Developing eReader Collections


General Tips

  • Talk to other librarians who manage a large number of eReaders to learn about pitfalls and how to avoid them.
    • “We watched a webinar hosted by three British Columbia libraries in which they described how they began circulation (of) e-Readers. From that information we were able to go in person to visit one of the libraries to see how they implemented their program.”—Public Librarian
  • Determine the type of eReaders your community is interested in.
    • “We assumed that the Kindle would be the best so that it could reach a broad audience. Our thought was that a touch screen would be too ‘new’ for older patrons. We found that those with disabilities could not use the Kindle.”—College Librarian
  • Research eReader vendors for customer service, warranties and pricing.
    • “We learned which vendors would be most responsive to our needs and who would offer the best customer service from phone conversations and email correspondence. Vendors who were slow to respond or who did not respond to our queries at all were taken off the list.”—Public Librarian
  • Perform a preliminary staff skills/expectation/desired outcomes assessment survey to determine training needs and identify areas for emphasis.
  • Provide hard copies of steps/procedures for staff at circulation and information/reference.
  • Adapt instructions that have already been created by other libraries to fit your own library’s situation.
    • “We reviewed other libraries' policies and procedures that had been posted to their web site or blogs. We then had a base upon which to formulate our own policies and procedures and did not have to ‘reinvent the wheel.’”—Public Librarian
  • Post an eReaders FAQ on the library website.
  • Document everything.
    • “Much of what we learned is not on paper. Time has just flown by and I’m not sure we will remember all that we learned.”—School Librarian
    • “We held a tech petting zoo and weekly drop-in help sessions over 8 week and did not gather feedback in the most helpful/productive way from the outset.”—Public Librarian
    • Write down the procedure when you activate the device. “I was in such a hurry to get them (the devices) in the hands of librarians, I activated the devices ‘on the fly’ with one of the tech people. I’m not sure I could repeat the task.”—School Librarian
    • Write separate procedures for each of the devices since downloading eBooks varies depending on the type of eReader or device.
  • Create a survey for users to document their experiences.
    • “Although I received some feedback from my colleages, most was pretty vague with few useful details.”—School Librarian
  • Partner with your IT Department. They are invaluable in figuring out how to activate the devices and connect them to networks.
  • Offer an eReader petting zoo for staff to familiarize everyone with various eReader devices.
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Funded in part by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).