Fall Workshop Special Session

Fall Workshop 2012 is right around the corner.  This year we have a special session planned on Saturday night before the official Fall Workshop begins on Sunday.  Please consider arriving Saturday evening so you can you can hear our guest speaker, Michael Porter.  Click the link below for complete details.

Library Futurist Event


Back by Popular Demand: TPZ Training – Round 2

Round one of TPZ trainings was very successful. Each session was well attended and the feedback from the participants has been positive.

Since the first round of dates did not work for everyone, I have had requests for more trainings. I also have had requests for more information on using Montana Library 2 go.  In response to these requests a second round of regional trainings is being scheduled.  This round will be open to staff and patrons and will be presented by myself and the statwide library consultants, Lauren McMullen, Tracy Cook, and Suzanne Reymer.

These trainings will be scheduled for a full day.  Each device (Nook, Kindle Keyboard, Kindle Fire, and iPad) will be scheduled with a 90 minute session and advertised, so patrons can attend the session that pertains to them (see example advertisement below).  Becasue we know the scheduled times will not work for everyone and since there will be more than one trainer on hand for these events, we also encourage people to drop-in with questions about their device, including devices not mentioned above.

Great Falls is scheduled for August 6, 2012 from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm

Forsythe is scheduled for September 18, 2012 from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm

Bozeman is scheduled for October 26, 2012 from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm

Stevensville will host a training date and time are TBD

If your Library is interested in hosting a training please contact me at jbirnel@mt.gov.

Advertisement poster for the upcoming Great Falls regional TPZ training.

TPZ Training

Thank-you for registering for a TPZ training with the Montana State Library.  To make your experience at the training better you will want to register your devices to their appropriate accounts; iTunes, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.

If you are from a BTOP library, you received a gift card for Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes. These cards can be used as your primary method of payment, however there are some steps to make these work. Please follow the directions below to get your accounts up and running before your training session.

  1. The iTunes card may need to be set up from a computer instead of from the device. iTunes does not require a credit or debit card tied to the account, however it prompts you to add one.
  2. To download any content from Barnes & Noble directly from your device you will have to assign a credit or debit cardto the account.  Your gift card alone is not enough to enable the direct download service.
    1. I called customer support to ask if there was a work around to this step and was told that the credit cards embedded code ensures the publisher that the books are not being mass reproduced.
    2. I had a prepaid Visa gift card with a  $7.00 balance on it, so I decided to try using it.  It worked.
    3. I would recommend going to your local bank and purchasing a prepaid Visa or MasterCard debit card.  It does not need a large balance, it just needs the bank card number.
    4. You can add this card from your Barnes & Noble account on the computer or from the device itself.
    5. When you register your gift card to the account, it is by default the first form of payment
  3. To make your gift card the primary form of payment possible on Amazon, please follow the extra steps below.  You can use the links in this email to go to the webpage and make the necessary additions. Without making these adjustments you will not be able to download any content from Amazon, including free content.


Using a gift card as your payment method

You are not required to have a credit or debit card on your Amazon.com account to make digital purchases such as Kindle books, but you must establish a default 1-Click billing address on your Amazon.com account to use Amazon.com gift cards for digital purchases. If you don’t already have a 1-Click billing address on your account, follow the instructions below to add an address without entering a credit or debit card to your account.

To add a 1-Click billing address for gift card purchases:

  1. Visit      the Manage      Addresses and 1-Click Settings page in Your Account.
  2. Click      the Enter a new address button.
  3. Enter      the address information and click the Save & Continue button.
  1. Select the “Click here to make this your 1-Click default address” link.

Please feel free to call or email me if you have questions regarding setting up your devices.  Please try to have your devices registered and ready to go before training.  This will allow us more time to learn how to use the devices themselves.

TPZ Regional Training Sessions

I have had numerous questions about the TPZ training workshops. The list of currently scheduled trainings is below.

Chouteau County Library, Fort Benton – Tuesday, June 12, 2012 – from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Sheridan County Library, Plentywood – Monday, June 18, 2012 – from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm

MSUB- College of Technology, Billings – Tuesday, June 19, 2012– from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm

Lewis and Clark Public Library, Helena – Wednesday, June 20, 2012 – from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Missoula Public Library – Tuesday, June 26, 2012 – from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm

Flathead County Library, Kalispell – Thursday June 28, 2012 – from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm

This round of trainings is for library staff members, not patrons.  In order to get the most out of the training time, each training is limited to 25 people and will be first come, first served. Please register for a training session, registration is required.

  Register for a Training

The trainings are scheduled for four hours which will give us 45 minutes with each TPZ device and time for questions and some short breaks.  The trainings scheduled from 10-3 have an hour built-in for lunch, which will be on your own. BTOP libraries can request reimbursement for mileage costs; please carpool.

This training will cover:

-how to register and manage each device

-how to navigate each device

-how to download books and apps

-how to access and change the device settings

The training is designed to be hands-on.  Each participant will need to have time to touch each device, so keep this in mind when you decide how many people to send from your library.  Please bring your library’s devices and if you have a personal copy of any of the devices it would be helpful if you would bring it along as well. Please also bring your gift cards, as we will be registering these to the device (if you haven’t already) and we will practice purchasing books and apps.  I will also bring four extra copies of each device to the trainings.

Please send an email to jbirnel@mt.gov if you have questions or concerns. I realize these trainings will not meet the needs of all library staff members.  I will schedule more trainings later this summer.  I will also offer webinars on each device which will be recorded and archived.

Highlights from the Field, April 2012

  • Butte Silver Bow Public Library launched its new “Technology S.O.S” program, promoting it in      newspapers, radio, television, the web, and social networking sites.
  • Flathead County Library loaned equipment to nonprofit groups, reaching 50 participants.
  • Phillips County Library held a BTOP Open House and Gadget Training with 22 participants.
  • Rosebud County Library attended a Community Collaboration workshop, which led to new partnerships and project ideas including: the Parents Teachers Students  Association, the Human Resources Department, Public Health, the Sheriff’s Department, and the City and County Planners.
  • Darby Community Public Library led an off-site HomeworkMT orientation with a 4th grade class. They passed out thumbdrives afterwards.  The library also called Missoula Public Library to compare computer programs offered on public computers, which led to them adding iTunes, Picassa and Adobe Creator.
  • The Browning Branch Library held a “Tame the Wild, Wild Web” Open House.  They promoted BTOP computers, laptops, and HomeworkMT.  One parent was especially excited as the information was in a better format for her ADD child.
  • Broadwater School and Community Library hosted a presentation from staff from Fish, Wildlife and Parks using BTOP equipment.
  • Lewis and Clark Library had 206 laptop check-outs in one month alone!  Having printing capabilities for the laptop has been a big plus.
  • Great falls Public Library uses Facebook and Twitter to promote library services, including technology workshops.
  • Glasgow City-county Library uses newspaper and radio ads to promote its Tech Nite programs.
  • Parmly Billings’s teen Librarian participated in a summer job career fair in partnership with Montana Job Service.  She brought books on resumes, career information and pamphlets about HomeworkMT an online tool which includes resume help.  160 teenagers attended the event which was held at the MSU-Billings College of Technology.  Each month, the Assistant Director tapes “The Library Show”, a 1/2 hour interview show about Library activities that airs on Community 7, the Billings local community TV channel.  The show airs twice a week.
  • Sidney-Richland County Library used Facebook and the web to advertise a Demo Day & E-reader Petting Zoo in April.
  • Lincoln County Public Library partnered with Kootenai Job Services. Clients used the library’s computers for their emergency unemployment program.
  • Chouteau County Library held an open house during National Library Week.
  • Livingston-Park County Public Library had 82 laptop users in one month alone! They also held an open house, which included a technology petting zoo provided by Lauren McMullen. One commissioner attended the event.
  • Quote from Laurel Public Library patron: “I am so grateful to have the library to come to when I need help with computer training or troubleshooting.”
  • Bozeman Public Library’s new scanner has been used 18 times in less than one month. They are also promoting the availability of laptops with signs throughout the library; they had 270 laptop checkouts in one month alone!

New Mobile Devices and Upcoming Trainings

Montana BTOP libraries have been sent their new Technology Petting Zoo’s (TPZ’s).  The TPZ consists of an iPad, Kindle Fire, Kindle Keyboard, and a Nook.  The TPZ’s are intended to be used by staff to familiarize themselves with mobile devices. Many of you are anxious to get started using these devices and you are certainly allowed to begin, but there are some things to be aware of before you start.  Here are some helpful tips. Please also note that regional trainings are coming in June! See schedule below.

In order to start using these devices you will need to register the device to an account.

  • The iPad will need to be registered to an iTunes account.
  • The Kindles will need to be registered to an Amazon account.
  • The Nook will need to be registered to a Barnes and Noble account.

These accounts all require a name, email address, and a password.  Consider creating a library account under which to register your devices.  They will all ask for a credit card to be added to the account. You do not have to add a credit card to begin with.  In order to purchase or download content the account will need a credit card associated with it, but you can skip this step and come back to it at a later time.

During training you will be shown how to add your gift cards to the accounts and we will discuss how to register a credit card to your device and safeguard against unwanted purchases.  If you have immediate questions regarding account safety please email Jennifer Birnel.

Other training topics will include basic device operation and navigation, adjusting device settings, purchasing content, and how to best assist patrons with questions.

Six live trainings have been scheduled in June. These trainings are for library staff members. Please consider sending at least one person from your library. The training schedule is below. More trainings will be offered as needed.

Chouteau County Library, Fort Benton – Tuesday, June 12, 2012 – from 1:00 am-5:00 pm

Sheridan County Library, Plentywood – Monday, June 18, 2012 – from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm

Missoula Public Library – Tuesday, June 26, 2012 – from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm

Flathead County Library, Kalispell – Thursday June 28, 2012 – from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm

MSUB- College of Technology, Billings – Tuesday, June 19, 2012– Time is TBD

Lewis & Clark Library, Helena – To Be Determined


Technology Petting Zoo

BTOP is happy to provide BTOP libraries with a Technology Petting Zoo (TPZ) kit!  Your kit is made up of the following items.

1Amazon Kindle Keyboard and Case

1 Amazon Kindle Fire and Case

1 Nook Tablet and Case

1 iPad 3 and Case

1 Amazon $25 Gift Card

1 Barnes & Noble $25 Gift Card

1 iTunes $25 Gift Card

Scope of Use

The TPZs are intended for library staff use, troubleshooting with patrons, and for staff/patron workshops.  The devices are not intended for circulation.  While we understand that many libraries have policies in place that do not allow staff to handle patrons devices, these kits will provide staff with a professional development opportunity as well as the ability to walk patrons through several questions relating to MTLib2Go, eBooks, WIFI, and tablets in general.  The gift cards are exclusively for use with the provided devices, enabling each library to load the apps best suited for its community.

BTOP Technology Training

Training will be offered on each device.  In additional to basic operations, the training will include how to shop for and download apps that best suit your library’s needs.  We encourage you to save your gift cards for use during the training sessions.

Tentative Regional Training

On-site training will take place at the following locations.  Final locations, dates, and times will be posted to the MSL calendar.  Look for updates over Wired! and on WebJunction  Montana.  Additional sites may be scheduled:

Chouteau County Library, Fort Benton – Tuesday, June 12, 2012 from 1:00 am-5:00 pm

Sheridan County Library, Plentywood – Monday, June 18, 2012 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm

Missoula Public Library – Tuesday, June 26, 2012 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm

Flathead County Library, Kalispell – Thursday June 28, 2012 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm

MSUB- College of Technology, Billings – Tuesday, June 19, 2012– Time is TBD

Lewis & Clark Library, Helena – To Be Determined

Online Resources

Handouts, archived webinars, and discussion threads can be found on WebJunction Montana.


Stickers for labeling these items were attached to your addendum sent in April.  Please tag each of the devices, update your inventory list with the serial numbers, and return to Sarah.  Contact her if you need additional tags.


Don’t forget to report both staff and patron training on your monthly reports.  We look forward to seeing the impact the kits make at your library!