LIMA — Anyone looking for that perfect gift for that special tech lover had the chance to get some hands-on experience with several top selling tablets Tuesday evening at the Lima Public Library.
“We’re trying to do four or five of these events each month leading up to Christmas, so that people interested in buying these gifts can learn more about them,” Dani Mantz of the Lima Public Library said.
Using an e-reader as opposed to a traditional book has its advantages, according to Mantz.
“The e-reading is more compact,” she said. “If you travel a lot, with an e-reader you have several books at your fingertips, and you can download books anywhere you have Wi-Fi, so that’s a nice option. If you’re on the run, you don’t have to come into the library. But I know a lot of people are still holding onto their books. They just love the feel of them.”
However, for those interested in making the jump to electronic reading, the library was able to buy a variety of e-reader and tablet models for the public to peruse, thanks in part to a grant from the Lima Library Association.
“”We have the Nook HD+, the Nook tablet, the Kindle base model, the Kindle Fire, a 7-inch HD, and the iPad2,” Mantz said.
Having multiple models available is very helpful for the public in determining if one particular tablet or e-reader will fit their needs.
“We’ve had a lot of people coming up and handling the devices to see what they look like and how they feel,” Mantz said. “We’ve also had a lot of questions about how to download library e-books on them, as well. It’s a great service and a lot of our patrons really enjoy it.”
While one model may sound as good as another for those unfamiliar with this type of technology, Mantz points out that there are some significant differences between the various devices, and how the purchaser would intend to use the device goes a long way in choosing the correct one.
“I recommend the e-ink versions for someone who is strictly going to be reading because it’s really easy to set up and use,” she said. “With the tablets, being able to check your email or have access to all the games and apps is a really big selling point.”
Mantz also emphasized that the library is still a tremendous asset for people using e-readers, not just with technical support, but even providing books to be borrowed electronically.
“I think it’s pretty convenient for people,” Mantz said. “We offer not necessarily a larger or smaller collection electronically versus in print, but if you can’t find a book we have in print, chances are we may have an electronic version of it. So we see a lot of people going back and forth between print and electronic versions.”
While the Tech Petting Zoos will not run after Christmas, the library will continue to offer support for those using e-readers, merging the Tech Petting Zoo concept with its drop-in computer lab.
“We are working on getting more formal classes put together, but we will have tech labs going as soon as we possibly can,” Mantz said.