Feeling a little lost and overwhelmed when thinking about eReaders and eBooks? Worried that your library is falling behind?  You are not alone. Almost every day, the staff at NEKLS receives a request from a library, “Can you please help us decide what to do with eReaders and eBooks at our library?”

Everywhere you look, it seems eReaders and eBooks are being discussed. Kindle, Nook, iPad, Overdrive,…. What’s a library to do? What’s a librarian to do?

The bad news? Right now, there is no easy answer. There is no crystal clear solution. There is a lot happening and things are changing at a rapid pace.

The good news? We’re in this together. NEKLS is committed to not only keeping up with changes and developments, but we’re committed to helping you learn and keep up, too.

Heather, Sharon and I are working with experienced trainers from several NEKLS libraries to develop a workshop that will be offered in 3-4 locations around the NEKLS region.  After the workshop, participants will:

  • Feel more knowledgeable about the eReader/eBook landscape
  • Have hands-on experience using eReaders
  • Be ready to train patrons about eReaders/eBooks

While you are waiting for that workshop, there are a couple of things you can do to move ahead with understanding this topic.

  • Read all about it! Take a look at the online resources, articles, and handouts the NEKLS staff has pulled together: http://www.nekls.org/ereader-resources .You can get to this from the NEKLS.org homepage, in the  “Most Used Resources” section.
  • Dive in! Reading is good. Information is good. The best way to learn about a technology topic, however, is to get hands-on experience. Peek over the shoulders of your friends who use eReaders. Ask them lots of questions.  Curiosity will carry us into an interesting and innovative future.
  • Explore Overdrive. It’s what we’ve got right now. Use it. Help your patrons use it. Earl Givens at the State Library of Kansas is available to answer questions and provide technical support for patrons and staff having problems with OverDrive. Here is a sample hand-out that you can share with patrons:
    http://www.nekls.org/wp-content/uploads/Overdrive_Quick_Sheets2.pdf . Know that it will change. New services will appear and will be somewhat different. We cannot wait for the one be-all solution. We must embrace what is “in the now” and prepare to constantly learn about the next.

Have fun with this. Even if it’s “e”,  it is still reading and reading is the passion that drew most of us to this field. I’m signing off now, going to take my own advice and get my hands-on an eReader so I can explore.

Other NEKLS web posts about e-readers that may be of interest: