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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Minutes of the January 17, 2017 Adult Services Roundtable Meeting at Hoover

Shannon, Hoover
Leslie, Central BPL
Carrie, Hoover
Amanda, EOM
Deidre, Bessemer
Terri, Vestavia
Maura, Trussville
Lindsey, Trussville
Shanae, Hoover
Leigh, North B’ham

Topic: Tech Collections

Carrie Steinmehl, Technology Coordinator at the Hoover Library discussed the history of their management of technology.  Around 2005, HPL’s Wireless Network was installed and all felt there were not enough computer access for the public.  At that time, they invested in laptops that would be checked out to individuals and used only in the library.  These now play an integral part of our public offerings.  There are about 18 laptops that check out from the Tech Hub.  In 2015, Carrie researched circulating WiFi Hotspots.  Through T-Mobile, HPL was able to get 10 devices that have 4G LTE with unlimited data.  Each device initially costs about $150 (this is going down) and cost the library $28.70/month for data per device.  With 20, HPL spends about $7,000/yr.  The devices are *always* checked out with multiple holds on each.  Through a family connection, Carrie has found that a nonprofilt company, Voqul, has partnered with Sprint to offer for $10/month for data per device with costs per device as low as $110.  That may be the way of the future.

  • ·       Each WiFi Hotspot can power up to 10 devices in the home or on the road.
  • ·       The devices can be checked out to any patron 18 or older with a clear card for one week.
  • ·       If late, patron will accrue $1.50/day in fines and the device will be deactivated very shortly after it becomes due.  Most have been returned as soon as they’ve been deactivated.  None have been lost or damaged yet. 
  • ·       Patrons check out devices from the Tech Hub and return them there.

Carrie also helped set up Bessemer’s WiFi Hotspot collection.  Deidre Sims stated that the program is extremely popular with holds on all 10 devices.  Plans are to add to the current collection.  Their devices regulations are very similar to HPL except that the devices are checked out from the front desk (and users must be 21 and older).  In the 2 years Bessemer has had the collection, they have collected user surveys with very positive feedback. 

In addition to laptops and WiFi hotspots, the Hoover Library Fiction Department is in charge of 3 other Tech devices that circulate to patrons.
  • Nook Simple Touch
Black and white Nooks check out with preloaded content purchased from Barnes & Noble.  Each Nook has a theme based on content.  This collection was originally started in 2010 to fill the gap left by Overdrive as they were unable to offer all titles by all major publishers.  They have been very popular but since Overdrive is now able to offer the content we were purchasing for this collection we no longer purchase new titles.

Patrons must fill out an agreement before checking out a NOOK (see attachment).
Age limit: 15+
Check out period: 3 weeks (with 2 renewals)
Number of Nooks: 20

  • Nook Samsung Galaxy Tablet

These 7.0 color tablets check out preloaded with the library’s digital services on them.  Currently, they are preloaded with the Overdrive, Hoover Library, hoopla, Mango Languages, and Zinio apps.  There are also desktop shortcuts to BrainHQ, Reference USA, Universal Class, Alabama Legal Forms, The Birmingham News, Chilton Auto Repair, and Novelist.  Patrons must still use their library card to login and access these services (so if they are not Hoover residents they will not have access to all services).

Patrons are able to download any additional apps they need by logging into the Google Play store with their personal ID.  Tablets do have software on them to allow staff to lock and disable overdue tablets.  This software (called Maas360) is also used to wipe and reload the tablets after each checkout to remove patrons’ personal information.

Patrons must fill out an agreement before checking out a NOOK (see attachment).
Age limit: 18+
Check out period: 1 week (with 2 renewals)
Number of tablets: 32
Number of tablets billed: 8

  • Roku Streaming Sticks

These preloaded streaming sticks plug into the HDMI port of your television and run through your personal wireless connection.  Patrons are able to check out a Roku stick and view many of our most popular movies and TV shows through the Vudu app on the Roku.

Digital copies of movies are provided free of charge with our physical copies when we receive them from Midwest.  The promo codes for the free movies are redeemed and the copies made available on the Vudu app on the appropriate Roku.  Additional copies are also purchased from Vudu.

Patrons do not have to fill out a lending agreement
No minimum age limit
Check out period: 1 week (with 2 renewals)
Number of Roku Streaming Sticks: 10

To discuss the Roku Streaming Sticks, Shanae King of the HPL Fiction Department came and explained her process of loading each Roku stick with the free digital copies of movies we already purchase from various sources.  These digital copies were previously either given out to staff or discarded, but once the Roku plan was initiated, these free copies became content for the circulating devices.  She stated this loading of the digital codes was the most time consuming portion of the program.  Otherwise it is easy and patrons seem to love them.  They are always checked out with holds.  Each device costs the library about $25/item.  HPL currently has 10 devices.  There are hopes that the Movie Department, which circulates the Roku sticks, may invest in their own WiFi hotspots to circulate with the Roku sticks, making it easier for patrons.

Common to several libraries are the Playaway “LaunchPads” which primarily circulate in Children’s Departments.  Both Bessemer and Vestavia Hills use theirs with kids – VH also has some for Teens and ESL students.  Replacement costs for these study, small tablets is about $150 per device with each containing a specifically themed content.

There was an active discussion of tech “accoutrements” that are sold in various libraries such as flash drives and earphones, along with the dreaded office supply debate.  Several libraries added that selling flash drives for $7 and earphones for $2 is a public service and made daily exchanges move smoothly.

Last, but not least, Carrie described a unique offering for Hoover Library.  Because we cannot invest square footage to a makerspace, the Tech Department investigated ways of providing something unique to our community.  The solution came in the form of a Digital Media Lab.  The equipment is kept together but can be made portable for the patron to use in the library and Technology Training Center.  Equipment includes video and audio recording resources, along with green screen, photo digitizer, 27” iMac with Retina display, scanners, microphones, headphones, keyboard controller and much more.  A quiet rollout has seen usage among patrons wishing to film their own commercials and interest in the iMovie and Garageband products.

Resources (feel free to use in your library):

Hoover Library Technology Services (describes Digital Media Lab equipment)

If you have anything you wish to add, please leave a comment below.  I can direct questions to the right person or do my best to answer.  If you have documents you wish to share, send them to me and I will post them on the ASRT blog.

NEXT MEETING:  Thursday, March 16, 2017 at 10:00 am @ the Homewood Library
TOPIC:  Gaming/Games in the Library

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