Circulation of eBooks

Hard won experience resulted in this advice from the projects which circulated the EBook devices

General Tips

  • Decide whether to circulate USB cables and chargers with eReaders.
    • Purchase cases that are large enough to hold the reader, as well as the USB cable and charger if the eReader will circulate long enough for the battery to need charging.
    • “More than one patron remarked that they didn’t own a computer and so would not have been able to recharge the battery via the computer.”—Public Librarian
    • “Do not check out power cords. Charge devices in the library between the checkouts.”—School Librarian
  • Decide if patrons may add or delete materials preloaded on the devices.
    • “Some Kindles were returned with games loaded on them, some with additional content, and some still registered with patrons’ own Amazon accounts.”—College Librarian
  • Add custom wallpaper to your eReaders so that if other identifying marks are removed, someone would be able to see whose eReaders they are.
  • Re-examine circulation policies and procedures based on patron feedback.
    • One college modified their kindle instruction sheet, the follow-up survey, and the circulation rules as they learned how students were using the Kindles.
    • “When students stopped checking back to see if a Kindle was available, holds were allowed.”—College Librarian
  • Plan for training time at the checkout desk.
    • “If it is a patron’s first time with an eReader, take time to walk them through it in order to make the most of their experience.”—Public Librarian
    • “Continue to use a face to face, hand to hand, checkout system which includes a brief training on the spot.”—School Librarian
  • Consider shortening your regular loan period to accommodate high demand.
    • “Students asked to have the circulation time shortened from a standard three weeks to two weeks. No renewals were allowed because there was always someone waiting.”—School Librarian
  • One school kept eReader devices circulating by reminding users the day before their devices were due.
  • Use a permission slip for schools. Parents of students were asked to sign a letter agreeing to the loan terms and to accept financial responsibility for eReader loans to students.
    • Students were allowed to check out devices in the order in which their permission slips were returned.
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Funded in part by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).