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Old 12-09-2012, 07:44 AM   #1
wizwor
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Public Libraries in the Age of Overdrive

We have been reluctant to give my mother in law an eReader because of her lack of technical expertise and internet access. She and her husband are voracious readers and frequently visit their public library to borrow books and DVDs. We called that library to see if they were eBook friendly. To my delight, they...

1) have public wifi
2) participate in overdrive
3) have people on staff to help patrons use eReaders

They assured us that many of their most technophobic patrons are enjoying ebooks and tablets.

We decided to get her a Fire HD. If you have been reluctant to give the gift of technology to a 'special' someone, you might find their local library eager to help.
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:38 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by wizwor View Post
...frequently visit their public library to borrow books and DVDs...
Having a reader or tablet can cut off frequent visits to the library for book borrowing. This may be a good thing or bad - depends on the perspective and social life preferences.
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Old 12-09-2012, 10:10 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by gurion View Post
Having a reader or tablet can cut off frequent visits to the library for book borrowing.
The way I read the OP, wizwor's in-laws are going to physically visit the library, using library WiFi to download books to their eReader.

But maybe, over time, they will discover other options, and mobile reading does generally go in the direction of fewer library visits.

I agree with your "good thing or bad" remark. I think that the fewer visits is good for energy use, bad because it could erode support for public libraries.

Last edited by SteveEisenberg; 12-09-2012 at 10:12 AM.
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Old 12-09-2012, 10:12 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wizwor View Post
We have been reluctant to give my mother in law an eReader because of her lack of technical expertise and internet access. She and her husband are voracious readers and frequently visit their public library to borrow books and DVDs. We called that library to see if they were eBook friendly. To my delight, they...

1) have public wifi
2) participate in overdrive
3) have people on staff to help patrons use eReaders

They assured us that many of their most technophobic patrons are enjoying ebooks and tablets.

We decided to get her a Fire HD. If you have been reluctant to give the gift of technology to a 'special' someone, you might find their local library eager to help.
Excellent and yes I agree. They really are trying to be helpful as best they can, that's what they have always been around to do!
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Old 12-09-2012, 12:58 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by SteveEisenberg View Post
The way I read the OP, wizwor's in-laws are going to physically visit the library, using library WiFi to download books to their eReader.
And also for discovery, most likely. OverDrive's good if you already know exactly what you want - but it's fairly bad when it comes to browsing to find something new (to you) to catch your eye.
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Old 12-09-2012, 01:01 PM   #6
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They can also locate Free Wifi in their area...
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Old 12-09-2012, 01:34 PM   #7
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And also for discovery, most likely. OverDrive's good if you already know exactly what you want - but it's fairly bad when it comes to browsing to find something new (to you) to catch your eye.
Not bad at all for browsing here (through the two I have access to) but the search function sucks!
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:48 PM   #8
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Having a reader or tablet can cut off frequent visits to the library for book borrowing. This may be a good thing or bad - depends on the perspective and social life preferences.
I had stopped using our library for dtbs for a while but am back into it now because I have very little fun money (so buying is not an option) and the Overdrive library is limited by what publishers it can carry.
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:41 AM   #9
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At the senior center where I belong, many members now have e-readers. And many of them had problems understanding how to get books from the library. The senior center did several programs on e-readers, did multiple sessions showing how to get e-books from the library, B&N, Amazon, etc. They also have members that have answered many questions from other members.

The local library has people on staff that are familiar with various e-readers. They also got students from the local colleges to come in several hours per week to answer questions and help get patrons up to speed on borrowing books and so on.

I think this has worked well for the last year and most everyone that wants to read ebooks is comfortable enough to get things from the library if they wish.
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:13 PM   #10
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My local library has 7 Nook STs that are preloaded with a few books of a specific genre each: one non-fiction, one YA, one romance, etc.
Apart from the non-fiction one, they are always gone. What I don't like too much about this is the fact that they are only exposing patrons to one specific brand, and the devices they are piloting won't even allow you to borrow any ebooks unless you have a computer at home and can transfer the books over. I fear that those Nooks, as well intentioned as they are, may end up being advertisement for B&N and generate sales for them, not help patrons learn how to borrow ebooks
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