Digital World

#ALSC12 Phones, iPads, eReaders, & Tablets: Keeping Kids Connected to the Library

Laura Anderson Brack shared some valuable information on using mobile and eReading devices, eBooks, and apps. There are so many options, and that’s part of the challenge! You can loan devices in-house, circulate devices, or just offer services for customers’ own devices.

There are kid-specific devices like V-Tech and LeapFrog tablets, some of which use downloaded apps and some of which use cartidges. Some libraries circulate cartridges for popular kids’ devices, some just keep them on hand for in-library use.

We talked about program ideas using apps and devices- from using iPad apps and kids’ ebooks in storytime, to “self-publish your own eBook” workshops, and podcasting clubs, and simple “eReader Help Labs” Lots of people chimed in with ideas and favorite apps!

There are also some interesting services that libraries can offer to customers for their devices. Besides OverDrive for eBooks, there are Zinio (for eMagazines), and Freegal and other similar music services. One service that doesn’t seem to exist yet is ibrary lending of apps. There are so many great apps at many different price points that would be great to offer through the library. Perhaps it’s time for libraries to start approaching app developers and opening dialog about how to make this possible.

There’s a lot to think about when it comes to mobile and eReader devices, and a lot of large and small ways to use them to serve your customers. I’m bringing home a lot of ideas to investigate further!

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