Nov 242009

Our small public library is in an area where many library users are likely to get for Christmas  some hot newfangled gadget – like a Kindle ebook reader. My aim is for the community to think “library” when they think ebooks. I want to give our community hands-on contact with an ebook reader and advertise the library as a place that knows about reading in all forms and can make recommendations about content.

1.Slip on the clear silicone cover and plastic film screen protectors I ordered at the same time. I browsed over 500 covers on the store to find something that would protect it while making the device look slightly drab and less desirable.

2. Get used to living in the future. Today I paid $3 and download from the Kindle Store the complete works of Shakespeare (197 works).

3. Contain my amusement that 90% of people who have picked it up attempted to select menu items using their fingers as though it was a touch screen.

4. Read Jude O’Connell’s excellent guide to using the International Kindle in Australia, Kindle-ing a discussion about learning . It includes differences between what we get and what is in the US version, sources for ebooks, tech tips on downloading and information about where to find the best “how to” guides.

5. Browse wikipedia on the Kindle, but not anywhere else on the web because it is not allowed on the Australian edition.

6. Use the dinky, non-intuitive text enlargement button to try out the Text-to-Speech option.

7. Look at what other libraries are doing with their Kindles like River Forest Public Library ,NCSU library, Boxford Library .

8. Check out the Facebook group for organizations and libraries lending Kindles where there are many links to ebook programs in libraries.

9. Plan a session for the public about ebook readers at the start of December –  giving them lots of chance to play with the Kindle and learn how to read books on the iPhone or a computer, and where to download free ebooks.

10. Write a press release for local media about the ebook session. Make it clear that although ebooks will change things for libraries, we still have a central role for our communities.

11. Aim to circulate the Kindle for two hour loans inside the library for the first six months or so – but be flexible if there is low or higher demand.

12. Try to work out where to put the barcode when I have covered all surfaces with a silicone cover. Choose between asking staff to flip up the cover a bit at the front or cutting a rectangle in the back to get to the barcode.

13. Work out how to catalogue the Kindle. Some libraries have Kindle as a location and have a separate entry for each work. Others catalogue the Kindle as a work. Steal records from other libraries.

14. Assign a Dewey number of 028 to it when the cataloguing module demands a Dewey.

15. Try to download children’s books from the Kindle store, and discover that there are no Captain Underpants, no Harry Potter, no Emily Rodda. Discover a lot of worthy kiddie ethics books like “Sharing is good for you and me”. Go with “New moon” and “Video Rose and Mark Spark” from Jacqueline Wilson.

16. Try to download adult books from the Kindle store. Discover no “Elegance of the Hedgehog, no “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society”, no “Lost Symbol”. Settle for “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies”, “And another thing…:, the “Scarpetta Factor”, “The complete works of Jane Austen”,  “The complete works of Charles Dickens”.

17. Throw in the 7 book omnibus “Green your home all in one for dummies”.

18. Create a one page user guide showing what the buttons do. Put it and the Kindle in the hands of a staff member who has no idea what it is but is a very good sport and watch what she does. Add to the user guide instructions about how to get back to the start of each book, so that they are not left “open” mid-way.

19. Set up a new loan policy for our system, 2 hour loans, just for the Kindle so that it can be borrowed in the building. Try to work out how to use our LMS so users can reserve it without creating confusion for staff. Fail miserably and, since there is not yet a central place online to share staff information, print out booking sheet to go next to the kindle in our drawer.

20. When I have purchased all the works I want, deregister the library Amazon account from the Kindle . The purchased  content will stay there, but the only way someone can use the library line of credit to buy new works is if they re-register the account.

21. Give staff as much training as they want in the week before we start lending it out (mid-December).

22. Wonder what I have forgotten and what I will have to tweak…

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  7 Responses to “22 things I am going to do now that the library Kindle has arrived.”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Librarians Matter and Amy Rogers, Paco López. Paco López said: RT @libsmatter New blog post: 22 things I am going to do now that the library Kindle has arrived. […]

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  3. While the Kindle is nice, I think I’d go with a Nook from Barnes & Noble or a Sony Reader. Both support many more formats than just the Kindle format & PDFs. The Nook has both a color touch screen and an e-ink screen, the latter on which e-books are read. The color touch screen is used for selecting works and downloading new titles.

    Don’t forget also that Amazon thinks they have the right to, at any time, log into your Kindle and wipe out any title they think has improper permissions.

    Good luck!

  4. Load it up with free content.,, and project gutenberg all have a lot of material that is *super* easy to get onto the device. is a great aggregator that will allow you to download directly to the device — w/o usb cable, that is.

    Give it a spin. Post about responses to the device.

  5. Thanks for this great list! We just purchased a Kindle for my library, and this list has been a huge help!

  6. […] The sharing feature definitely raises the interest for libraries. I know many libraries already offer Sony OverDrive for lending, and some have experimented with loaning Kindles out themselves. […]

  7. […] This post was Twitted by libsmatter […]

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