Audio books

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…

apps

The Gamification of Reading

John Hersey, author of Hiroshima, once worked on a committee for his children’s school to determine why children were struggling at reading. The group’s discovery was that the reason the children were struggling was because they thought the primers they were reading looked boring. They didn’t want to read stories featuring illustrations of perfectly mannered children that just looked dull, insipid, and boring. This idea of using interesting illustrations was taken up by William Ellsworth Spaulding, an editor at Houghton Mifflin’s textbook division. He borrowed an illustrator named Ted Geisel from Random House to create a textbook that contained words that experts had decided were important for first graders to know. Nine months later a book featuring 236 of those words from the list was created. Geisel had noticed that many of the words on the list rhymed; the first two words happened to be cat and hat. Cat in…