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Less Jargon, More Practice: Successful eBook Instruction

November 22, 2016
Program Type
Book / Reading Event
Other
Skills Building
Program Topic
Literature / Literacy
Gaming / Just for Fun
Target Audience
Adult
Community Members
Older Adults
Budget
Free
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Short Title
Less Jargon, More Practice: Successful eBook Instruction

eBooks are fun, convenient and ... intimidating. Check out these tips to develop a class about downloading and enjoying library eBooks.

eBooks are fun, convenient and ... intimidating. Since publishers have become more accepting of making their eBooks available to libraries, the number of delivery platforms available at each library system has exploded. Each distributor has their own apps and tricks for use, sometimes making them difficult for our patrons to navigate.

Questions people may have about eBooks

My library system offers four different eBook and eMagazine platforms. Last month, I took on the challenge of developing and teaching a class about downloading and enjoying eBooks from our Library.

If you work on the public-facing side of the library, consider the questions you answer most frequently when it comes to eBooks. For me, the most frequently asked questions are:

  • How do I download eBooks through the library?
  • How can I return a book once I'm finished?
  • I downloaded the book from the catalog. How do I access it?

Planning the class

Considering these questions helped me determine the goals for my class. I hoped to introduce the class to the types of eBooks we have available and practice downloading a book from OverDrive.

I chose not to focus on cramming a lot of information into a two-hour session. If the only thing patrons left with was knowing they could download an eBook, I felt the class was a success.  

Benefits

One bonus to teaching this class was that it encouraged people to sign up for library cards. A library card wasn't needed to take the class, but after they saw our different resources, three people opted to sign up. In case you need to make the case to your library's stakeholders before holding this class, be sure to include this unexpected bonus. New library card accounts are always a great thing.

Another bonus was that this class gave patrons space to ask about our other digital resources. Many attendees weren't aware that you could read magazines, stream movies and research your family history. Embrace these topic changes. Now is your chance to show interested patrons about the resources your library has to offer.

Room for improvement

One area for improvement is surrounding the words we use to describe eBooks. Patrons are understandably confused by eBook jargon. I still don't know how to best explain "Adobe ePUB" to patrons. My goal for the next class is to touch upon some of these terms so they can successfully search our online catalog for materials, rather than having to search each eBook platform separately.

Have you taught a class about your library's digital resources? Share your experiences in the comments!

a woman holds a tablet in her hands
Library Type
Public
Program Type
Book / Reading Event
Other
Skills Building
Program Topic
Literature / Literacy
Gaming / Just for Fun
Job Functions
Resources and Program Starters
Source
Non-ALA
Target Audience
Adult
Community Members
Older Adults
Budget
Free
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