Wednesday, September 28, 2011

EReaders and all that

And I thought that EReaders would appeal mostly to the younger generation! WRONG! Today we held a session to introduce a few different readers to our customers. Our librarian has wisely purchased 4 readers and 2 tablets so that staff can get the hang of the new technology. We've all had a play with a few of them. No one had really looked at all of them. Today made us do that. All 6 devices in the same place at the same time, and a couple of extras that belonged to customers added into the mix made for a great opportunity to compare and contrast. We were astounded firstly be the response to our publicity - 25+ people turned up at the beginning of the session with more trickling in for the whole hour or more until we were able to make our escape.
Lots of discussion and interest from everyone. The age range of our audience was from mid 20s to mid 80 with the majority of our participants being over 60s. We were not offering advice on which device to buy - just giving people the opportunity to try a few out. All in all - a really successful session with requests that we repeat it in our other branches as well as doing it here again. The only problem I see is that we are not going to be able to afford to keep up with the latest and greatest devices - there are so many and they are developing so quickly.
I still like my books on paper (though I am tempted by the convenience of a portable ereader) - but I can really see ebooks taking off in our area much faster than I would have thought.


  1. Barb,

    I am puzzled by the e-reader appeal. I guess I still "think in paper" and prefer my books in that format. The demographics of the audience does surprise me but how wonderful the session was so successful and was positive for staff too and allowed for learning and connection with patrons.

    E-readers - and all new tech will present librarians with many opportunities to grapple with "sticky" issues I think. We'll do our best to rise to the occasion though.

  2. That sounds like a great idea, I would find this kind of event really useful as I've not had the opportunity to try out many ereaders. Though like you say, this might become expensive if you want to keep relatively up to date!