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From Spark to Fire: Expanding Organizational eBook Expertise

King County Library System

Innovation Summary

Organizational eBook Expertise was expanded via a series of trainings, equipment purchases, organizational messaging and public-facing programs.

Problem Statement

Patron demand for eBooks exploded following the 2010 holiday season, a result of three complimentary factors: the introduction of tablets, widespread adoption of smart phones and a significant drop in dedicated eReader pricing. KCLS staff were under-prepared for the significant resulting increase in patron questions and the associated patron expectation of staff expertise around library eBooks services and the electronics required to make use of them.


KCLS launched a broadly-themed staff training program to increase staff confidence, expand service expertise, and motivate situational staff promotion via Drop-In service demonstrations for patrons. Nearly 400 staff participated in GoToMeeting sessions to raise awareness of eBook service details and follow-up in-person labs to increase staff experience in the use of 7 distinct eReaders, Tablets and Smart Phones. Follow-up training was conducted on an as-needed basis via eReader Kits containing the same 7 distinct eReaders, Tablets and Smart Phones. Training 'graduates' began hosting of a system-wide series of eReader Drop-In Demonstrations in 30+ KCLS locations to last throughout 2012.


Staff surveys indicate greater comfort and confidence around use of and promotion of KCLS eBook services. KCLS circulation of eBooks continues to grow, ranking as the #1 OverDrive customer 12/2011 through the date of this submission.