Many thanks to ALA TechSource for allowing me to do another webinar with them last week and to the gracious participants who took time to join us! Be sure to check out my Scoop.it magazine on eBooks and eReaders.
Many of you have been writing or Tweeting for updates on the Nook program we had planned to launch last fall; unfortunately, several factors slowed our launch date for the program, including:
- a lack of clerical help this academic year
- an incredibly busy schedule of instruction (a good problem to have!) in the library; since the teaching and learning focus comes first, we prioritize our energies into that effort first
- significant delays in the communication process with Barnes and Noble in processing our ebook purchase orders
At this time, we own 50 Nook Simple Touches; Nooks 1-35 are designated with our Barnes and Noble Managed Digital Locker program for classroom use, which could include literature circle book study or independent reading selections. Nooks 36-50 are for circulation to students who return a parental permission form or who would like to use them in the library during a class or lunch visit. I worked with Dan Boon, my Community Relations Manager at the Alpharetta Barnes and Noble, to establish groups of Nooks so that it would be easy for B&N to deliver the eBooks we order via purchase order to the appropriate Nook devices.
Challenges with the Digital Managed Locker Program
In terms of the digital managed locker program, there have definitely been some problems that I have experienced as have many of you.
1. Barnes and Noble has frankly not done a very good job in educating its employees about the Digital Managed Locker program. As you can imagine, librarians who are trying to inquire and find out more information about the program feel frustrated when they can’t get the answers they need, and the B&N employees also feel frustrated that they may not have been provided the information and training they need to help implement the program with school librarians or classroom teachers in an effective manner. I know these concerns have been concerned to B&N management from those of us in the trenches as well as from employees, so I’m hopeful they are committed to being more systematic in communicating the information more effectively. If you are not able to get the answers you need from someone at the first store you visit or call, I recommend contacting a neighboring store or the regional Barnes and Noble manager for your area.
2. In some store locations, the community relations manager or person designated as the “go to” person for the Digital Managed Locker program is just swamped with multiple responsibilities; consequently, they may have difficulty dealing with the communications from librarians or teachers in a timely manner. Since there is no electronic/virtual interface at this time that librarians can access to submit purchase orders and manage eBook (or app) orders, eBook orders can be delayed significantly when there are gaps in communication. We as librarians and teachers desperately need a virtual interface to manage these orders; email is simply not an efficient means of managing the orders; we as customers need the option of having more control over reassigning texts to different devices if needed. While I appreciate that B&N is doing a lot of the management for me, I need to be able to have a point of access to do it myself when needed.
Our local store and representative are committed to helping B&N address these concerns; I very much appreciate that Dan has shared my suggestions for improving the communication channels and order management with those who work at a higher level in the company. In addition, I appreciate that Dan is willing to come out to my school site if I need assistance with devices.
In terms of technical issues, they have been minimal so far. We have not had any issues connecting to wireless, and the downloading process has been fairly seamless. We did have one device go bad as we could not unlock it; after not having any success with the 1-800 technical support, our representative Dan was helpful in resolving the issue and actually bringing us a replacement device (a major time saver–thank you!). We did have one device not receive the appropriate eBooks assigned to that device, but we are working on resolving that issue as we speak. One other helpful hint: it took me a while to realize that the power button is on the back of the Nook; thankfully, the covers we bought are designed to stay on and have the Nook symbol on them so that you can press it and power the device off and on without having to remove the cover.
First Steps of Implementation, Spring 2012
We have now started circulating devices to students for free reading (yes, I let them take the devices home—students and parents sign an acceptable use agreement, and we also bought a 2 year warranty), so I hope to have their feedback for you soon. The initial impressions, though, have been very positive–students really seem to like the “swipe” technology as well as the size of the devices (it fits in their pockets). One student in particular is absolutely thrilled to have the chance to use a modern eReader—I am not exaggerating when I say he was giddy and glowing when he left the library! At this time, the free circulation Nook collection (36-50) is purely student driven like our Kindle eBook collection since students submit eBook request forms when they turn in their permission forms). At this time, the loan period is one week although we hope to extend that in the future.
Our other initial pilot group is Deborah Frost’s 1st period 9th Literature/Composition class. The majority of the class, boys, chose to read Monster by Walter Dean Myers; the remainder of the class, girls, selected The Secret Life of Bees. Since many of the students in the class are self-described reluctant readers, we”ll be surveying them regularly about their reading experiences on the Nooks to see if the medium of reading has any impact on their feelings about reading. The students are excited (as are we!) to be the first pilot group; I hope to provide some updates in April when they finish their unit of study.
Questions via Email and the Blog
First I want to apologize if you have emailed me in the last month, and I have not answered your email individually. For the last year or so, I have tried very hard to answer each inquiry individually and in a timely manner. However, the number of inquiries has come to a tipping point, and I’m just not able to continue answering inquiries personally at this time. I’m hopeful that either this blog, my Kindle LibGuide, my Nook LibGuide, or my recent chapter in No Shelf Required II edited by Sue Polanka, will give you the answers you’re seeking; you might also want to follow my Scoop.it magazine on eBooks and eReaders.
I’ve received several emails as of late about how we are circulating the eBooks via our OPAC and tracking what students read. At this time, there is no way to do either–neither Kindle eBooks on a Kindle device nor a Nook book via a Nook device. I do not assign MARC records to the eBooks for Kindle or Nook although I do catalog the devices; as I’ve written before, I don’t catalog the Kindle or Nook eBooks individually because 1. you can’t really “circulate” them via your OPAC and 2. I don’t assign them to the devices in the MARC record because media specialists in my district do not have rights to edit existing MARC records. If you need to track that kind of data or circulate eBooks electronically, then you will need to look at an eBook platform like Follett eBooks or Overdrive that is designed to function in those ways.
We’ll now provide students post-reading surveys about the Nook reading experience to determine if they are a good fit for our students; I’ll also be working with Ms. Frost to get her feedback as a classroom teacher. While I’m still looking for an eBook platform whose licensing agreements are acceptable for my library and learning environment, especially as our district is now ready to implement a bring your own device policy for 2012-2013, I still think there is a place for circulating the devices themselves since so many don’t have one of their own. I look forward to giving you a new update in a few weeks as I document our journey of learning and exploration of eBook and eReader experiences and options.
I’m happy to share that Sue Polanka’s No Shelf Required II is now available for purchase as a print book or ebook. I’m also honored to be a contributor to this book, especially in light of the long list of distinguished colleagues across all areas of librarianship who contributed chapters to this insightful volume.
From the ALA bookstore, here is a book overview and table of contents:
With their explosive sales and widespread availability over the past few years, e-books have definitively proven that they’re here to stay. In this sequel to her best-selling book of the same title, expert Polanka dives even deeper into the world of digital distribution. Contributors from across the e-book world offer their perspectives on what’s happening now and what to expect in the coming months and years. Included in this invaluable resource are
- Guidelines for performing traditional library processes such as cataloging, weeding, archiving, and managing e-book accessibility for patrons with special needs
- Explorations of topics such as the e-book digital divide and open-access publishing
- Case studies from an array of academic, public, and school libraries, offering firsthand accounts of what works, what doesn’t, and why
- Discussions of the emerging model of the electronic-only library and the rich possibilities of enhanced e-books
All librarians will want to familiarize themselves with the wealth of advice in this volume on best practices for use and management of e-books.
Table of Contents/Contributors
Table of Contents
1 Going Digital but Not Bookless
Physical, Digital Library Spaces
2 Do E-books Bridge the Digital Divide?
Sarah E. Twill
3 Accessibility Issues in E-books and E-book Readers
4 Making Sense of Change
E-books, Access, and the Academic Library
Lisa Carlucci Thomas
5 E-book Preservation
Business and Content Challenges
6 Weeding E-books
7 What Is RDA, and Why Should E-book Managers Care?
8 Enhanced E-books
How Books Are Coming Alive in the Digital Environment
Sylvia K. Miller
9 E-book Sea Change in Public Libraries
Lending, Devices, Training, and Budgets
Michael Porter, Matt Weaver, and Bobbi Newman
Reactions to Limits on E-book Access
10 Libraries as Zones for Content Creation
Indie Publishing, and Print on Demand
Thomas A. Peters
11 Getting Control, Staying Relevant
How Libraries Can Push the E-book Envelope to Their Advantage
12 The iPad Loaner Program at Oberlin College Library
Jessica Grim and Allison Gallaher
13 Leading and Learning
Technology and E-book Adoption in School Libraries
14 E-reader Adoption in the School Library Media Center
A Journey of Collaboration and Discovery
Jennifer LaGarde and Christine James
15 Give Them Something to Talk About: The Kindle Pilot Program at the Unquiet Library
16 Using E-books with Reluctant Readers
About the Editor
Sue Polanka created the award-winning blog No Shelf Required about the issues surrounding e-books for librarians and publishers. The blog led to the ALA Editions book No Shelf Required: E-books in Libraries in 2011. Polanka is the Head of Reference and Instruction at the Wright State University Libraries in Dayton, Ohio and the Vice President/President Elect of the Academic Library Association of Ohio. She has served on Booklist’s Reference Books Bulletin Editorial Board for over ten years, serving as Chair from 2007 – 2010. Her column on electronic reference, “Off The Shelf,” appears quarterly in Booklist. She was named a Library Journal 2011 Mover and Shaker for her work with e-books.
English teacher Drew Lawson shares his thoughts on the instructional value of LibGuides and eBooks in The Unquiet Library’s Gale Virtual Reference Library collection. Hear Drew’s thoughts on how LibGuides provides a point of access that helps students expend more energy into critical thinking and synthesizing information from the resources on the research guide. You can see the research guide for Drew’s current unit of study here.
Free Webinars 1/18: WordPress for Library Websites & Ebooks, Discovery, and the Library
The Georgia Library Association is pleased to announce the January 2012 sessions of the Carterette Series Webinars (http://gla.georgialibraries.org/mediawiki/index.php/Carterette_Series_Webinars).
The Carterette Series Webinars have expanded in scope to include notable national speakers in addition to homegrownGeorgiatalent. As always, the series will continue to highlight trends, innovation, and best practices in libraries. Registration remains free and open to anyone, anywhere. Topics are chosen to be of interest to employees of all library types and each session is approved for one Georgia Continuing Education (CE) contact hour.
Can’t make it to the live show? That’s okay! The sessions will be recorded and available on the CSW site for later viewing. (http://gla.georgialibraries.org/mediawiki/index.php/Carterette_Series_Webinars)
WordPress for Library Websites (and more!)
Presented by Polly-Alida Farrington
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. EASTERN STANDARD TIME
Does your organization need a new web site? One that is more dynamic, easy to update and can easily incorporate social media and other ways to communicate with your library’s patrons/customers? WordPress (free, opensource) may be the answer. WordPress is a powerful web Content Management System (CMS) that has grown far beyond its origins as a blogging tool.
WordPress can be used to power your library website and help you build a dynamic web presence for your library, school, personal web site, business or other project. Its ease of use and flexibility make it a perfect choice for libraries that are struggling to keep their websites up to date and/or looking for a more up-to-date look for their website. Its extensibility via plugins and other customizations make it a great choice for more complex sites as well.
This webinar will cover:
- Examples of sites built with WordPress
- Why WordPress is a great choice for schools & libraries
- Hosting options and requirements
- WordPress.com vs WordPress.org
- Making it look great: Themes
- Building blocks of WordPress: Posts & Pages
- and more!
You’ll leave the webinar with an understanding of how to get started building your own WordPress site and be able to evaluate whether WordPress is the right solution for your library’s needs. (If you’re interested in learning more about WordPress, ALAis offering a 6 week WordPress eCourse starting in January.)
Ebooks, Discovery, and the Library
Presented by Kate Sheehan
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
3:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. EASTERN STANDARD TIME
Publishers, authors, booksellers, and librarians have traditionally thought of discovery as something that happens in a physical place. A patron browses the shelf, a librarian offers some reader’s advisory, a new author is picked up from an artfully created display. Online discovery lags behind, despite Amazon’s best efforts. People still pick books up based on word of mouth. Libraries, with entire sections of staff devoted to helping people pick out books, are word of mouth engines, but struggle to prove our worth to the rest of the book ecosystem. Ebooks make that even more difficult when the library as place is taken out of the equation. This session will explore some possibilities for libraries as channels of discovery in an ebook-dominated market.
Please contact a member of the Carterette Series Planning Team with questions or suggestions.
Tessa Minchew: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sarah Steiner: email@example.com
Karen Viars: firstname.lastname@example.org