A librarian’s answer: Which ereader should I buy? #libday7

July 28, 2011

Yesterday I spent a good portion of my day talking to several people about ereaders and ebooks. I had people call the library to ask, text message me, catch me in the library and also outside of the library. Ereaders are a hot topic in Winnebago!

The biggest question: Which ereader should I buy?

My answer: I’m a librarian. I can’t tell you which one to buy, but I can tell you what I know about different ereaders, and then I can answer your questions by finding out more information. And I’m ever-so-excited to hear your interest in ebooks at the library!

And here’s what I told them: It really depends on how you’re going to use it. If you already buy books from Amazon or Barnes and Noble, you might want their ereaders. If you want to check out books from the library, you’d love the iPad’s Overdrive for Libraries app which allows you to download ebooks from the library wirelessly. If you are concerned about tired eyes, dry eyes, glare, etc. from reading off of a screen, you might want to look at e-ink technology and the e-ink-friendly-ereaders (Kindle, NOOK original and new, some knockoffs).

I have an Apple iPod touch and have downloaded the NOOK and Kindle apps to my device to just try them out. I received emails from both Barnes and Noble and Amazon yesterday that said Apple had removed the ability to purchase books from the apps. While I think this is absolutely absurd and somewhat misleading on Apple’s part, I also understand why they made this decision. They want to make money.

Just like the NOOK and Kindle will never have “check out from a library” options because the companies want you to buy their books, Apple wants you to buy ebooks from their store – iBooks.

What it comes down is money. Apple, Amazon and Barnes and Noble want to make money. While I can’t tell my patrons which company to give their money to, I can tell them how much I value something I’ll USE rather than something that’s COOL. That’s why it’s important to be informed about the different options of ereaders – and that’s what I’m going to advocate for at the library.

Of course, if a patron asks me which ereader I would buy, I’d gladly tell them I want the new NOOK and then explain my reasoning:
(1) e-ink technology
(2) battery life
(3) I was able to try it out at the store
(4) library-lending-friendly (as much as it can be)
(5) touchscreen!! (albeit a bit slower reactions than my brain is used to…)

I honestly believe there’s nothing wrong with sharing my opinion, but I do want to give the patron the opportunity to get as much unbiased information from me as they can before my gadget-envy-techno-lust-librarian-side shows too strongly.



Goodreads App – now available!

May 27, 2011

I discovered last week that Goodreads has an app for Android AND NOOKcolor! YAHOO!

So excited. I love using Goodreads and it’s so much easier to update and mark my to-read books when I have access to it constantly (on my phone or nook). Great step for Goodreads and for those of us who are reading ebooks now!

In other news… have you seen the new NOOK?! I’m having gadget envy again. I love my NOOKcolor, but I definitely think this new NOOK is a good step for Barnes and Noble because (1) it has the e-ink feature which people appreciate because it’s easy on eyes (2) it is touchscreen and (3) it’s connected – meaning the reader will be able to connect to other readers via apps (Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, NOOK friends).

Amazon’s Kindle is getting a library card

April 20, 2011

So it’s all over the news — Amazon is partnering with OverDrive to bring the library lending feature to the Kindle and its users. FINALLY. Hello!!! I know that Amazon is trying to SELL the Kindle and SELL books, but it shouldn’t have taken this long to make library lending an option… (says the librarian).

I AM interested in the feature of having bookmarks and making notes in a library book and then getting those back when/if you buy the book. This is a marketing – selling tool for Amazon because they’re doing something others haven’t done – and they’re pushing for people to read the book and then buy it if they want to read it again.

A couple of questions:
1. Will people who already have a Kindle get this feature or will it just be for the newest Kindles?
2. Will a person be able to download the same book on multiple reading devices (their Kindle and their phone) at the same time?

In any event, this is wonderful news. The Muir Library will be ebook friendly in about a month and I’m delighted to tell our patrons who are interested that the Kindle is now supporting library lending.

Real Life – Library – Experience

February 28, 2011

I’ve written a couple of posts about how important it is to gather experience working with libraries and organizations while also attending school. One of the things I don’t think I’ve highlighted enough is the fact that YOU can go out and approach people with your ideas (based on your interests and strengths).

Here’s an example:

If you LOVE creating/designing/redesigning web sites, why not approach a library that needs a web site facelift?


Read the rest of this entry »

Update: A reader’s ereader dilemma

February 22, 2011

I just downloaded the Overdrive Media Console app for Android. What an amazing app! Of course I am gushing now; I’m sure there will be a glitch or two. But honestly, it was almost TOO easy to get into my Seattle Public Library account through Overdrive, search for a book and download it. You can download EPUBs and MP3s. I’m absolutely amazed. I thought it would take at least a couple more months for this to actually work.

Are you using this app? What do you think?

I still have no regrets about my NOOKcolor 🙂
Off to play!

A reader’s ereader dilemma

February 21, 2011

I gave in and bought a NOOKcolor a couple of weeks ago. I wanted to wait until there was something a little more library-friendly, but my gadget envy took hold and now I own an ereader. I’d love to know how/if you’re reading ebooks! Here are a few ‘excuses’ for my purchase.
Read the rest of this entry »

3 Ways for a Library to use Twitter

October 2, 2010

Today was #followalibrary day on Twitter. Search for that hashtag and see what you find. It’s really interesting. Many libraries use Twitter already, but I’ve recently spoken to some librarians who have told me they don’t know how to use it or they don’t understand what use it would have in the library. Librarians are busy, eh?! Yes. Very busy. However, Twitter is simple, and not time-consuming (unless you choose to make it). Here are 3 ways a library could use Twitter.

1. Twitter can be linked to Facebook. This is useful if you’re not ready to watch the Twitter feeds and make lists and follow other people and use hashtags…oh, stop being scared. If you can get as far as creating a Twitter account and linking it to your Facebook page, you can make your usual updates on Facebook and never open Twitter again.

2. Learn about other libraries quickly on Twitter. Do you want to know how other public libraries are preparing for Banned Books Week? What are other academic libraries preparing for the new incoming students? By following other libraries on Twitter, you form a quick, clean, network of libraries. You control whose updates you want to see and you choose whether or not you want to give your own updates. You can be an ‘observer’ on Twitter, but I think interacting is much more rewarding.

3. Okay. You’ve considered Twitter and you’ve joined and watched and now you’re ready to try to be a little more active. Here’s the first thing to think about. Who do you want to watch your Twitter feed?

Do you want to give information to users? [You can tweet about your hours of operation, branch openings, renovations, blog updates, new additions to the collections, links to surveys, announcements if there are unexpected closings or web site downtimes, etc]

Would you like to attract non-users to your library? [In this way, your tweets need to reach people who don’t officially ‘follow’ you. You want to tweet about specific databases or collections that would attract people who wouldn’t necessarily think to use the library] For example: tweet about new releases and author visits to attract people who buy many of their books. Or, reach out to those folks who are into sports by creating a booklist about basketball or soccer or the olympics and compose your tweets so they use those “hot” words.

Each time you create a message to send out on Twitter, you need to think about your audience.

I think libraries and Twitter can and will begin to agree more and more with each other in the near future. My plan is to write another post about this soon — including ideas about reader advisory and reference services to followers.

If you’re looking for libraries to follow, here are some I follow:
@dcpl — D.C. Public Library
@kcls — King County Library System
@piercecolibrary — Pierce County Library
@uwlibraries — University of Washington Libraries
@askccref — Carl B Ylvisaker Library — Moorhead, MN
@nypl — New York Public Library
and more…

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