Thursday, February 19, 2009

Program "How to Manage Your iPod" Big Hit at Thomas Ford

Last night seventeen people attended my presentation "How to Manage Your iPod," which we held in our community room at the Thomas Ford Memorial Library. I had asked attendees to bring their iPods and most did. One gentleman also brought his laptop and repeated for himself everything that I demonstrated about iTunes software. The discussion was lively and and, because of questions, we spent nearly two hours connecting iPods to laptops, downloading podcasts, making playlists, and discussing the merits and limitations of various iPod models.

Most of the people who came had Nanos. There were a couple of Shuffle owners and one man had a second generation Classic working on the original battery. One woman opened her iPod for the first time at the program. I believe that she had gotten it as an incentive from a bank. Several had gotten iPods as Christmas gifts. A few had iPod hand-me-downs from their children who had upgraded to newer or big models. A couple of the attendees may have been in their forties. Everyone else was fifty or older. Two or three were thinking of getting an iPod. The level of experience varied but tended toward little. Everyone was quite interested, and almost everyone contributed to the discussion. Half the group were people I did not recognize as regular library users.

I had several surprises:

  • I expected audiobooks to be a primary interest with the group because we promote iPod books that we circulate from the reference desk. Music, however, was the primary interest of this group. Only a couple had borrowed our iPods for the audiobooks. Several did express interest in the audiobooks once they had heard of them.
  • No one had listened to a podcast. Most had seen the folder on the iTunes software but did not know what it meant. The group was surprised to learn that podcasts are free to download.
  • I had a slideshow to use as an introduction but I hardly used it, as questions and discussions started right away. We spent most of the time actively involved with iPods and iTunes.

Everyone reported that they learned something, whether it be why they should use the lock on their iPod or how to load an audiobook from CDs so that the files stay in order. Because we had queries from people who could not attend this evening, we will probably run the program again next fall or next year. I recommend the topic for other libraries to try as a community program. You might be surprised by the strong interest.


____Maggie said...

Way 2 Go Rick! I got an iPhone yesterday for my b-day. My car has bluetooth and iPod hook up, and I'm wondering if I'll be doing redundant things with both? Congrats on a successful program!

aussiehen said...

Wow I'm really impressed by this fantastic piece of information literacy.
I never thought of using technology in this way via the public library and you've now made me think of all the ways this could be used in a n academic library.
Shame I'm currently a stay at home mom LOL
I'll pass this on to all my friends who are employed.
Great job, I'm sure all your customers got so much value out of this

Högsbo said...

Thanks for the inspiration! This will absolutely work at our library. I will gladly steal your concept.
/a Swedish librarian