We believe that the Hublet is one of the most exciting products to be introduced into the Irish library market in recent years. The potential of this product is fantastic and lends itself to new applications every day. It is no wonder that the department has promised more funding in this area. Minister Michael Ring was present for the launch of Trim Libraries Digital Learning Centre earlier this summer and was quoted as saying
“I am delighted to see innovative technology such as Magic Tables and Hublets being used by local groups including the Meath branch of the Alzheimer Society of Ireland. St Michaels Autism Unit and Meath ARCH Club.”
“The transformation of the digital services in libraries is another step towards realising the aims of the public library strategy Our Public Libraries 2022– Inspiring, Connecting and Empowering Communities which seeks to establish the library as not only a community hub but also an important enabler of digital services and facilitator of digital skills development.”
Initially when the product was introduced the filtering of patrons was quite limited. However, Hublet undertook to address this situation and introduced an API to the programme which examined the internet field. This API enabled blocked users to be barred from access to the tablets as required. However, it also allowed adults to be given an adult suite of apps and children to be given a more child suitable suite of apps. This was a requirement of many of the library authorities. Some Library found the use of the internet field a little cumbersome and for them Hublet also introduced an API which verifies users by examining the Patron Type field.
The response of the public to the Hublet has been excellent. However, as this is a new product we at 2CQR Ireland are always looking for ways to increase their use. In the month of August alone there were over 1,500 tablet loans made throughout all the libraries providing this service. The best performing library was in Gorey, Co Wexford with 237 loans made. We think that this figure is achievable in all libraries and we are interested in working with any library wishing to improve library user take up.
Some of the factors that may influence usage are as follows:
- Library staff training: As this is a new product we think the library staff are crucial to its’ success.
- Location of docking station in the library, Maybe a location near comfortable seating would work best
- POS material: As it is a new product we can provide signage to draw attention to what the Hublets can be used for
- Apps on tablets, We are always open to new suggestions as to what apps can be put on the tablets.
The hublet is a very flexible product and we believe that it will be useful in many different situations and also in many different ways. For example, in other countries Hublet has been successfully located in Hospitals. We are also actively working creating a suite of apps for people with disabilities. Some of these apps help with disabilities such as autism, dyslexia, reading and numerical difficulties and dementia. If you would like to work with us in this area please let us know.
With libraries now focusing on digital resources and social inclusion, Hublet docks are a must for any library. The completely self service product doesn’t command any staff time and paired with libraries subscription to services such as borrowbox and rb digital, opens up a wealth of information for library users.