Post Holiday eBook Clinics Wrap Up

I wrapped up another round of eBook clinics last night. The attendance more than DOUBLED from the pre Christmas eBook clinics. The total number of people who came to the clinics this round was 213. In Nov/Dec it was 98.

When we scheduled this round of eBook clinics I knew a lot of people would be getting eReaders/tablets over the holidays. I had no idea that the number nearly doubled across the country. I’m glad we scheduled this round of eBook clinics. With so many people getting a new digital reading device there was a new segment of our population that needed help using our digital collection.

Learning to use our OverDrive collection was the main reason people attended the sessions. We covered the basics of using the collection by checking out books in the Kindle and ePub formats and an audiobook. After checking out each format I loaded the title on a device. During the process I discussed some of the differences between formats (Kindle/ePub, WMA/MP3) and why they matter. I informed everyone about the software many of them would need to use the collection – Adobe Digital Editions (ePub eBooks), OverDrive Media Console (audiobooks) – and the Adobe ID that is also required for many devices. I placed a hold and told everyone about the 72 hour window of claiming that hold. We went through the ‘My Account’ features explaining what each one does and why they are useful. It was a very quick demo with a lot of information.

One of the things I stressed at each session was the dependence we have on publishers. I told the attendees about the restrictions some publishers invoke and how two big publishers don’t let any library lend their eBooks. We talked about the reason why they had to place holds on digital content that should be available to download at anytime. Digital Rights Management was explained as well as possible.

Questions from the attendees were welcome at any time during the demonstration. There were many and sometimes other people jumped in to help answer them. It was great.

The entire demonstration of our collection including the discussion about publishers and DRM usually took a little over an hour. After that, people who had device issues had the opportunity to ask me (or the branch staff) questions and hopefully get their questions answered. Many people took advantage of this. Most people left after the initial demo/discussion.

It was a good experience and I’m starting to schedule monthly eBook clinics for our clusters. These will start in March.

The vast majority of people who came out were 50+ with most being 60+. They were all eager to learn. I hope I helped raise their comfort level with the library, our digital collection and their device(s).

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