Thomas H. Raddall Library in Liverpool is set to offer an e-reader information session this Thursday, March 8 at 6:30 p.m. Christina Pottie, Outreach and E-Services coordinator for South Shore Public Libraries, will be presenting the session with librarian Jeff Mercer. The original session, slated for last week, was cancelled because of weather.
The session “comes out of two things,” says Mercer. “One, the library offers downloadable e- and audio books for patrons, and two, a lot of people have been getting these (e-readers).”
The idea is to teach people how to use their e-readers with the library’s services.
Presentations like the one in Liverpool encompass how to download material, what software is required and what the steps are. Pottie and Mercer will also answer people’s questions.
Mercer says the library’s material for e-readers doesn’t work with Kindles. Libraries in the United States are just starting to use Kindles.
There was an introductory e-reader session at the Thomas H. Raddall Library last year.
“Now that people have had a chance to play around with it, and more and more people are getting interested, we realize that it’s definitely time to be more specific in answering questions,” says Mercer.
A recent information session in Bridgewater brought out 35 to 40 people.
“People are definitely interested,” says Mercer.
“People are encouraged to bring their machines because it’s a little easier if we can know what they’re working with because they’re all a little bit different.”
For example, he adds some e-readers access the Internet directly, while others don’t. Questions some people may have could depend on which ones they own.
Mercer says libraries simply see e-readers and e-books as a new format.
“They came out years and years ago with large print for people whose eyesight was getting a little bit worse,” he says.
Later, audio books came out.
E-books are another way for people to access what they would like to read, says Mercer.
“And we’re happy to provide it in any way that they’d like to consume it,” he says.
The big difference between borrowing hardcopies and e-books is patrons can’t renew e-books. Mercer says this is because the collection is shared by eight of the regional libraries.
“We have to buy virtual copies the same way you buy physical copies,” he says. “When you have two thirds of the province trying to read these e-readers and there are only four copies, to get it to the most people you can’t have renewals.”
Mercer says there is a separate collection for South Shore borrowers, which someone from Annapolis Royal logging in, for example, wouldn’t see. He says this is a way to provide a few extra titles and maybe allow a shorter wait.
The collection covers a range of stuff, including cookbooks, self-help, mysteries, romance, and children’s books and picture books. Mercer says the collection includes several thousand titles between the audio and e-books.