One of the biggest changes to the landscape of books and reading has been the emergence of e-books in public libraries.
The Cariboo Regional District Libraries (CRDL) has seen a slow, but steadily increasing use of these electronic publications, a library press release states.
The CRDL participates in BC Public Libraries “Library to Go” service. This service provides CRDL patrons with access to portable, digital content such as audiobooks and ebooks.
The first demographics to embrace the trend were boomers and seniors. Seniors can also enjoy the benefits of the e-book format, such as adjustable text size, and providing access to many books with just one smaller device.
More recently, there has been a growing interest from parents and youngsters in the e-book format.
The CRDL branches, have most recently added TumbleBook Library to the collection of databases. Tumblebook Library is an online collection of animated talking picture books called “Tumblebooks.”
The books in the Tumblebook Library are existing titles that have animation, sound, music and narration added.
The collection includes storybooks, fairy tales, non-fiction books and books for learning. Each book has a synopsis of the story; author, illustrator and publisher information; reading time; reading level; book reviews; and accelerated reading info.
The “TumbleReadables” tab takes users to a collection of online books without the animation. The books are narrated and each sentence read is highlighted. There are some minimum system requirements for computers or e-reading devices in or to access Tumblebooks, including Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 / Netscape 4.x or later, Flash 6 plug-in, and a Video display card (minimum resolution 800×600).
E-books provide an excellent means to engage children and prompting physical interaction. They are especially helpful for motivating less keen readers toward engagement.
Tumblebooks includes both enhanced e-books and more traditional e-books, so parents might want to make sure to involve the child with both.
However, children’s traditional print books are certainly not going out of style either! In July of this year, over 1,300 children’s picture books were checked out.
In the case of books and e-books for children, the most important aspect is that children are encouraged to read. Don’t forgo print for the sake of e-books, or e-books for the sake of print. Instead, a balanced approach is suggested.
In this day in age, the ability to read is only part of the picture – traditional literacy skills are essential such as reading, writing, and comprehension.
But successful navigation of the brave new digital world also requires new abilities, which e-books can certainly help develop.