying *every* device.

Time to play

There were also quite a few stragglers at the two later sessions who had the impression that they could “drop in” between the scheduled times. However they didn’t leave disappointed because we had printouts of the slides (with step-by-step download instructions, thanks to Guy) and they each got personalised demonstrations of each device.

And on another note; while at Upper Hutt City Library I noticed that they have self-issue machines which easily self-issue all formats including dvds, cds and videos. So there is no issues desk. Staff help customers learn how to use the self-issue machines and walk the floor instead. I hadn’t seen them before, and I will try to remember to take a photo when we visit again on Wednesday.

Stay tuned, because tomorrow we’re off to the Kapiti Coast.

Entry filed under: Lower North Island. Tags: , , , .

Epukapuka = Ebooks A Roadtrip Out West

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Sally  |  December 13, 2011 at 8:20 am

    After I’d posted this I realised that Upper Hutt City Library had made a video on how to use their self-issue machine.

  • 2. paulcnielsen  |  December 13, 2011 at 9:19 am

    Thanks Sally, sounds like a great first day on the whole. If you can track down your cordless-Kobo man from Upper Hutt I have a spare USB cord he is welcome to.

    • 3. Sally  |  December 13, 2011 at 6:07 pm

      If you send your cord to Upper Hutt, they definitely know who he is:)

  • 4. justin matich  |  December 13, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Ha! I wish you hadn’t mentioned my “fast and loose” comment 😉

  • 5. Pene Walsh  |  December 13, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    Terrific response – we are certainly looking forward to the session in Gisborne. Good to be reminded that we cannot take for granted anyone’s particular skill levels – loved the story of the chap and the kobo – that so is our everyday lives at the library – either that sort of thing or “What, you have no airprinter, is this the dark ages!”

  • […] Yesterday we had a camera AND video  malfunction when visiting Upper Hutt City Library. However Plan C did work! So here are the shots I manage to capture on the ipod touch, which also happens to include a couple of photos of the self-issue machine that I mentioned on Monday. […]


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