I wrapped up my first round of eBook Clinics last night and it has been quite the experience. I went to all of the libraries in my library system (8) and over the past 4 weeks to try and help people in my community learn more about eBooks, eReaders and our digital collection. I think it was pretty successful.
98 people attended the 8 sessions. The attendance varied by location, 27 was the most and 3 was the fewest. The people that attended were mostly retirees. There were some younger people and I even had one father and son (5th or 6th grade) attend at one location. Some had devices, most were looking to buy one.
The people with devices asked a lot of questions about how to use our digital collection. I was able to help most of them become more comfortable with the process of browsing the collection, checking something out and getting it on their device. I also did a bit of troubleshooting.
The people looking to buy a device were looking to learn more about the different devices available. We spent a lot of time talking about the difference between eReaders and tablets. We discussed Kindles, Nooks and the other options. There was a lot of talk about how Kindles are different from other eReaders.We adapted some information from here into a handout that I think was kinda helpful for people looking to buy a device.
We also talked about how our digital collection is controlled in large part by the publishers. Many of the people who attended the clinics had no idea that we are limited in what we can purchase and provide to them. I hope I was able to explain (nicely?) that there will be some titles that we will be unable to provide no matter what. Why? Because the publishers won’t let us. I got the impression they understood this and accepted that we are trying to provide the best collection possible.
It was a good experience! I enjoy getting out of the office, visiting our libraries, seeing some friends and meeting new people. It’s also good to be able to help demystify something for people. I’m not an expert but I know enough to help most of the people who attended the eBook clinics.
I’ve got a post Christmas round of eBook clinics scheduled for January/February and will start preparing for it very soon…like today.