Thursday, May 19, 2011

Managing your Reading Life

Last evening I teamed up with Mary Anne Antonellis, Director of the M.N. Spear Library to present the program "Managing your Reading Life". We shared all of the great features in our online catalogs, the digital resources available for download and Goodreads. Andrew from Barnes and Noble did a presentation on the Nook e-reader. What fun!
I loved the Nook and think that it is a tool that would benefit many students. Price was reasonable, had a good feel and nice functionality. Some books have text to speech, font size was adjustable, many free books available from B&N, and best of all compatible with OverDrive-the public library e-book provider. The research is showing that adding technology increases motivation in reluctant readers. (Maybe it becomes technology to them rather than reading?)
All this technology in the library world had me thinking about the ways searching for a good book to read had changed. Not so long ago, if you wanted something to read you headed to the library or bookstore and looked around for a title that caught your fancy. Maybe a friend or family member would recommend a book. You browsed. Flash forward to 2011....
Not much browsing going on. Reading has become more deliberate. Readers request books online through the library catalog. They place holds on popular titles. (Even first-graders have mastered the art of the hold!) They share book reviews on a social network. They determine what they want to read before they enter the library. (Or order it online at!) Notices are sent via email (overdue reminders, too) and if you miss the due date you can even pay your fine online. Most library business can be conducted without physically stepping into the library.
It is still fun to browse. But there is something really satisfying in having the power to obtain just the book you want to read when you want it.

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