Blogger Digital Content Task Force

Marketing eBook Collections

Many libraries that offer eBook collections may have seen steady growth over time, but there’s always room for increased ways to build the hype and use of digital collections. At my library there are still many families who are unaware that libraries even provide this service. The fact that returns are automatic, and that it makes traveling with kids much more carefree is enough to make some patrons prick up their ears. With kids, there are always opportunities to share that the library also has eBooks to check out. I find that young patrons are easily won over once they learn that even though #565 of their favorite series may not be on the physical shelf, there’s usually a digital copy ready to read. In addition to patrons who own eReaders and other devices, it’s important not to ignore the kids in our communities who don’t have access to new…

ALA Midwinter 2014

Overdrive update at #ALAmw14

I’m finishing my second cup of coffee at the Overdrive Roadmap Breakfast when CEO Steve Potash tells us that the company is working on creating a standard format for “enhanced children’s books.” One that will take them out of the app store ghetto, that will be device agnostic and browser-based,  and that will still incorporate all of the features that the best children’s book apps are pioneering. Wait, what?! He pulls up an easy reader and demonstrates the read-along function. So far so good. This is a no brainer: ebook + professionally narrated audiobook = awesome read-along ebook. I look forward to this. Then he says that further down the line, they hope to incorporate gamification, quizzes, interactive pictures, etc. He pulls up a prototype: No, David, by David Shannon. Each page has one or more asterisks above the pictures. When he clicks on them, little activities appear: find three things on this page that…

ALA Midwinter 2014

Checking Out Digital Content at ALA Midwinter

There are plenty of opportunities to check out what’s new in digital content at ALA this week. Headed to the Exhibits Opening Reception Friday night? Take time to thank publishers who have recently started or expanded ebook sales to libraries. We are now able to get favorites like Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Abrams, booth 0713) Ranger’s Apprentice (Penguin, 0930) and A Wrinkle in Time (Macmillan, 0624). Stop by to see what’s new in digital services, like OverDrive’s eReading Room for Kids (1723) and National Geographic Kids from Gale (0707). On Saturday, the Digital Content Working Group Program will focus on how libraries and authors can work together in the digital age. (1:00-2:30 PCC-201C) At Sunday’s Masters Session, ReadersFirst members, including ALSC-er Michael Santangelo, will present their new Guide to Library E-Book Vendors and talk about efforts to improve library users’ experience. (11:45-12:30 PCC-202B) Later Sunday afternoon, check in with…

Blogger Elisabeth Gattullo Marrocolla

Pat the Bunny

When it’s time to decide which books to put on your children’s bookshelves, there is a digital decision to be made as well – should I buy the app for that? Although I normally use this space to chat about film adaptations of books, today I’d like to talk about a book adaptation geared towards a slightly smaller screen – your touch device. My mother gives a copy of Pat the Bunny to every new mother she knows. My siblings and I each had our own well-loved, completely worn copy. My experiences with my first book had such a profound impact on my young mind that I swear I can remember looking at the book as a baby. The sensory experiment author Dorothy Kunhardt created was one of the first books of its kind, and it has remained in print since its publication in 1940. Although the images of the lily-white…

Blogger Digital Content Task Force

How many reading apps does one kid need?

Kids’ reading platforms are proliferating like crazy. The best offer a great reading experience and some great books. But none of them have all the best books. And only a few are available to libraries. Why do kids have to jump from app to app to get the content they want? This publisher here, that one there. History over here, science over here. Picture books in one place, chapter books in another. Why can’t we pull it all together? No matter how many books their families buy them, kids always need free books. Not a select list or a special of the week. The books they want the moment they’re ready for them. From the best and most reliable source, the library. I want the library to be the first place kids look for ebooks. I want to show them everything we have to offer in one place–our catalog. I want to offer a…

Blogger Cen Campbell

“Screen Time” is Bad

“Screen time” is bad for children. “Screen time” shouldn’t enter into professional discourse concerning services for children in libraries. “Screen time” is detrimental to our professional practice and distracts from the core values of librarianship. The phrase “screen time” is not something we should be using anymore, because it’s a misnomer. What most people mean when they talk about the evils of “screen time” is passive media: television. Reading an ebook, videoconferencing with grandma and grandpa, or showing a child a picture that you’ve just taken of them is NOT the mind-numbing, passive time-waster that concerns many parents, educators, researchers and librarians. The fact that something is on a screen does not make it inherently bad, and the emphasis on time is also a red herring. If a child is thoroughly engaged in editing his or her own video, learning a programming language, videoconferencing with a pen pal, or reading/writing/designing an…

eReaders/eBooks

Where to Download Classic Children’s Books for Free

These days, with nearly everyone owning or having access to a digital device, accessing classic books is easier than ever.  Many classic works, including those commonly taught in schools such as William Shakespeare, Mark Twain, and Charles Dickens, and a great many others, can be found around the web as free and legal downloads. The challenge can be sifting through sites to find the best ones with the largest selection of both books and device formats.  Luckily, whether you use an iPad, an e-reader, or just a computer, there’s a site for it, and plenty of content to fill your needs as an educator, parent, or student. Google Play — Contains a large selection of free literature.  Search for specific titles, then select “How to Read” to find the format of your choice.  Google play can be the most difficult of the sites to navigate when looking by genre and…

apps

Digital Resources on Library Websites for Kids

As a librarian at Deschutes Public Library, we recently added “Apps and Digital Reading” to our kids page online. The kid’s page includes a note about screen time for ages 0-2, tumble books, storyline, recently purchased eBooks for children, digital resources, app review sites and a featured app of the month.   This month our featured app is Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester created by Oceanhouse Media. I explored other library websites and discovered many great resources. The New York Public Library, where I worked many years ago, has a fabulous new kid’s page with eBooks featured right on the front page. The eBooks page features Children’s eBooks and Audio Books, Tumblebooks, Bookflix, Trueflix, Freedomflix, Story Place, Clifford the Big Red Dog, The Rosetta Project, International Children’s Digital Library, and Book Hive. Even if the library does not have a digital page for kids, most libraries have a small eBook…