On the Eve of Our Kindle Pilot Project

Anticipation and Patience

After a couple of months of delays in balancing purchasing rules/restrictions from Amazon and the purchasing policies of our district (as well as time crunch in which I have time to coordinate with my bookkeeper for the order because I’ve been so busy teaching), we finally are ordering our Kindles for our initial ereader rollout.   I am cross-posting from my Unquiet Library blog the contents of a post I just shared in that space, but here are some additional pieces of information you may find helpful.  There are no words to express how grateful I am to librarian Kathy Parker who has been nothing but generous in sharing her experiences, insights, and pearls of wisdom with me—a heartfelt thanks to this pioneer!

Why Am I Doing This?

Dr. Bob Fecho at the University of Georgia taught me to frame every decision making process with this line of inquiry back in 2002-2003.   I want to implement this pilot project to provide our students the opportunity to read on a device that they otherwise might not be able to access and to provide them an alternate reading experience in hopes that we can meet the needs of all students.    After reviewing the pros and cons of this pilot Kindle project, my principal, Dr. Eddy, agreed with me that that the possible benefits outweighed any drawbacks , and I am thankful for his support in this endeavor.  I’m truly excited to hear the students’ feedback on their experiences with ereading and the Kindles, and their input will be used to guide future steps in our efforts to provide reading materials both in print format as well as ereading containers.

Circulation Details and Other Helpful Hints

Because I’ve been receiving quite a few emails and want to share the entire Kindle pilot process with you, here is a brief synopsis of where we are; we hope to be in full circulation within the next week or so as we finalize the details of our purchase.

We are classifying the ebooks from Amazon for Kindle as a separate material type in Destiny, our OPAC.  We are using the prefix KIN for the books; the ereaders are classified as EQ for equipment.  We also keep a folder for each Kindle with a hard copy of the titles and also manage it through our library Amazon Kindle account.  We’re also planning on making a resource list for each Kindle in Destiny OPAC (i.e. Kindle 1) and adding each ebook to each list.
Here are three great blog posts that will be helpful in getting the ball rolling:
Also, here are some great tips Kathy shared with us:
  • For my own purposes I did label them Kindle 1 etc. This way I could keep track of which teachers had which Kindles when it came to downloading titles for them.
  • I did label the covers with Kindle 1, etc. Just don’t cover up the serial numbers when labeling.
  • You’ll need to register each one & you need the serial number.  We named/registered each Kindle: Seneca 1, Seneca 2, etc.
  • It was suggested to keep the boxes because if one is defective Amazon wants it shipped back in the same box it came in.
  • Don’t give any out until you get them all registered and labeled.

Next Steps

Intense data collection will inform and drive our decision-making processes over the next few months.  As I collect data and student permissions to share their insights and experiences of reading on the Kindle, I will share that data with you in this space.  I will also collect data on the types of books (fiction, nonfiction) students are requesting and reading as well as our efforts to personalize the reading experience with the Kindle.

The Unquiet Library Blog Post:  The Kindles are Coming

Image used with permission from http://goo.gl/IRFu

The long wait is nearly over!  We will soon be offering Kindle eReaders for circulation!  We will be purchasing the latest generation of Kindle that offers you 3G and wireless access to the ebooks.  The Kindles may be used at home or at school.   How will the checkouts of Kindles work for you as students?

1.  You will need to come by the library to get a checkout permission and information form [see below]—this form will need to be read carefully and then signed by both you and a legal guardian before we can circulate the Kindle to you.   Please note that all overdues and fines you may currently  have must be cleared before we can loan you a Kindle.

2.   Once the form is returned, we will place you on the waiting list as we will be starting with a small pool of the Kindles; we will notify you ASAP through your first period and/or English teacher that the Kindle is ready for you to checkout.   Either Ms. Hamilton or Ms. Johnson will give you a quick demo and “get started” one on one tutorial so you feel comfortable and confident using the Kindle.  We will also be posting some tutorial videos as needed on our Unquiet Library YouTube Channel.

3.  If there are specific titles you want, you can also complete a Kindle Book request form available in the library; we will do our best to accommodate all Kindle book purchase requests for students.  You can browse the Kindle ebook store to see if the book you want is available for the library to purchase in Kindle format.

4.  The loan period will be for one week.

5.  When you return the Kindle, we will ask you to complete a short survey and an optional video interview about your Kindle reading experience.  Your input will help us make an informed decision on future Kindle and/or other ereading device purchases!

Questions?  Come by the library or email Ms. Hamilton at buffy.hamilton@cherokee.k12.ga.us !

*Many thanks to librarian Kathy Parker who has been in invaluable source of information and encouragement in our efforts to roll out Kindles to you, our students!*

7 comments

    1. Diane, thank you for taking time to share your own experiences! Yes, absolutely—I’d love for you to join us virtually! I’ll also be producing some tutorial videos on our YouTube Channel, too. :-) We will be seeking your wisdom, too–maybe I can Skype you in as an expert?

      Buffy

  1. Thank you so much for ALL of your kind words! We all need to stick together – we’re venturing out in fairly new uncharted territories in education.
    Congratulations and I’m happy you’re aboard with me!
    Kathy

  2. With Amazon announcing a new lending feature for the Kindle (some publisher-approved books may be lent out only once for a two week period), I wonder if libraries may be able to reach an agreement with Amazon/publishers so that libraries will be given more licenses to lend the kindle ebooks out. That way, libraries wouldn’t be restricted to just lending the actual kindles out.

  3. Buffy and Kathy,

    I am very excited to follow the progress of your Kindle implementation. Thank you for, as always, sharing the details of your selection and implementation process. I am looking forward to the publication of your data!

    I, too, am a Kindle user and I love the experience. Several friends and family members who are non-readers have picked it up and enjoyed the experience. I’ll be particularly interested in following how this move impacts your struggling readers.

    Happy Kindling,
    Katy

  4. I am a first year librarian and my principal told me at my interview, “Oh, by the way, the Rotary Club is going to give us 100 Kindles every year for three years.” “OK,” I said. As I have read the information from the Rotary Club and have progressed in this project, I should have said, “That is fantastic!!! Just 300?” This project is partnered with SMU and Texas Wesleyan to assess the improvement made by our struggling readers. Reading attitude interviews are occurring now with the professors. This research will be published. So, now we must create the management structure. Any forms and documents you are willing to share would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much for your posting. LaVonne Walter

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