Fear Not the New Gadget

You have just gotten comfortable with the current models of e-readers and tablets that your patrons got for Christmas last year and have brought to the library in hopes of learning how to use them, only to realize that you will be faced with a whole new set of problems and questions this year because every company is offering a newer, prettier, faster device for the Christmas buying season.  Fear not!  The basics you struggled to learn last year still hold true.  Knowing some basics will help you navigate each device, no matter the maker.

Home Screen          home1                             home3                                    Home2
Every device has a home screen with some degree of personalization options. 
The e-ink readers usually have options to sort the titles on the screen by most recent, title or author.  The color devices often have a multi-screen home page (designated by a series of small dots at the top or bottom of the screen) or a favorite’s shelf. Books can be added to the home page or placed in the library for later use. Typically, holding your finger on the book icon will open a menu for making changes on where to place the title. Some Color devices also allow for you to personalize the background of the home screen with wallpaper. The wallpaper menus are usually found in the settings menu or by pressing and holding a finger on a blank area of the home screen.

General Settings                 settings1                         settings3                       settings2
Every device has a list of settings. 
Settings usually include lists of options for setting up Wi-Fi, brightness, volume, display, date and time, security, and parental controls.  They may also include options for connecting to social media, setting up the home screen, shopping for new material, and adjusting the keyboard to personal tastes. To find the settings menu on a device look for something that looks like a cog.  The symbol styles vary slightly in look, but most devices have some version of a cog to tap to open the settings menu.

Menu            Menu1                       menu3                          menu2            Menus allow you to select various options.  Sometimes the settings options will be opened first through a menu.  On e-readers the menu might be opened by a button.  On touch devices the menu will look like a piece of paper with lines on it or bullets and lines. 

Reading Settings              Text1                          text3                         Text2When reading books on digital devices, there are several settings that can be adjusted to make the reading experience more comfortable for the reader.  The reading settings are found by tapping the icon with two A’s.  The typical adjustments include the font size, the margins, the line spacing, the color settings, and the font settings.

Device Storage       library       Library1       library3       library2                 
Each device will store a number of books. 
Many devices will allow you to add newspapers, magazines, music, videos, and apps.  If these items are not visible on the home screen they will be found under the menu by the name of the material you are searching, in your device library, or media shelf.  Most companies also offer archived storage.  This allows the user to remove a purchased item from the device to free up space.  The content will live on the user’s account associated with the device.  The content can be downloaded to the device again at any time.

Wi-Fi     wi fi 1                                         wifi3                                               wifi2Nearly all mobile devices have the ability to connect to the Internet. If you have wireless Internet at home, a local restaurant, a motel, or your Public Library you will have to connect your device to the network. Be aware that some hotels charge for this service and it will be added to your bill at check-out. Look for the Wi-Fi symbol on the screen. If you do not see it or it looks empty, with no lines showing connectivity, then you are not connected to the Internet. Go to the settings menu to turn on the wireless and connect to the local Wi-Fi.

3G and 4G
Some devices can be purchased with 3G and 4G connectivity.  These devices will connect to the Internet over cell phone connections.  This type of connection is generally slower than a Wi-Fi connection; however you can access the Internet from more places.  Many areas of the country do not yet offer 4G cell connections and some still do not offer 3G. 

Battery     battery1                         battery3                          battery2
Mobile devices run on rechargeable battery power.  A single charge will expend at varying rates depending on the activity being done with the device.  Reading takes less power than surfing the Internet.  Watching videos takes even more power. A symbol on your screen that looks like a standard battery will show you how much power is remaining.  The center of the symbol will change color as your battery discharges. If the battery goes completely flat, the device will not turn on until it has been plugged in for up to 30 minutes.

Shop/Store          shop1                     shop3                   shop2New purchases can be made right from the device.  Most devices will use the words “shop” or “store” and/or an icon with a shopping bag to indicate how to access their available online content.   Depending on the type of device the content available may include books, magazines, newspapers, apps, videos, and music. The device will have to be connected to the Internet in order to shop or purchase content. Many books and apps are free and the stores usually allow the user to search for content by key words like “free.”  The Overdrive app is free for users to download on color devices and allows the user to borrow books from their local library through Montana Library2go.


Nook and Kindle Tutorials

In order to continue offering your patrons support, a number of device tutorials have been added to WebJunction Montana.  Please refer your staff and patrons to these videos as needed.  The link below will take you directly to the videos.


I hope these tutorials are helpful.

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.

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!