Tech Toy Time

Anticipating the post-holiday crush of customers with new devices they don’t know what to do with, I proposed a designated drop-in time for hands-on help downloading ebooks from the library. Tech Toy Time was born! Throughout Sundays in January at the Austin Public Library, dozens of people brought in their iPads, tablets, phones, Kindles and Nooks to get set up with OverDrive. They even put me on the teevee! The initial program was a great success, and we’ve rolled it into our regular repertoire of computer/tech offerings.

However ubiquitous such devices are becoming, digital literacy is still at a premium. If you don’t have a grandkid or a niece to walk you through it—or if the genius bar cats terrify you, or Amazon phone support gives you the vapors—what do you do? You never turn on your $200 paperweight. It’s a huge gap the library can fill, at least when it involves accessing our materials (ebooks, e-audiobooks, digital magazines and more). If only there were time and staff to push it to the branches….

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