Yes, for some people the thought of going to the library and realizing you’re still in your pajamas might just be a nightmare, not an innovation – and certainly not something to be anticipated pleasantly.
For most people that capability is a reality and more than 12% of Americans have done it (but we can’t vouch for what they were wearing when they did it).
No, we’re not talking about checking out books online and picking them up later or having them shipped. Well, not shipped in the way you may think.
E-Book Lending from Your Local Library
Most public libraries now have e-books for checkout and reading with your e-readers, including reader applications on your smartphones, tablets and personal computers. You didn’t know that, you say? If so, you are among the majority in that regard, according to a recent Pew Research report.
We know a number of people, especially seniors, who have told us they don’t want to own a Kindle or Nook because they don’t want to have to pay for the books they read. Even if they know there are a tremendous number of books available free of charge for e-readers, they still balk because they don’t include the hot new titles they like to get from the library. It is likely you CAN do that with your e-reader too. Well, possible at least.
It is easy to check out and download an e-book from your library, maybe too easy for some of the major book publishers, who fear eating into e-book sales. We suspect something similar happened when public libraries gained in popularity initially – - after all, who would buy book from the bookstore if you could simply go to the library and check it out. Hopefully it would take too long for the publishers to realize e-book lending might just be the best thing that could happen to them.
Changing Role of Library Staff
With public funding of libraries cutting down their hours and collections, e-books may be just the thing to help them keep their role in many communities. E-book lending is changing the role of library staff, too.
Computer workstations in many libraries have already forced staff to become more technically oriented to help patrons navigate their way through unfamiliar computers. Now they find themselves called upon to answer questions about e-readers and their software. While many enjoy the new role and are technically oriented themselves, training is uneven across library systems. That makes it time consuming to help the growing number of patrons who bring in their e-reader to check out books but who have not even turned it on yet.
Spread the Word About Libraries
Many of our senior loved ones have fond memories of the local library as a social gathering place and a source of fact and fantasy through its books. Let them know the library can again be a valuable source of reading material for their e-readers. This can be especially valuable for those unable to get out of the house and visit the library.
Are you the unofficial/official tech support for senior loved ones? If so, you might want to walk them through a sample check out and download to make the process as easy and enjoyable as possible, especially if they’re going to be doing it from home.
Choice of attire is yours!