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Do You Tweet? Connectivism, Social Media, and School Libraries


Connectivism
Connectivism (Photo credit: ryan2point0)

Do You Tweet?  Connectivism, Social Media and School Libraries

In the words of author Dr. Ivan Misner, “Networking is not about hunting.  It is about farming.  It’s about cultivating relationships.  Don’t engage in ‘premature solicitation’.  You’ll be a better networker if you remember that” (Infinite, 2011).  Social media is about constructing one’s personal learning network, carefully weeding its garden and nurturing connections that, with care, will flourish into new knowledge opportunities.  Users can connect with friends across the world: share news, hobbies and interests; share photos and messages; comment on others’ “walls;” add apps, play games and take quizzes; and much more.  Every company is struggling to find a way to utilize the power of social media to market products and connect to new consumers.  Some HTC smartphones even have a Facebook button!  The world has become smaller—it is virtually impossible to stay off of the Internet grid.  How can librarians leverage enthusiasm for social media to promote literacy in the school library?  This paper will explore the various uses of social media in school libraries and the Connectivism theory behind using social media in library instruction.

Connectivism and the Human Brain

The surge in social media has changed the way people discover information.  Human brain plasticity allows us to change and evolve with new stimuli, as is evident throughout our history.  Technology is a stimulus and, as educators, we see its impact on the human brain everyday: students and adults alike cannot be parted from smartphones and other devices without feeling disconnected.  The more time a person devotes to a specific activity, the stronger those neural responses become (Interlandi, 2008).  In a study by neurologist Gary Small at UCLA, he confirms how people more adept at technology have greater short-term memory capacity and perceptual learning.  Small states that as the brain becomes more proficient at technological skills, it drifts further away from basic social skills (Interlandi, 2008).  Keeping this in mind, educators must account for the rewiring of the human brain during their instruction and curriculum design; older educational theories cannot hope to compete with the information analysis, synthesis, and evaluation that occur in the brain at lightning speed when interacting with technology.

Connectivism theory encompasses chaos, network, complexity, and self-organization theories while realizing that learning is not entirely in the individual’s control (Siemens, 2004).  The brain is expected to connect specialized information sets and distinguish between valid and false or misleading information (Siemens, 2004).  The slightest interpretation of objectivity skews the truth, and the definition of truth itself is changing because of connective knowledge.  Wikipedia attempts to capture the many interactions of private knowledge as public knowledge and is constantly ridiculed for it.  A little known fact is that Encyclopedia Brittanica models the same connective knowledge (Dowles, 2007).  Unlike the past, knowledge is connective and collective, interdependent upon the group; connective knowledge is shaking the very foundation of truth, as with the credibility of Wikipedia.  One person cannot possibly know everything and, consequently, the capacity to learn more is key (Siemens, 2004).  The brain understands perspectives and content faster than ever, though still within chaos, especially in the context of information from the Internet.

The process of Connectivism interacts seamlessly with social media and information literacy instruction, especially when sharing information to create new knowledge.  The cyclical practice of Connectivism begins with the individual, progresses to the network, flows into organizations and institutions, and feeds back into the network to provide learning to the individual (Siemens, 2004).  The individual makes inferences about discovered knowledge, engages in associationism (connecting to prior knowledge), and distribution to the group before making meaning and shared meaning (Dowles, 2007).  This is the very definition of social media.  The collective intelligence of the network dips into organizations and institutions, filters and synthesizes, and flows the information back into the collective and the individual.  Social media connections allow learners to stay current, as librarians know better than many.  The modern librarian takes advantage of social media to improve her practice.  She must be reflective of her personal Connectivism learning and harness it to teach information literacy skills through social media in the library.

Modeling Lifelong Learning

Librarians model Connectivism and lifelong learning everyday in their use of social media.  Librarians in New York City use the NYCLIST email listserv to share ideas and news, advertise professional development events, and receive peers’ answers to questions about the library field.  Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are leaders among social networking sites for personal and professional use.  Social media is a powerful tool in librarians’ repertoire for personal learning networks.  Siemens and Dowles would agree that students love social networking almost as much as librarians, offering a unique opportunity for librarians to alter how students use social media technologies, from social use to educational use.

Joyce Valenza (2011), school librarian of Springfield Township High School, conducted interviews with other prominent school librarians to expose their favorite social networking sites and how they are used.  Google Reader for news; Symbaloo for bookmarking; and Livebinders and LibGuides for organizing and teaching resources are popular, but Twitter is the most widely used by a considerable measure.  Twitter hashtags enable users to browse posts and conversations about that topic.  Popular hashtag conversations for librarians are #edchat, #YAlitchat, #tlchat, and #Engchat.  Librarians prefer to use Twitter to learn new resources and ideas for the library, in addition to improving their practice (Valenza, 2011).  Connectivism through personal learning networks is how professionals maintain connections and learn from each other; the opportunities for connective knowledge on any topic are endless with social media.  Librarians must teach their students to think and use social media as they do themselves: constructively and with interest-driven motivation.

Using Social Media in the Library

Social media is seeping into library education and management.  Though academic studies on using social media with students in a high school setting are in their infancy, some librarians are diving in and reflecting on its impact upon patrons and library instruction.  Christopher Harris (2012) of School Library Journal suggests using Twitter as a marketing tool for the library, using Seth Godin’s “permission marketing” strategy.  To promote reading, Harris suggests that school librarians create five different twitter accounts, each for a popular genre.  The librarian would update each feed once a week with a book review or recommendation for that genre.  The key is only to deliver content that patrons (whether students, faculty, or community members) have agreed to.  An RSS feed of a library blog is a similar way to keep readers checking up on the library’s resources, events, and availability (Harris, 2012).  Harris’s suggestions are methods that Joyce Valenza and the librarians she interviewed could easily implement, especially since Harris suggests using Twitter, a clear favorite.  Such ideas are quick and simple patron-library information connections on social media sites that can truly enrich a library program.  The librarian is also afforded a glimpse into the interests of her patrons while promoting literacy.

Book lovers use social networking sites geared toward readers to keep track of books they love, want to read, and wish to share.  These social media sites practically scream for librarians to employ their services in reader’s advisory.  Well-loved social networks for readers are LibraryThing, Goodreads, and Shelfari.  Each interface has its own appeal to users; the librarian should investigate which are used most by patrons and create accounts.  LibraryThing is geared more toward librarians because of the “LibraryThing for Libraries” function, enabling libraries to enhance their book catalogs by retrieving readers’ customized metadata such as tags and editions (Stover, 2009).  LibraryThing also has a feature called “Authors Who LibraryThing,” a way for librarians to connect to authors and arrange author visits.  Goodreads is similar to LibraryThing in look and function, except that Goodreads is free.  Both of these sites have simple interfaces and encourage users to add friends, write reviews, join in on forum discussions, and add tags.  Shelfari is essentially the same, though the interface’s bright colors and custom bookshelf is more aesthetically pleasing (Stover, 2009).  These social media sites function as book clubs, making social and intellectual connections with specific consumers.  Siemens and Dowles would appreciate the discussion forums most of all because of their promise of collective knowledge.  All three of these sites are enjoyable for librarians to use and helpful in reader’s advisory.  Librarians also find it useful to “friend” library patrons, or vice versa, and browse their bookshelves to learn more about patrons’ reading interests and attain collection development suggestions.

Connectivism, Social Media, and Library Instruction

Library lessons using social media are creative ways for librarians to teach Connectivist thinking processes to encourage lifelong learning.  Joyce Valenza (2011) mentions Buffy Hamilton’s experimentation with Scoop.it, a free social media site for publishing magazine pages.  She uses Scoop.it with students for research projects, but she emphasizes that the site could be used for students’ hobbies and interests, too.  Hamilton is also exploring the uses of Pinterest in education (Valenza, 2011).  Users label their digital pinboards according to categories.  The “repin,” “comment,” and “follow” features of Pinterest are most in accordance with Siemen’s and Dowle’s Connectivism approach, though a more concrete way to make connective knowledge is lacking.  Most social networking sites have educational potential; they simply require someone with vision to realize it.

Buffy Hamilton of Creekview High School is one of the most innovative social media-using teacher-librarians in the country.  She facilitated a collaborative program between herself and English teacher Susan Lester called Media 21, an initiative that earned Buffy’s library the AL21C’s Cutting-Edge Library Award in 2011.  Hamilton’s (2011) program objectives included teaching students about participatory culture using Connectivism theory and inquiry.  Students explored various resources and used social media to create personal learning networks.  Librarian and English teacher collaborated in every aspect of the program, from planning and teaching lessons to evaluating student learning artifacts.  Projects within the Media 21 program included research pathfinders using LibGuides.  Hamilton’s LibGuides were models for students’ independent research pathfinders using Netvibes, a free tool for creating an information dashboard (Hamilton, 2011).  Netvibes permits users to create a sort of homepage with links to RSS feeds, blogs, videos, photos, databases, etc.  Students were required to exercise metacognition by writing reflective research narratives, included on their individualized Netvibes portals.  Web 2.0 tools supported their efforts at inquiry-based learning, fostering connective and critical thinking skills in participating students (Hamilton, 2011).  The Media 21 project combining elements of collaboration, inquiry, Connectivism, and content creation is a model example of how to alter social media as a tool for education, deepening students’ understanding of a topic and becoming active participants in their education.  However, what are the effects of such a project—are students more likely to engage in independent, interest-driven learning pursuits after experiencing Connectivist instruction through social media in school?  Buffy’s project was one of the first to attempt such a large-scale integration of Connectivism and social media; more initiatives like this, along with action research, are needed to assess its effects on student learning.

Red Flags

The looming red flags of incorporating social media into curriculum are cyberbullying, cyber security, and FERPA, all of which discourage teachers from venturing into social media for instructional purposes.  FERPA, the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, prevents teachers from publicizing students’ grades, whether on the Internet, on a bulletin board outside the classroom, etc.  Though frequently misinterpreted, FERPA does not inhibit instructors from using social media in the classroom (Orlando, 2011).  Instead, educators should follow general Internet safety measures when using social media with their students, such as informing students that their work, posted on a social networking site for class, will be visible to others outside of the school environment.  If necessary and available, students can enable privacy features on the site, though this would hamper community involvement goals in social networking.  Furthermore, teachers should not require students to post personal information to any social networking sites for class.  To be safe, teachers should get parental consent for posting student work on the Internet and fully inform parents of the project (Orlando, 2011).  As Connectivism thrives on the freedom of the collective, restraints dampen its impact on learning.  As minors, high school students must be introduced to Connectivism on a smaller, safer scale according to law and school policy.

Some schools are banning social networking because of the cyber bullying and security threats.  While understandable that the school wishes to prevent Internet safety issues, anti-social media hinders librarians and educators from teaching students how to think in the 21st Century using Web 2.0 tools.  Many schools simply block social networking sites using Internet safety features.  This is frustrating to teachers trying to use multimedia for presentations or experiment with social media projects.  Teachers can assign social media projects for homework and sometimes acquire Internet override codes for presentations, but in accordance with Dowles’ and Siemens’ views, these are obstacles rather than solutions in teaching Connectivism learning strategies through social media.  Have teachers or librarians who facilitated social media instruction projects witnessed cyber bullying or Internet safety issues in the classroom?  There is not enough research to suggest either case.  Perhaps students would learn more about ethical digital citizenship if it were practiced in a safe learning environment instead of having to learn it on their own.

The 21st Century human brain requires Connectivism to learn and social media is a valuable vehicle for connective knowledge.  Presently, librarians are finding creative methods of using social networking to improve library management and connections with readers, but there is a great deal of potential in library instruction.  Librarians have the opportunity to alter how social media technologies are used by teens; many teens are unaware of the power of their Twitter accounts, blogs, and more.  The literature on social media in school libraries is mostly suggestive cheerleading with a few real-world examples of implementation, as with Buffy Hamilton.  Roadblocks of the Connectivism approach further complicate the progression of education, though as more bold librarians obtain funding to experiment with social media, others will follow.  Because social media integration is in its early states in education, more action research is necessary on how Connectivism impacts students’ critical thinking abilities, problem solving skills, and—through long-term assessment—lifelong learning.

References

Dowles, S. (2007). An introduction to connectivism. Retrieved from http://downes.ca/post/33034.

Hamilton, B. J. (2011). The school librarian as teacher: What kind of teacher are you? Knowledge Quest, 39(5), 34-40.

Harris, C. (2012). Messages that stick: A hip marketing concept can work for libraries. School Library Journal, 58(2), 14.

Infinite, A. (2011). Best Business and Marketing Quotes. Retrieved from http://saucysocialmedia.com/2011/08/business-marketing-quotes/.

Interlandi, J. (2008). Reading this will change your brain. Newsweek Magazine: The Daily Beast. Retrieved from http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2008/10/13/reading-this-will-change-your-brain.html.

Orlando, J. (2011). FERPA and social media. Faculty Focus. Retrieved from http://www.sharethiscontent.net/Actions/social_share_version.cfm?message_id=1221820&user_id=MAGNA_FF&recipient_id=638310814&isRecip=1.

Siemens, G. (2004). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. Elearnspace. Retrieved from http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.htm.

Stover, K. (2009). Stalking the wild appeal factor: Reader’s advisory and social networking. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 48(3), 243-269.

Valenza, J. (2011). In my network confession… Teacher Librarian, 39(2), 27-33.

 

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NYPL’s Summer Reading Program


If you’re looking for a way to get kids reading this summer, check out NYPL’s Summer Reading Program.  This year’s theme is “One World, Many Stories.” To get started: sign up, generate a cool username, and build a fun avatar of yourself!  The summer reading website is run like a social networking site.  Add books you’ve read or are reading to your personal shelves, review books, add friends, and much more, all while earning reading badges.  It’s not just for kids, either!

5/18 Library Services Spring Conference: Exploratorium! Best Practices in Action


among the starircases of the NYPL building
Image via Wikipedia

The first annual Library Services Exploratorium! for school librarians at NYPL was quite the success.  For those who do not know what an exploratorium is: an exploratorium involves a large, wide array of presenters set up at booths or tables in a layout similar to a fair.  Each presenter has a poster and / or screen with running video or slides advertising a pitch to the attendants who mingle, asking questions and stocking up on flyers and booklets.  Basically, at an exploratorium, you get from it what you put into it; one could spend hours walking around, soaking up knowledge and inventive ways to integrate new and old ideas into the school library, or one could make quick rounds, stop for the most intriguing booths, and find oneself at a loss of what to do with the rest of the allotted timeframe.

This particular exploratorium held over 35 presenters, with small lectures and presentations scattered about the Schwarzman building to boot.  Special presentation topics ranged from NYPL’s new Summer Reading site and the DOE-NYPL Union Catalog Pilot, to Destiny software highlights and AASL’s best websites, to Follett E-Resources and NBC Learn.  Each independent table’s presenter passed out lesson planning outlines to put his / her ideas to practical use in your school library: teach blogging, synch up with teachers and hone curricula, and research tips.  On a budget?  No problem for these whiz librarians!  Multiple booths were devoted to grant funding and how to use resources readily available to create critical lessons; one presenter even ships a free box of books to your library.  Use these and any other books you possess to host a Battle of the Books event to jump-start reading, or make a habit of it with a weekly book club–the presenter explains how.  Many librarians at the exploratorium were enthusiastic about the topics and encouraged to try them out, but I did catch one or two older librarians filling out the New York Times crossword.  Once again, you get out what you put in.

One of the most stirring and controversial presentations was “Curriculum Mapping for the Common Core Standards,” hosted by Olga Nesi.  Almost all educators shudder at the idea of common core standards (CCS), but alas, they are an inevitable and necessary element of educational practice.  The presentation began with a “Do Now” of comparing and overlapping the CCS of NYS with the Inquiry Phases and Indicators (IFC) and how these play a crucial role in curriculum mapping.  Some administrators and educators prefer to set blanket curricula and resources for each age group and THEN fit these into CCS and IFC, whereas others prefer that educators teach CCS and IFC principally, using whatever materials desired to ensure that kids receive the full benefits of these standards: the development of critical thinking skills.  Two guesses as to which I prefer.  The latter encourages teachers to break away from the classic, fill-in-the-blank research assignments that the library is stereotypically used for and promote student initiative in topic choice, argumentative and persuasive writing, and critical thought or evaluation.  Educational philosophies united and clashed as librarians threw their ideas into the mix, with Olga’s reiterated “I have no answers” response between breaths.  It’s rejuvenating to hear librarians’ passionate views on education, especially when I agree with most of them.  I have hope for the future of education, though it is surely a hard, long road to reform.  For more info on what was covered in the curriculum mapping presentation, check out the powerpoint on the NYCSLSSpringExploratorium wiki.

E-books and the Public Library


A Picture of a eBook
Image via Wikipedia

E-books have revolutionized our way of reading and our idea of what reading is.  On the subways in New York City, in parks, on lines and in waiting rooms, people are carrying mobile reading devices and soaking up their favorite genres.  Even billboards and television commercials are advertising the pleasures of e-reading!  Surely this bodes well for the library, an institution dedicated to information seeking and information retrieval.  In the 21st Century, libraries must keep up with the latest trends in technology and find unique ways to integrate this technology into the library.  For e-books this includes development and management of e-book collections, integration of e-books into services, struggles with e-book licenses and lending procedures, and an understanding of how e-books are changing the lives of patrons.

Specific steps must be taken to establish a successful e-book collection and management.  Lisa Carlucci Thomas and Holly Tomren, two successful academic librarians from Southern Connecticut State University and the University of Georgia, have developed a comprehensive, quick guide to e-book collection development and how to maintain it.  Firstly, the librarian must do research on e-book formats and their compatibility with mobile devices, mobile apps and platforms (Thomas & Tomren, 2010, p. 36).  For example, e-book format AMZ is exclusive to Amazon’s Kindle and cannot be purchased by a library, but EPUB and PDF formats are plentiful and work with many other e-readers such as Nook, iPad, iPhone, CruzReader, SonyReader, etc. (“Overdrive”, 2011).  Advertising a chart or list of e-readers that are compatible with the library’s e-book collection is advisable.  It is also important for the librarian to investigate the various publishers and packages available for library purchase; subscription vendors popular with public libraries are OverDrive, NetLibrary, and Ebrary.

This collection should be centered on patrons’ wants and needs.  Librarians should order e-books based on patrons’ immediate desires, use direct invoicing, and especially use priority processing and immediate activation of e-books.  Sometimes e-books and print materials are ordered from a vendor at the same time—this is a mistake.  The ordered e-books will usually be processed and activated at the same rate as the print materials, which could take weeks!  Ordering these resources separately is much more efficient.  When the e-books are finally ready and cataloged in the system using national standards and necessary metadata, the librarian must create plenty of access points for patrons in the OPAC.  If e-books are not prominent, many patrons will be less likely to use or search for them.  The next step is to convey the benefits of e-book collections to staff and patrons and to integrate e-books into services and instruction, such as reference and technology workshops (Thomas and Tomren, 2010, p. 36).  The more a library pushes their e-book collection, the more likely patrons are to utilize that service!

Preservation and management are the final and key steps to e-book collection development.  E-books must be preserved and data migration issues must be fixed.  Dialogue with other librarians who have preserved e-books and ironed out data issues is always helpful.  Instruct staff and users on how best to optimize e-book resources.  Predict and prepare for future possibilities of e-books and their growth in the library field (Thomas & Tomren, 2010, p. 36).  This technology will only become more advanced; though e-book collections are a huge project, they are necessary for today’s patrons and must be established quickly, as technology will certainly evolve even more quickly.

Unfortunately for the librarian who has developed the e-book collection, there will always be texts that patrons want that are not available in the library’s catalog.  In such an instance, the librarian should recommend websites for free e-book downloads and put up posters of these websites.  InkMesh is a free search engine that sifts through approximately thirty different websites that offer free e-books.  Project Gutenberg offers tens of thousands of free e-books in all compatible formats, even Amazon’s Kindle format.  Most of these e-books are classics or public domain.  Baen Books is a science fiction / fantasy publisher whose website offers select free downloads of their books.  The Online Books page from the University of Pennsylvania provides an index of free books to read on the internet, though they are not downloadable for a mobile device.  Lastly, eBookFling sprung up from the new feature on the Kindle and the Nook that allows readers to lend their e-books; patrons can connect with users from across the country and lend or borrow books for free.  Additionally, the NetGallery website allows professional readers, such as library staff, to download free e-books (Vnuk, 2011, p. 48).

E-book readers and librarians would benefit from reading up on everything e-book, from reviews of books and readers to the struggle between publishers and libraries over e-book licenses.  Blogs are an efficient way to stay informed.  Prominent blogs about e-reading are The Digital Reader (news, reviews, and opinions about e-books and e-reading) and Ebookanoid (reviews e-books, e-readers, and websites devoted to them) (Vnuk, 2011, p. 48).  Furthermore, No Shelf Required is a blog about e-books and e-reading that keeps librarians and publishers informed about the e-book debate; libraries and their triumphs and tribulations while negotiating with publishers and integrating e-books into services; and the latest library conferences and what they mean for the e-book industry.

In spite of the depression, or rather because of the depression, patrons are looking to libraries for resources.  User demand for e-books is surging.  Sarah Rosenblum, a librarian from Minnesota, has projected that almost half of the budget for her small library in Hennepin County will be spent on e-books within the next five to ten years.  In 2010 approximately $35,000 of her budget went towards e-books; this year, $350,000 will be spent on e-books.  Rosenblum claims that the plan to spend such an increase on e-books is due to the overwhelming success of the integration of OverDrive’s subscription service in her library (Albanese, 2011, p. 6).  However, library success with e-books has not been without great struggle.

Formats and licenses are easily jumbled, and none seem to want to cooperate with libraries.  OverDrive’s audio formats only work specifically for Windows or Mac, and there is no transference between the two devices.  Publishers put up roadblocks for public libraries trying to buy e-book licenses.  HarperCollins publishing, for example, implemented a new policy in early March that allows libraries to buy a license for an e-book, but that book may only be borrowed 26 times.  After this, the e-book disappears from the system!  The library must buy the license again if it wishes to lend the e-book again.  Publishers are at war with everybody: Amazon over prices, libraries over licenses, and authors and agents over royalties and rights (Minezesheimer, 2011).  HarperCollins advocates against selling complete, unrestricted licenses to libraries with the claim that it would undermine the e-book ecosystem, place more pressure on bookstores, and lead to a decrease in authors’ royalties.  HarperCollins sounds so selfless.  But they fail to see that their actions undermine their own business.  Recently, Amazon has allowed libraries to license their e-books in AMZ format for the Kindle, the No. 1 selling e-reader.  Who knows how this development will affect libraries and the e-publishing industry in general?  In the end, it would be more beneficial for everyone if libraries had equitable access to all electronic content in all formats (Minezesheimer, 2011).

The Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COLSA) was concerned with the format compatibility issues between libraries and mobile devices and decided to conduct research on how best to go about solving it.  The original goal of COSLA was to create an e-reader for library patrons to use and circulate, but the agency decided that there were too many e-readers out there already; a more suitable solution would be to open the gates between e-book formats and e-readers for libraries.  COLSA believes that libraries should have a “stamp of approval” format that works with all e-readers.  COLSA suggestions for public libraries include finding a low-cost way to lend devices through the library, improve the ease of e-book lending, expanding access to e-book collection and national buying pools, and using leverage with publishers and vendors to lower prices (Porter & King, 2010, p. 21-22).  An all-out license for public libraries would certainly solve most of the e-book problems and eliminate much of the e-book debate, but attempting and implementing such an idea will be tedious because of the many uncooperative parties.

The real question is, why is it so important to develop e-book collections in public libraries?  Who would these e-books benefit?  Scholastic, Inc. conducted a study on kids and their reading habits in September of 2010.  Mobile devices such as cell phones have seriously affected the amount of time that kids from ages 9-17 spend reading (41%), doing physical activities (40%), and engaging in family-time (33%).  On the bright side, 57% of kids in this age group say that if they had access to e-books via an e-reader they would read recreationally more often.  Part of the reason these kids do not already use e-books is that only 6% of parents own a mobile e-reader, though 16% plan to purchase one in the next year.  Of these parents, approximately 83% say they would share their e-reader with their children (Scholastic, 2010).

The message to parents is that if you want your children to read, buy e-readers and use this technology to promote reading.  However, the study does not address the fact that many cell phones are e-reader capable.  Barnes and Noble’s Nook and Amazon’s Kindle offer applications that are free to download onto mobile devices; these apps allow users to download and read e-books on their phones.  Nook and Kindle also have apps that are downloadable onto a computer so people can e-read from a PC or Mac.  Perhaps kids and parents are unaware of these capabilities, in which case more effective advertisement is needed.  If it is lack of access to mobile devices that is the issue, the library can provide a solution.  If libraries offer circulating or non-circulating e-readers for in-library use only, these kids would have access to the mobile technology they desire and would hopefully take full advantage of this service.

E-books must be integrated into the library because of patron demand.  The e-book collection must be constantly developed and efficiently maintained to comply with patrons’ needs.  Library services should have e-books integrated into them, such as the OPAC, reference services, and instruction.  The popularity of e-books and e-readers is increasing, prodding librarians to devote more of their budgets to e-book collections and forcing librarians to struggle with subscription vendors and publishers to gain full e-book licenses.  The solution would be for libraries to have complete access to e-book licenses for the good of the people.  Kids are already proving how valuable e-books and e-readers are to learning and reading; library services that integrate e-books and e-readers into services would better meet the needs of the public.  As this technology continues to change and grow, librarians must pioneer this technology into action in order to keep libraries current and relevant to citizen’s lives.

References

Albanese, A. (2011). Librarians brace for a tough 2011. Publishers Weekly, 258(3), 6.

Menezesheimer, B. (2011, March 7). Librarians launch boycott in battle over e-books. USA Today. Retrieved from http://www.usatoday.com/life/books/news/2011-03-08-libraries08_ST_N.htm.

OverDrive, Inc. (2011). Device resource center. Retrieved from http://www.overdrive.com/resources/drc/.

Porter, M. & King, D. L. (2010). E-books, e-book readers, and next steps. Public Libraries, 49(6), 20-23.

Scholastic, Inc. (2010, September 29). New study on reading in the digital age: Parents say electronic, digital devices negatively affects kids’ reading time. Scholastic Media Room. Retrieved from http://mediaroom.scholastic.com/node/378.

Thomas, L.C. & Tomren, H. (2010). Ebooks: Think mobile. Computers in Libraries, 30(10), 36.

Vnuk, R. (2011). Free e-books for happy patrons. Public Libraries, 50(1), 48.