E-Reader Programs Continue
We had an “informal” hands-on evening (90 minutes) for patrons to get up close and personal with six different brands of e-readers scheduled for last night. At least that’s what I thought we had promoted in our newsletter. In my original plans, I anticipated having patrons drop by our table set up in the middle of our DVD browsing area and spending a few minutes talking with them about the differences in the devices and then showing them how to download e-books from Overdrive. I felt like we’d be lucky to see twenty patrons over the course of the evening. What happened in reality was far different!
Thankfully, I set up my table with chairs for two of us earlier in the afternoon. There were aleady several comfortable chairs in this browsing area of the Library for anyone who wanted to sit and experience reading a book on a device. When my fellow librarian and I arrived at ten minutes before the scheduled start of this program, the area was already packed with patrons who had brought additional chairs from surrounding parts of the main level and were waiting patiently for us to arrive. I immediately realized that my plans for a casual person-to-person approach was out of the question. I was totally blown away by the number of folks who continue to be interested in e-readers!
I had already given a formal presentation in January, complete with a PowerPoint presentation, so I simply “winged it” and went through my original talk to this new group of potential users. Unfortunately, I had neither notes nor slides to guide me, so I pretty much spoke off the top of my head. Thankfully, we had a lively group – by this time numbering over 40 – and they had lots of questions. I was able to pass around each device after I took a few minutes extolling its positive and negative points. By the time we were ready to take down our table and put away our e-readers, almost two hours had passed. I think our attendees went away with valuable information and I certainly learned a few things as well –
1. Never under-estimate the popularity of e-books and e-readers in your community.
2. See if public meeting rooms are available for the next two scheduled “informal” hands-on demonstrations. We pretty much disrupted life for the patrons who wanted to browse our DVD collection in our current setting.
3. Don’t forget to introduce yourself and your co-presenter, no matter how rattled you are!!
4. Always have notes ready for those “just in case” situations.
5. Remember that it’s only a program and no matter how badly you think you may have done, your audience appreciates your efforts.
Stay tuned for results from our next adventure with e-readers…