28 Days of Tech #26: eBook dilemmas

Last December, ‘ my 12 year-old’ niece’ and not-12 year-old best friend both received Kindles for Christmas. By the time I saw them, both had uploaded a few books and a few games, and both were raving about the size and convenience. It was the first time I’d seen the new editions up close, and they certainly are sleek and clear.

My library currently owns two older edition Kindles (courtesy’ of a donation), and by Christmas, we were still wrestling with to how’ ‘ to acquire and advertise our Kindle eBook collection. In addition, my colleagues and I were debating the fit of a ‘ Kindle purchase model at our library, and so movement with the two we already owned was slow. I thought we had time on this.

But seeing eReaders in the hands of two of my favorite readers, I realized the eBook revolution had to become a priority. It was time for this concept to take center stage. ‘ So I’ve spent this new year trying to catch up on the eBook conversation, and figure out the best way to integrate eBooks into our school library.

I’ve asked myself a few questions: What are different libraries doing to incorporate eBooks and eReading? What are the road blocks? Is there a model out there that our library can follow? How do we’ proceed?

So far, the answers to these questions are vast and varied–‘ Here is some of what I’ve discovered. Continue reading

2010 Technology Recap

As the recent post on the YALSA Blog, A Time to Reflect, noted, the end of the year is always a time to think about the past twelve months. As I tend to have technology as a focus in my life, I’ve been thinking a lot about what has happened in the technology realm in 2010. I’ve also been thinking about what I’ve seen in libraries as it relates to technology and teens. Here are some things bubbling in my head:

  • Video: Streaming video really took off this year with stories almost daily about new and improved services. NetFlix launched a streaming only subscription plan and made its instant queue available for viewing on mobile devices. Hulu Plus launched as a way for users of that service to access content on mobile devices. And, gaming consoles began to be used more and more as entertainment systems.

    Something else I’ve noticed this year is that more librarians are using video contests as a way to connect with teens. This is great as many teens are interested in producing and creating video content. However, I have one caveat for my peers. Video is not the end-all and be-all to connecting with teens. I do worry that some librarians are looking at video contests as the silver bullet for meeting teen technology needs and for integrating technology into programs and services. Please don’t. I actually think YALSA’s Why I’m a Member contest is a perfect example of how video can be used with a target audience as one way to connect. It’s not the only way, it’s one way. Continue reading

30 Days of Back to School: Learning From and With Devices

Over the past several weeks my Twitter feed has been filled with links to articles, reports, and information about integration of ereaders, iPads, etc. into classrooms and libraries. From my perspective it’s been a long time getting to what looks like a tipping point for integration of ematerials into the learning experience. (The first ereaders – for example the Rocket ebook reader – came on the scene about 12 years ago.) It is pretty exciting to learn about what’s being piloted in schools and libraries across the country and learn how the use of these devices can improve and enhance teaching, learning, and library services for teens. Continue reading