AZ State Library Hosts E-Reader Summit

The Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records had a day-long E-Reader Summit and Technology Showcase on September 20th. What an amazing project! Many participants were from rural libraries and some had never seen an e-reader before. I wish I could have captured the look on one library director's face when she turned on her iPad for the first time. Pure joy! The day was full of so much information, including: digital copyright and legal perspecitives, technology trends, inspiration from State Librarian GladysAnn Wells, and resource sharing.

All participants received a self-selected bundle of e-readers (iPad, Nook, Sony, Kindle or Kobo) plus e-book gift cards. Yes, they got to take a whole bag of technology treastures back to their libraries to continue learning and sharing new skills with other staff members and their communities!

Participants spent the afternoon in hands-on sessions including: youth e-reader resources; iPad apps and downloads; digital downloads; resources for the visually impaired (inlcuding iPad accessbility opitons such as those in this video); and consumer electronics and Arizona State Library resources.

I'll post more about some of the sessions that I attended, but one thing became clear to me during the day.

We must be vocal about libraries wanting to be involved in this next reading evolution. Whether it is sending a letter to book vendors signed by multiple libraries, joining in the work of ALA's Office for Information Technology Policy or your own state or regional library consortium, or sharing perspectives on how to "Seize and Solve This Challenge," do something to promote this important issue. As GladysAnn Wells stated, "The collective voice is always the loudest and most heard." Let's join together and make sure we are not only at the table, but are hosting the meeting.


What a great opportunity for the participating libraries in Arizona! Kudos to the State Library for funding a selection of e-readers for individual libraries. Raising the comfort level with all of these new technologies is such an important aspect of adoption, both for librarians and patrons.

Oddly, the next day (the 21st) I attended a session on the same topic at The Future of Libraries conference held at the San Francisco Public Library. A three-person panel discussed the doomsayer side of e-books, an analysis of different e-readers, and the future of e-books in public libraries. Sarah Houghton-Jan did a terrific job of covering this session on e-books.

Thanks for including ways to advocate for e-readers in libraries. Sarah Houghton-Jan shared her work with others to incite some change on this topic; it's time to be active rather than reactive!