Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Using an iPad to Demo BHL

On Saturday October 2nd and Sunday October 3rd, 2010, Smithsonian Institution Libraries staff members Polly Lasker and Gil Taylor, plus volunteer John Hejna (Polly’s husband), promoted the Libraries’ services at a booth during the annual Autumn Conservation Festival at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) near Front Royal, Virginia:

The one BHL-scanned book we pre-loaded to an iPad and brought along was big hit with the crowd, “Curiosities of Entomology” . It was a revelation how well the iPad works for demoing BHL in a face-to-face setting, and the book we selected seemed to work very well with the app, iBooks (Polly and Gil, pictured above, demonstrating BHL book on iPad). Young people, in particular, intuitively knew how to navigate to view the book with the device. Needless to say, we distributed many BHL cards to the nearly 150 people who visited us that weekend.

For photos from the event, please see this Flickr link.

-Polly Lasker and Gil Taylor, Smithsonian Institution Libraries


  1. Very cool! Can you document how you took a BHL book & made it into an iBook?

  2. Well, the beauty of using the iPad to access BHL is that you don't have to have the content as an iBook. If you simply access the BHL website on the internet browser on the iPad, you can view the book as you would view it on your home computer using the BHL book viewer - no conversions necessary!

  3. But the post mentions "and the book we selected seemed to work very well with the app, iBooks", so I'm confused.

  4. That is confusing. I'm going to check with some colleagues to make sure that I did not misunderstand their process and I will get back to you. Thanks for your patience.

  5. I have just checked with my colleague, Gil Taylor, one of SIL's staff who was demonstrating BHL on the iPad, to verify their procedure. For the purposes of the demonstration, they downloaded a PDF of the book they demonstrated and uploaded it into iBooks, so no conversion to an eBook format was necessary. You can view PDFs downloaded from the BHL website in eBook viewers, and you can also simply access the BHL website via the eReader's Internet browser in order to view BHL content anywhere, anytime. I hope this helps, and thanks so much for your interest!