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Helping users discover e-books

Lionel New, Southeast Asia Elsevier | July 01, 2012

With the trend toward e-book publishing and subsequent adoption by libraries accelerating, how can librarians ensure their users are making the most of what they have to offer? Kasetsart University Library in Bangkok, Thailand, answered this question with a robust six-month outreach program. The goal was to raise awareness of e-book resources and drive the use of online books for research and learning.

Team members Watinee Khemakarothai, Kittiya Khumtong and Sarapee Srisuk devised a two-step approach: train users in accessing e-book resources and then promote e-book usage with fun activities and competitions. By offering 15 activities from June to September 2011, the team reached more than 1,000 students, researchers, lecturers and staff members. The university showed a 41 percent increase in full-text chapter downloads and won the Elsevier Discover e-Books Competition 2011 for the team’s creativity, innovation, number of activities, and overall e-books usage.

Here are some of the winning programs from Kasetsart University Library, which you can adapt for your library:

E-book training

The team began by training the library staff and users to use e-book databases skillfully, and to download them to devices such as smartphones and tablets. Library staff also set up booths at the main library and in various facilities to teach, encourage and enhance discovery skills.

E-book: Recommended for U

The team provided instant access to recommended books by creating a rotating exhibit with a QR code next to each title. Users could read the books immediately by scanning the code with a smartphone or a tablet.

Click e-book for more knowledge

To promote its broad e-book database, the team designed a game that directed participants to find answers in library databases. With each correct answer, participants could enter their name in a prize drawing. An online version of the game asked users five questions about e-books on the library‘s website. Participants could find answers in the library’s e-book database and send them in via e-mail — also qualifying for a prize drawing for correct answers.