iPads for the Tweens

We have an iPad pilot project going on at our library right now. If it goes well, we might expand the project – more iPads, more areas, etc.

But for now, here’s what we’re doing:

  • We have two iPads out in our kid’s area – specifically in our Tweens area (kids ages 9-12)
  • Somewhere, we found some huge, spongy iPad cases
  • Each iPad has some games, art apps, and other age-appropriate apps
  • They are chained to a table so they don’t walk off

And they seem to be pretty popular!

[GARD align=”right”] The project is going well so far. We started off with some pretty normal black sleeve/cases – those didn’t last long, hence the huge, thick, spongy cases. There’s no power connected to them, so we have to recharge them every day. And I think we’ve had some problems keeping customers out of settings, etc. Sure, you can set up a password for some things – but that won’t keep people out of all the settings on an iPad.

Otherwise – it’s going well, and we’ll assess it and either grow the project or kill it, depending on feedback.

What’s your library doing with iPads or tablets? I’m curious!

Pinterest for Libraries – what we’re doing

I recently helped set up a Pinterest account for our library (and by “help” I mean that I created the account. Most of the work so far has been done by Jeff Tate, our Digital Branch Librarian, and our fine group of staff participating in the pilot project).

What have we done so far? Here’s a list of our goals and process to date, and a list of a few “best practice” tips we’ve discovered along the way:

Goals and process:

  • Goal: focus on the library, on things our customers might be interested in, and on “local.”
  • Goal: focus on things that make people “click”
  • Goal for each board – at least 9 pins a week.
  • For staff – wear your “library hat” – think like “the library” rather than an individual when pinning something
  • We set up 16 boards for starters, each with at least one staff member in charge of it (most of the boards have a team of 2-3 staff).
  • The boards we set up, for the most part, match up to our neighborhoods in our physical library and on our website (we have grouped subject areas together into neighborhoods, i.e., the Travel neighborhood, the Cooking Neighborhood, etc. Each has a physical collection and a blog).
  • We will soon have a link to our Pinterest account from the main page of our website
  • Write a short, “tweetable” blurb for each pin you create.
Useful Tips:
  • I used a group email (we use Microsoft Exchange/Outlook for email) when setting up the account, and assigned everyone participating in the pilot project to the email group. That way, everyone sees likes, pins, follows, comments, etc  that happen in Pinterest.
  • When creating a new board, fill it up with 9 things – this way, the board doesn’t look “empty” [like my personal Pinterest account looks :-) ]
  • Pinning books from our catalog is great – but it’s also a multi-step process. First, you need to find a bookcover pic and Pin that (because Pinterest Pins focus on images). Once you have the pic, you can then add in the direct URL to the book’s catalog record.

That’s pretty much it. Pinterest is a very simple site … that has taken off like crazy! Like I said, this is a pilot project. Our plan is to use Pinterest for 6 months to see if it works for our library and for our customers. If there continues to be growing interest, we’ll go with it. If interest wains, we’ll kill the project.

More articles on Pinterest and libraries:

What’s your library doing with Pinterest? Let me know!