It’s Kobo day!

Today is going to be fun!  A class at Caldwell School won eReaders so they’re coming to the library to have a little presentation on eBooks!  Isn’t that great?

I’ve got handouts for them to take home and we’re going to go through the download process step by step so that they can get books for their new eReaders! Kids pick up technology so quickly, I’m sure they’ll all be experts by the time they leave the library!

Ebooks. Yes, ebooks.

Now that we’ve opened all the presents and hit all the pre- and post- Christmas sales, it’s time to settle back into our normal lives.  But what if you got an eBook reader over the holidays??  Are you tired of banging your head against the wall trying to figure it all out? Well, the library comes to the rescue on Wednesday, January 11!  We’re having an eBook reader workshop from 7 – 8 pm, filled with lots of information on downloading books, the OverDrive website and more.

This will be a very general info session so that we can cover all the facts and give a few tips. We’ll be able to answer questions, but we probably won’t have time to work with everyone on an individual basis. (That means you should give it a whirl on your own before you come to the workshop. But write down your questions and hopefully, we can solve the problem!)

This workshop requires registration, so either sign up at the front desk or call us to register at 257-2702. Hurry…spaces are limited!

Why eBooks are making us read the Classics

I must admit, many people are not buying eReaders to read the classics, but for a variety of reasons, that’s what seems to be happening.  And I think it’s great!

While many of the eReading devices come equipped with 100 or even 1000 classic (and free) books already pre-loaded, people are usually much more interested in downloading the latest Janet Evanovich or James Patterson than reading Sherlock Holmes or Anna Karenina. But while loan times are short for library ebooks (approx 2 weeks), some are opting to read the classics while on the waiting list for something else.  And for people using Kindles (which aren’t yet compatible with the library OverDrive system), free classic books are the best option of all. And we’re hearing a lot of positive things!

It’s kind of nice to hear someone say they turned to Peter Pan or Treasure Island one day because it was already pre-loaded on their Kobo, and found that there were some really great stories!  Would we pick up one of these books in hardcover format if our John Grisham wasn’t available to us right away perhaps?  Probably not. But it’s happening more and more and what a great thing!  The classics aren’t stuffy or boring or literary.  They aren’t just for people studying English in school.  My hope is that more people will turn to these free books , maybe on a lazy afternoon and find that, hey, there’s a reason something is considered a classic. Read on!

Ebooks, audiobooks and technology at the library

My sister-in-law works at a library in Northern Alberta and while she was visiting recently, we were talking about our libraries and how things are done in both places.  One common issue we noticed is that while technology at the library is a great step forward…..there has to be a learning curve as well as expectations from the public. Not only is staff expected to know everything about new technologies that are being used withing the library (such as eBooks, audiobooks and, but many patrons also seem to expect us to be able to teach them as well, and it isn’t always possible.

When we started with audiobooks and eBooks here at our library, we all received a small virtual training session.  Yes, virtual….meaning we participated in a webinar online.  No hands on training, no devices to try.  We were given the basics and had to go from there. Now, we were lucky enough that some of us had iPods and eBook readers so we could experiment at home.  But not everyone has one, so while the staff was trained, a few have never used these devices before.  You can see how tricky this might be.  It would be like someone learning how to drive by watching a video and then being expected to teach others in an actual car. (Okay, maybe not as lethal, but you get the picture.) So you can see  how tricky this is for us.

Secondly, we’re finding that many people who want to download eBooks and Audiobooks are not well versed on their computers and certainly have no experience using these devices, which makes the experience frustrating for all of us. While we can hopefully help someone figure out how to eventually get the books onto their systems (everyone has different settings and devices), we can’t always spend as much time as they need and we can’t do it repeatedly. That means a little experimentation at home is required. Go to our help pages on this blog when first setting up. Visit the help pages on the OverDrive website to see if you can solve the problem that way.  Or ask someone (grab just about any young person you know…they’ll probably do it in three seconds!) to help you in your own environment. And write it down.  I can’t stress that enough….if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing…..write it down, step by step, when someone shows you.  That’ll make a big difference.

As for, not all of us know every in and out of the site (not everyone has done genealogy research).  While most of us can help you figure out how to print off that great photo or census, the site is limited by what it can do.  We might be able to make the photo larger, but not necessarily clearer, and while you’d love to have all the data from the link included, sometimes it will just print the photo and that’s all. It’s not our fault if they change the website on occasion. We didn’t do anything to make them change things, so getting frustrated with the staff won’t help. Again, take your time, learn how to work the computer and write things down so that you can do it again next time. We don’t always have the time to spend with someone if we’re really busy.

We want this to be a fun and useful for all involved because eBooks and Audiobooks  and Ancestry are a wonderful addition to the library. But keep in mind that some of the work has to be done on your end, too. Know a much as you can about your computer and your device before bringing it in (taking it out of the box at the library isn’t going to help either of us). Prepare to get frustrated, but trust us that it gets easier. And while we encourage you to come in with questions, give it a try before you walk in with all your equipment. And please don’t get upset with us if we can’t figure it out in three seconds. Remember….this is new to us, too.

Where do they put those eReaders?

While we don’t loan out eReaders to our patrons, some schools in the US now have eReaders available for loan to their students.  But the problem of storage was quickly solved when the librarian discovered that her old card catalog cabinets were the perfect size for most of the eReaders.  Seems that each drawer can house one reader and keep it from getting damaged or lost.

What a great idea! Where do you keep YOUR eReader?