We can talk all day about whether or not it’s a good idea to lend out devices to patrons, but in the end action is better than any kind of talk. After listening to both sides of the lending devices story for a few weeks, I decided to say the heck with it and buy some Nooks and iPod Touches to lend out to my teen patrons.
My approach to lending out these devices was simple: sure, anyone can go out there and buy these devices and put whatever they want on them, but what about all of the cool stuff they may overlook? There’s so many great apps and games out there that there’s no way you could try them all.
I approached the devices as something that the teen library would “curate”. The librarians of the future are also our community leaders. They not only inform their communities, but they also teach, show, and introduce their communities to new things. I took that approach when selected the apps and ebooks that would come loaded on each of these devices. I also came up with a “brand” for the devices….PLAY, CREATE, AND READ SOMETHING. It is my hope with the brand that people come to see the “____ SOMETHING” idea in the library as something unique that a library does not offer traditionally.
The criteria for selecting apps and ebooks was simple. I asked myself “what would I want to experience on these devices?” and also “what could give someone who is borrowing this device the best experience possible?” Each iPod came loaded with $50 in iTunes store credit, and for the Nooks I purchased $100 in ebooks (you can see the complete lists of what are on the devices below).
-Post by Justin Hoenke,Tame the Web Contributor