eBook Reader Pilot Project

Project Overview

In 2011 library users are increasingly asking libraries for more downloadable eBook content. In addition library users also expected library staff to be able to assist them with their eBook readers as they download materials from library websites.

In an effort to assist libraries train their staff to meet this demand the Washington State Library implemented a pilot program in the autumn of 2011 that placed eBook Readers in a limited number of libraries for the purpose of gathering information on the libraries experiences with using the device, $25,000 was used to support the project. Public, academic, K-12, and tribal libraries were eligible to apply. The project was completed at the end of May, 2012.

Two distinct pilot projects were funded. Applicants were asked to choose between participating in a circulation project or a training project. The Washington State Library purchased and distributed Kindles, Nooks and iPad2 tablets. Those libraries which participated in the circulation project submitted a list of titles which were preloaded on the requested devices before the devices were shipped to the participants.

The State Library took advantage of the Barnes and Noble management system for Nooks. All the Nooks which were used in the circulation projected were preloaded and managed by Barnes and Noble. That worked very well because when ownership of the Nooks was transferred to the applicants at the end of the grant cycle the titles did remain on the equipment. As management systems were not available at that time from Amazon or Apple, the State Library preloaded on requested titles on the devices themselves. Unfortunately the preloaded titles were not transferrable to the applicants at the end of the loan period. They remain the property of the Washington State Library.

The goal of the pilot program was to develop "best practices." Participants in the pilot program have shared their eBook reader experiences with other libraries in the state in a variety of formats. This information may be referenced under Participant Feedback to the right.

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Funded in part by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).