Press Room

Meet Helen Bender, West End Branch Librarian

by admin

Helen’s role in educating library users on electronic resources, particularly e-readers, supports the library’s  Access and Innovation principle of the Compass strategic plan through keeping pace with evolving standards in technology and improving patrons’ ease-of-use with these services.

Helen Bender2

Why do you enjoy the e-reader?

It’s a great alternative format to a print book. I was an early adopter of e-readers and have owned a Kindle for years. I’ve read close to 200 books in 2014 on my Kindle and in print combined.

What services do you offer for people who need assistance with e-readers?

The West End Branch initiated drop-in sessions early on when e-readers became available. Around the holidays, and especially when more and more devices came out, we would hold larger device sessions and then offer  one-on-one help if needed. Assisting library users with their e-readers is a big priority at this branch and we can usually get someone in within a few days of a request. Our library staff also heavily promotes hoopla, our streaming media service, and digital magazine service Zinio. We find a lot of our users are interested in reading things such as The Economist and don’t know they can read it in a digital format.

What is the best part about working for the library?

I love helping people; it’s my favorite thing to do. Even when I worked in the Inter Library Loan department, there was a public service component to it that I found really enjoyable. I like finding obscure things that people are looking for and delivering them.

How does technology and digital offerings enhance service to library users?

They help a great deal; and certainly enhance service but don’t take away from circulation or library use. A lot of patrons do not have access to computers or tablets and library staff can provide a great introduction to these resources.

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