One day, not too long ago, a woman attended one of the library’s Computer and Gadget Help sessions. She opened a box she brought with her to reveal a tablet and she said, “My daughter gave me this. I know it’s a nice gift and it’s expensive, but can you tell me why I would want one of these?”
Tech gifts, gadgets, tablets, phones or ebook readers are like any other gift. They’re best when they suit the person receiving the gadget. And, sometimes, it isn’t just the gadget itself. The best part of the gift is the time, sharing, and help given with the item.
When you choose a gift for someone who may not be tech savvy, here are a few things you might consider:
- Figure out or ask what they like to do. For example, if they love to read and, especially, if they enjoy reading several things at once, an ereader might be a great choice.
- Buy the same ereader or tablet or phone you use, so you can help them learn it and enjoy using it.
- Buy a name brand tech gift so the person can get help from a number of sources – friends, other family members, or the store selling it. A couple came to the library with a tablet from an obscure company. There was no information about it either with the item or online. With new gadgets coming out every week, it’s better to choose something that is a name brand and has information about it readily available.
- Give them a real gift – lessons on how to use it. Tailor the setup to what they will enjoy. Or, if you set it up for them, make sure to write down or printout all of the account setup info that you used–especially the email address, username(s) and password(s). Tell them that this is important information to keep in a convenient place.
- Be careful about giving tech gifts that will incur costs in the future. If it’s a phone or requires wireless, be sure the service is available and affordable for the person who will be using the gift.
- An even better gift, if needed, is to help find the best Internet service or assist in setting up wireless at their home. For someone who isn’t very techy, it would be a great gift to help them by finding out what companies in their area have the best offers. Then, help them get it set up.
Remember, too, that the library is a source for free downloadable resources like Zinio for magazines, OverDrive for free e-audiobooks and ebooks, Freegal for free music, and now Hoopla for free streaming movies and music. All they need is a library card. Help them to set up a system to keep track of accounts and passwords.
The library offers Computer and Gadget Help sessions on a regular basis. Check the Computer Class page for dates and times. Contact our computer trainers Kate or Becky at 580-4606 if you have more questions.