Students are returning their Nook contracts faster than we can enter them into our circulation software. Nooks are registered (29) and we are putting the final touches on our content lists. Each Nook belongs to a genre set. Genre sets include realistic fiction, historical fiction, adventure, scifi/fantasy, and mystery. We are still on for program launch, checking out our first Nooks to elementary and middle school students, March 12.
Barnes & Noble Nook SimpleTouch(tm) ereaders
The logistics of putting an ereader program in place will depend on the type of devices you will manage. We have chosen Barnes and Noble (B&N) Nook SimpleTouch ereaders because B&N is edu friendly. Working with the local B&N community relations representative (Boulder, CO), Jeff Oliver, has been incredibly easy. Oliver has been proactive and responsive, always making time for my questions, and putting me in touch with other librarians that have Nook programs. Oliver’s facilitation of the networking process has been invaluable. Through Oliver I met Cheyne Keith, Platt Middle School teacher-librarian. Keith has a robust and evolving Nook program (more on Keith's Piggyback Nook program in a later post).
Tools Not Toys
Keith and I spoke at length about the inevitability of students wanting to check out a Nook simply because they want the latest gadget. They may not even care about the content on the device, they just want one of those “things”. Our job as information curators and literacy guides is to push back and ask students “Great, what do you want to read?”. We learned our lesson with Playaways. Students simply wanted one of those MP3 devices, they could careless about was actually on the Playaway. If Suzy had one then Johnny wanted one. We need to remind students that Nooks are tools, not toys. We will ask students to selects a Nook based on the content on the Nook. This will ensure that students have a positive and successful experience with their Nook.
Content, Content, Content!
Students should be able to browse Nook content just like they browse the OPAC, library shelves, and displays. To ensure Flagstaff students aren’t checking out a Nook to just check out a the latest tech toy, we are creating both hard copy and electronic Nook Set Playlists. Playlists are created as a Google Doc so we can create both hard copy and electronic output. Each Nook set Playlist includes a book cover and concise overview of selected titles students will find on that Nook set (example Historical Fiction Nook Playlist). Binders will be available at the circulation desk for students to flip through and browse. Since these are Google Docs we can also publish Playlists as web pages to the LMC web site and LMCWiki that students can access via any browser. As we update a Google Doc, add new content to a Nook set, the changes will automatically appear on the Playlists web pages as well.
You Don't Have to Start from Scratch
I want to say thanks to all those librarians, my info gurus, that are embracing the digital shift that is happening NOW to our collections. Numerous librarians are managing ereader programs and they are sharing everything from student contracts to MARC records for devices and ebook content. I follow Buffy Hamilton (@buffyjhamilton), Cheyne Keith, Kathleen Parker (@marianslibrary), Collette M. Adams, and my peers on the eBook Educators Group (Ning). Read their blogs, follow them on Twitter, visit their schools, and read their Ning posts. You don't have to start from scratch, they are all very graciously sharing.