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Low Down on the iTest iPad Project

You may have heard the iBuzz around the iTest iPad Project, especially if you were one of the 50 who received an Apple iPad2 from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, MidContinental Region (NN/LM MCR).

The purpose of this project is to encourage librarians at full NN/LM MCR Network member institutions to adopt a new technology and demonstrate its use to their institutions and their patrons.

iPad User Plans

As part of their application, members submitted plans for using the iPad to improve service, make librarians more visible, and make library resources available on the spot. Here are some representative ideas:

… to become familiar with a device that is used by our younger physicians and explore the possibilities of the apps which might help with health literacy, reading e-books, and generally improve communication with our medical staff. I would like to explore opportunities for demonstrating use on units as an information tool to answer questions.

I am working closely with our new Chief Resident, who is great supporter of having a librarian at morning report and working with the residents/teams… A light, easy to use, iPad would make this regular collaboration easier, more interactive, and would be a great showcase for the technology.

Anything that allows us to move outside of the library’s physical space and stay connected is good for us and for our patrons.

… I could use the camera for before and after shots. These shots are used to explain the work the … staff does to the Library Oversight Committee.

I would use an iPad to run the mobile apps for our current subscriptions, so I would better understand how they work, and then promote them to our clinicians. I could use it also to show health information to patients and their families that use our library. It would make the encounter friendlier and less intimidating.

… use my time more effectively and be able to answer questions on the spot. If awarded an iPad, I will use it at meetings to display and promote library services and resources; as a roving marketing tool by promoting and answering questions about services offered among our learning commons partners; and as a point of need reference device.

Getting Started with the iPad

The NN/LM MCR’s iPad support web page contains just the gems for getting started with an iPad2. If you’d like some basic information and instructions to guide you, check it out: To get more advanced assistance with the iPad2,  a simple Google search will find millions of pages to help the iPad2 community.

iPad Support and Community on Facebook

The NN/LM MCR hopes to better understand how librarians use mobile devices like the iPad in their profession. We have provided a space on the NN/LM MCR Facebook page for iTest iPad participants and anyone with an iPad to share experiences with and get help from other iPad2 users. There was quite a bit of traffic on the NN/LM MCR Facebook page from iPad2 recipients the week the devices were delivered. There were several who shared their excitement that their iPad2 had arrived. Each expressed a varying level of progress. Some got as far as opening the packaging and setting their iPad2 on their desk and some had nearly filled their device’s 16 gigs of memory with apps. A lot of posts included interesting apps to try out.

Picture of Kitty Serling with her iPad When Kitty Serling opened her box she exclaimed (in her hushed library voice), “It’s Christmas morning and Santa brought me what I REALLY wanted!”
Full Network member Kitty Serling
Carl R. Ferris Medical Library
Kansas City, Missouri

“Liking” on Facebook

We recommend joining Facebook and “Liking” the NN/LM MCR’s Facebook page so you can follow the chronicles on using the device in the workplace. When you “Like” the page, you will be notified as new experiences are added. As a requirement for participation each person agreed to post at least twice a month and contribute a picture illustrating iPad use at their institution.

– John Bramble, Technology Coordinator
– Claire Hamasu, Associate Director

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