Online Services Coordinator
King County Library System, Issaquah, WA
MILS, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1995
The 19 ereader kits used for staff training at King County (at a cost of $50,000) contain an iPad2, iPod Touch, Samsung Galaxy Android Tablet, Nook Color, Nook Simple Touch, Kindle Touch, and Kindle Fire
Photo c/o David Wasserman
The future of libraries has more to do with books stored in ereaders than books stacked on shelves. As King County Library System’s (KCLS) online services coordinator, David Wasserman embraces the mission to facilitate this evolution. So while his library system’s ebook collection grew exponentially in 2011, Wasserman ramped up innovative efforts to promote this core service as well as train staff to stay one jump ahead of the clientele.
“Like everyone else, we’ve been trying to play catch-up,” says Wasserman. “It’s like opening a brand-new library. In essence, we have to find out how we can play a bigger role in this.”
With some 46 branches and an annual patron base of 1.1 million, King County Library System bills itself as the nation’s busiest library system. A growing number of these customers, Wasserman says, use their branches as a “first stop” for their ebook needs and education. Naturally, this activity spikes around the holiday season, as patrons with a limited knowledge of how or where to download titles bring in brand-new devices. He initiated a partnership with local Barnes & Nobles to push the KCLS service for the chain’s Nook readers.
The education of staff and the public began in earnest in 2010, but Wasserman worked to stay ahead of the curve in 2011. He prepared updated webinars and instructional YouTube videos and demonstrations. Ebook kits became the cornerstone of Wasserman’s program. The kits, featuring seven different types of ereaders, were distributed to each branch. Staff trained on these items and in turn educated library visitors on their use.
Wasserman also oversaw testing and installation of the Baker & Taylor Axis 360 service, a state-of-the-art platform for storing and circulating digital media, and the Blio ereading software.