Gadgets, Library Services, Tech

Crowdsourcing for E-Reader Lending

By blg3 | January 31st, 2012 | 1 Comment

eReader Vs BooksTwo things stood out from today’s webinar on E-Reader Policies and Procedures for Libraries:

  1. The practical details of e-readers and e-books in libraries are multitudinous, generating an unprecedented number of granular questions from the audience;
  2. A crowd (nearly 700) of library staff are their own best resource and have answers to a multitude of questions drawn from their collective experience.

In fact the guiding mantra in both David Newyear’s and Ming Heraty’s presentations was to avoid reinventing the wheel. With their own implementations of e-reader lending at their libraries sprouting from others who had already taken the plunge, they pay it forward with lots of why/what/how information.

Why start an e-reader lending program in the first place? It’s part of being a forward-thinking library that introduces patrons to new technology, or in the case of Ming’s community, keeping up with early adopter patrons in a “gadget-friendly community.”

Once the objective is clear and the administration is on board, the “what” and “how” questions flow in. David and Ming covered a lot of ground about what devices they chose, what content sources they used, what training they provided for staff, how they developed policies and user agreements, how they managed accounts on multiple devices. The presentation is so dense with information, it is worth an hour of your time to watch it.

The concurrent side chat is an explosion of knowledge-sharing in its own right—a revelation of the complexities of this e-reader lending venture. If WebJunction had a prize for most intense webinar question-and-answer chat dialog, this one would be a winner.

Relive it all through the archived resources:

  • Watch the entire archived recording (yes, it includes the active chat).
  • Peruse the chat log only.
  • Find resources for policy examples, device guidelines, ebook providers, and a source for protective cases for devices.
  • Robyn Truslow from the Calvert Library (MD) adds her experience to the mix in a guest blog post.

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