Tablet Slinging Librarians

September 4, 2014

3:00 pm

Leah Kulikrowski

Used to work at Wamego Public Library in Wamego, Kansas.  Serves about 5000 people.

Library purchased equipment over three years.  Did all of it through grant, memorial, and donation money.

How to use tablets differently in the library.

How does the audience use tablets?:  Checkout to patrons, children’s programming, tech classes (training), volunteer staff uses them in staff (cataloging, inventory, etc), mp3 portion for storytimes

How Wamego uses them:
Credit Card Transactions, roving reference and mobile checkout, lookup catalog station, inventory, storytime, program registrations.

Credit card transactions:

  • Square reader
  •  Send square reader free.  Plug into tablet and it takes credit card transaction.  Need a tablet and a square reader (and a policy).
  • Charges 2.75% per swipe.  Transactions have to be at least a dollar.
  • Patrons giving more money and paying off more fines because they take credit/debit cards
  • Can setup categories. They setup class fees, donations, new card, lost & paid…
  • Can ask if they want the receipt emailed, sent via text, or no receipt.

Roving Reference:

  • Tablet toolbelt so they can wear the tablet.    Help patrons find a book and then ask more questions.  Much more likely to ask follow-up questions.
  • Patrons more likely to ask questions about tech question if they have a tablet in their hand and see them using it.  More signups for tech training as well.
  • Startup: Tablet and carrying case. Tried aprons first.  1.  Not comfortable to sit in.  2.  Male staff members not thrilled about wearing apron.
  • HipNotions Tool Betls LLC through etsy.  Easy to keep everything in one place.
  • suggests case with handstrap

Mobile Checkouts:

  • Tablet
  • Blutetooth Barcode Scanner
  • Carrying Case
  • Need to have ILS system that will work on tablet.  (works with koha and AG).  ILS systems moving towards this trend.
  • Patrons think it’s pretty cool
  • Really convenient.  Can pay fines, etc.
  • Bluetooth Barcode Scanner (keep it attached to toolbelt because it’s pretty expensive.  About $300).
  • Can checkout books at other venues fairs, etc (need wifi).
  • How do patrons identify staff with tablet?  (usually staff wearing toolbelt.. )

Lookup tablet:

Tablet mounted to wall. Tried it in children’s room first.

Want to get at least a 10 inch tablet.  Smaller tablets are too small.

Kids love tablet.  Tried it without parental controls. (Kids were taking pictures, bringing up YouTube videos, etc).  Ended up locking it down more.  Bought Kidsplace app. Put in whitelist. Put in amazon, lib website, and ILS.

Can use voice to search for books!!!!  (click in search bar, click on voice, talk.. )

Need to have near outlet to charge.  Had to pay to put outlet in.  Charge it at night.

Music for storytime:

  • Tablet
  • Bluetooth Speaker (got a Bose speaker donated.  Can find cheaper versions)
  • Great for use in the park, going to school
  • Great to not use cd’s.  You can just but the one song you’re looking for.  Can make a playlist for storytime.
  • Can also use pandora or other streaming music service

Storytime Apps:

  • Tablet
  • Chromecast
  • TV
  • Cast app onto tv during storytime
  • Use app that plays sounds and they have to guess what the sound is (firetruck sound, etc) (Touch and Learn App)
  • Peter Rabbit Popup Book App


  • Tablet
  • Bluetooth Scanner
  • Not tied to the tablet or scanner
  • Took twenty five minutes to inventory audiobook section.  (Inventory doesn’t have to be a huge project)

Program Registrations:

Google Drive and Google Forms (Summer Reading Registration)

Summer Reading in Park (Signed up ppl in the park quickly)

Leah’s Blog:  Sunflowerstorytime 


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