Selling Your Library – Appealing to the Technophiles

Selling Your Library – Appealing to the Technophiles

Posted on Thursday April 01, 2010 at 01:57PM

Selling Your Library – Appealing to the Technophiles


 I would not really consider myself a technophile, although I’m on the computer all day at work and then go home and play around on Facebook to relax.  But I have to admit that sometimes new technology is a little intimidating for me.  For example, while living overseas I found that having a cell phone was much cheaper than a land line.  I was ok with texting, but as technology advanced, the students I taught not only texted, but emailed, downloaded music, took pictures, kept an agenda, and were able to get directions when they were lost, all from the one phone.  It seemed overwhelming to me, so I stuck to my basic model.


Even now all that my phone is capable of doing is calling, texting and waking me up if I’m somewhere without an alarm clock.  If it were up to me, that’s all any cell phone would do.  But there are lovers of technology who use our libraries, and there are cell phone applications designed to be used for library purposes.


A prime example is the iPhone app that TRAC has recently released for the catalogue.  It does more than allow you to access the TRACpac from your internet connected phone.  The app (short for application) changes the appearance of the Pac to be much more user friendly on that teeny, tiny screen.  I looked at the Pac on a regular internet phone and then the iPhone App version.  The difference actually made me consider going out and getting myself an iPhone!


Think about it: you’re in the city for the day and of course you have to stop at Chapters (Barnes & Nobel, Coles, etc.).   They’ve got this great display of shiny, new books on a subject that you know your patrons are interested in.  But wait.  Don’t you have this one already?  If you buy it, you run the risk of duplication.  If you don’t buy it and then find that you don’t have it, but want it, you may have to pay more later.  What to do?  You whip out your iPhone, go to the TRACpac App and search the catalogue for the book.  You find you don’t have (you’ve probably been intra library loaning it) so you make the purchase.  Yay!  Patrons can do the same if they spot a book they’d like to read but are on a limited budget.  By checking their iPhone TRACpac App, they’ll know if they can get it easily (and more cheaply) through their library.  Check out the website for a short video on the iPhone App. (


My other attempt at being technically savvy while preparing for this article was, alas, a miserable failure.  There is a new OverDrive application for Blackberry (  I like to test things before writing about them in order to figure out where people might have problems, and see if it is worthy of passing along.  I also test things so that when people have questions, I can actually give intelligent answers based on experience.  This test was a fail.   I don’t own a BlackBerry, so I had to borrow one.  Joanne, our lovely van driver, was gracious enough to lend me hers.  So I spent a few hours at work “playing” with her phone.  By the time I figured out how to access the internet, I realized that we were in a black hole of cell phone reception.  I also discovered that the phone was not a model that would download the app.  So I tried Mircea’s phone.  Same results.


So why am I promoting it if I can’t get it working myself?  Because there are people out there far more technically adept than I who will appreciate this sort of thing.  Recently I had the opportunity to spend some time working with some pre-teens.  They all had BlackBerries and would whip them out at a moment’s notice.  These are the patrons who would also be interested in e-Books.  These are the patrons we need to be promoting our hi-tech gizmos and gadgets to.  These are the patrons who would most appreciate it.  Tell them, let them figure out how it works, and they will tell their friends.  There’s no better advertising than this.



For those of you who are new to my mailing list, The Weekly Blurb is also available online as a blog, through the NLLS website (  Feel free to post comments, or let us all know if you’ve tried some of the suggestions and how they worked.


Also, please remember to fill out the needs assessment survey for the Northern Lights Library System’s plan of service, found at


Have a happy Easter!



Author: Northern Lights Library System


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Trac ap

The trac ap is wonderful? To order books from my ituch or coment on a blog on the run makes my life better, and proves the new tec toys are not just for kid!

Posted on Thursday April 01, 2010 at 02:07PM by Lanny boutin

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