ALA Conference Day 1: A secret Kindle pilot program

This was actually the third day of the conference, but it was the first that I attended. (Thursday and Friday didn't have any ebook sessions that I could find.)

Conference Sessions

There were 2 sessions that I wanted to cover today, and a third that I missed because I didn't realize it was related to ebooks. Fortunately Sue Polanka attended the 3rd session, and you can read about in 3 parts: here, here, and here. Of the 2 sessions I attended one isn't worth writing about; there was nothing new. The other session was titled “Multiple Formats and Multiple Copies in a Digital Age”, and even though it's about libraries I think it's worth the time to write it up. I will post it tomorrow.

Exhibit Hall

I stopped by the Blio booth, and noted the location of a number of booths I wanted to visit on Monday. I found 3 different book scanners, and I'm going to try to get a video of each in action.

Swag

I have a dozen pens, a bunch of pads of paper, and quite a few pins. I know that's not much, but I wasn't in the hall much today. Later in the day I caught the beginning of a session sponsored by Tor-Forge, and they were giving away bags of books. All were paper books, unfortunately (I was hoping for ebooks). But I wasn't there for the books anyway. No, I was there to get Cory Doctorow to sign my Kindle cover. He did.

Devry's Kindle Pilot Program

The word of the day is: serendipity. At one session I happened to sit in front of someone who works for Devry. She mentioned to her companion how few ebook sessions there were (she's right), so I turned around and told about the ones I knew of. We got to talking, and it turns out that Devry started a 2 year long Kindle pilot program some time back. They gave 3,000 students Kindles, and then tracked what happened.

She said it was a colossal failure. She didn't give specifics, but she did say that by the one year mark only about 2/3 were still using the Kindle, and no one was using it as a textbook. She also mentioned that Devry had been quietly talking with their competition about the Kindle pilot program. She hinted that the University of Phoenix had also run a Kindle pilot, and had gotten similar results.

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