Audio books, Blogger Children and Technology Committee, eReaders/eBooks, Uncategorized

Encouraging young listeners with downloadable and streaming audiobooks

Downloadable and streaming audiobooks have been on my mind again.  Recently, some articles came out about the benefits of audiobooks for literacy; a revelation that probably surprised few of us in children’s and school library services.  We did not create the Odyssey awards for nothing.  ALA Editions published a wonderful book about it by Sharon Grover and Lizette D. Hannegan “back” in 2012.  Last year, Rachel Wood from Arlington Public Library wrote an ALSC Blog post that stands as a primer for building an e-audio collection.  But it always feels like a topic needs to come around a few times before the greater profession and the greater public latches on. Perhaps it is not always content that is the way to hook a reluctant reader but format too.  Dan Cohen from the DPLA wrote an article for The Atlantic talking about the powerful role that smartphones play in the lives…

Blogger Children and Technology Committee, Children & Technology, eReaders/eBooks, Technology, Web site

We are all media mentors!

Media mentorship continues to be one of the hottest topics in children’s librarianship. As touch-screen devices and hand-held (or worn) technology become increasingly pervasive, and more content is created (for better or for worse) for young people, the library is an ideal venue for conversations about these topics. Though the phrase “media mentorship” may be new, the concept certainly is not. While for many it may invoke images of tablets, apps, and the latest in technology, there are ways that all of us are and can be engaging in media mentorship every day, regardless of our technological resources. The reality is that not every library has the resources to contain within its walls the latest technologies. There are various barriers, including higher-prioritized projects and needs, budget, staffing, etc.. But our young patrons do still have technological needs and the right to digital literacy, and their families do still require mentorship…

apps, Blogger Children and Technology Committee, Books, Children & Technology, Collaboration, Committees, Digital World, eReaders/eBooks, News of Interest, Projects & Research, Students, Uncategorized

Opening Digital Doors with Open eBooks

Last month a huge step toward getting every child in America access to amazing books was taken with the official launch of Open eBooks! The White House announced the news to the excitement of librarians, educators and families across the United States on February 24th. Open eBooks is part of the White House ConnectED Initiative which aims to increase access to digital resources as a component of enriching K-12 education. You can read the official press release here. The project is made possible through a partnership with the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), the New York Public Library, Baker and Taylor, First Book, and made possible by generous commitments of publishers with funding support provided in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. What a great example of many institutions coming together for a greater cause! The Open eBooks app is now available…

Audio books, Blogger - School-Age Programs and Service Committee, Books, Children & Technology, Digital World, eReaders/eBooks, Technology

Digital Reading Platforms & School-Age Children

Ways in which digital reading services offer the opportunity to direct the eagerness and energy of kids in a way that is helpful and productive to the development of young people and the skills they need to function.

AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee, Collaboration, Digital World, eReaders/eBooks, School Library Media Specialist

Gimme a C (for Collaboration!): Promoting Access Through E-Resources

SPLC Committee Wordle

School-public library cooperation can take many forms, and promoting access to electronic resources and information seems a natural fit. Clarksville (Tenn.) is about 50 miles northwest of Nashville, so I often hear about the Limitless Libraries program, an innovative partnership between Nashville Public Library and the Metro Nashville Public Schools that could take up this entire post. While my school isn’t included that partnership, I can imagine how wonderful it is when public libraries and school libraries share resources between them. Recently I’ve started wondering about some very basic ways school and public libraries can work together. A  first step can be sharing information about each other’s program, such as putting up posters and flyers on bulletin boards so students/patrons know about on-going programs and special events. At school libraries like mine, we have a somewhat captive audience, but that’s not the case in many public libraries. Anything I can do as a school librarian to promote programs at…

Blogger Digital Content Task Force, Books, Children & Technology, Children's Literature (all forms), Digital World, eReaders/eBooks, Gaming

Hot Dogs, get your Hot Dogs

Galactic Hot Dogs

Galactic Hot Dogs, that is! Cosmoe’s Weiner Getaway is the first book in a three part series written by Max Brallier and published by Aladdin, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. The book has taken off on, a popular gaming website for children that has been a launch pad for some of the biggest blockbuster hits in children’s book publishing. Jeff Kinney’s ever popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid got its start there as a free book in 2004 and now has over 150 million copies in print. Other titles such as Rachel Renee Russell’s Dork Diaries series, Lincoln Pierce’s Big Nate and Brandon Mull’s best-selling fantasy series The Beyonders all of gaining wider audiences due to their popularity on Funbrain and its sister site Poptropica. Galactic Hot Dogs seems to be destined for the same success. More than six million children have read the book on Funbrain since…

Audio books, Blogger Digital Content Task Force, Collection Development, eReaders/eBooks

Building a great e-audio collection

The audiobooks in your library’s digital collection are easy to access from computers, tablets, iPods and smartphones. As you build and market the collection, keep in mind the different ways that children and families use audiobooks, and select titles to meet a variety of needs. Preschool children may be drawn to the stories and characters of their favorite picture books. Think carefully about how the text will play without the pictures that help tell the story. You’ll also want to take checkout limits into consideration. Collections of multiple books, like Green Eggs and Ham and Other Servings of Dr. Seuss, and early chapter books like Hooray for Anna Hibiscus! may be more attractive to borrowers than a title which only lasts a few minutes. Families listening together need titles that appeal to everyone. Stories like The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher include characters of multiple ages. Parents listening with older children will…

Blogger Digital Content Task Force, Collection Development, eReaders/eBooks, Publishing World

Hooray to Simon & Schuster for dropping the “Buy It Now” requirement on their ebooks!

In June, when Simon & Schuster made their ebooks available only to libraries who agreed to add a “Buy It Now” option to their catalog, I was torn between two important promises libraries make to kids and families: we will do everything we can to get you the books you want, and everything we offer is free. My library holds the line on keeping things free in many ways, even to the point of refusing to offer summer reading coupons that require an additional purchase to get that free ice cream cone. Parents value libraries as places where they know they can escape the relentless pressure to buy stuff, and our commitment to keep it so extends online. But what happens when the trade-off is keeping popular titles out of our ebook collection? I was stumped. I spent the past few months not taking a stand, simply delaying. Looking askance…