Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Read Forever

I am a school library media specialist.  To many I am referred to as the librarian.  To students, a media specialist and around the country, a media coordinator.  However, my job is to aid in turning patrons, more specifically, K-12 students into life-long library users and readers.  There have been many discussions over the demise of libraries and physical books with the invention of eReaders.  I own a Nook and adore my tablet.  Owning a Nook, Kindle or any eReader will not put me out of a job or cause libraries to close.  I am still supporting authors when I buy a book.  All in all, the Nook is just cool.   So why are so many people opposed to eReaders?  You can Google that question but I thought I would provide reasons why eReaders are superb:
  1. Internal dictionary: Many readers struggle with unfamiliar words.  My mom always encouraged me to look up these words when I was child.  Consequently, I read with a dictionary by my side.  With digital readers you simply have to highlight the word and viola!  Instant understanding.
  2. Samples: You can sample any book for free.  Instead of having to get in your car and drive to the book store or library, press a button and make a decision on if the book is right for you.  You then have the choice to buy the eBook, physical book or borrow a free copy from your local library.
  3. Project Gutenberg, Adobe Free eBooks and many other online sites.  This is a fantastic resource for high school and college students.  Most importantly, your local library offers free eBooks.  Swing by their site today.  Here is the site for my fellow North Carolinians
  4. Here's a secret: Kids love handhelds.  Take a look at the kids in the backseat as you travel this summer.  I guarantee that at least 85% of those children will be glued to an iPod, gaming system or something similar.  What our students need and want haven't changed.  What needs to change is how we deliver content. 
  5. eBooks are never destroyed or lost.  Destroyed and lost books drive me crazy and waste money.  Once you buy an eBook, it's yours forever.
  6. Textbooks: Electronic text books are growing popularity and cheaper than their physical counterparts.
  7. Did I mention that eReaders are cool?
I can go on and on about the joy of eReaders but the most important aspect is that the joy of reading is once again enhanced by something new.  If that is what it takes to turn my charges into life-long literates, so be it.  All I ask is that you never stop reading, never stop learning and never stop growing.

Read Forever

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