Conversations about teens, technology and distraction are nothing new. When mobile phones first started to move from the domain of Important Business People at airports and into the hands of the general public, we worried that their presence in schools would be too distracting for students. (And we still have to tell the cinema-going public–including an awful lot of people over the age of 18–not to text or talk during movies.) Now that more and more schools allow students to bring their own laptops or tablets to classes, we worry about filtering and blocking sites like Facebook or YouTube during school hours.
And now there’s the question of reading on digital devices, and the threat of distraction by the device itself–or, at least, that’s what New York Times business writers Julie Bosman and Matt Richtel would have us ponder. Is tablet reading “more like a 21st-century cacophony than a traditional solitary activity”?
I don’t know about you, but I’m a multi-platform reader. I have a (print) book in my car in case I find myself early for an appointment. I have OverDrive on my Android phone and my iPod Touch, so that I can easily check a book out from my local public library if I’m on the go. I have a Nook Color, which I mostly use when traveling (and that my partner has all but co-opted after giving it to me for my birthday). And I’m constantly picking up (print) books at work to read at the desk, many sucking me in enough to get tossed in my bag to read at home.
And here’s my secret: I’m always a distracted reader.
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About 10 days ago the library world had a bit of a blow-up with the announcement that Harper Collins was going to limit the number of circulations (to 26) for ebook titles a library purchases as a part of their OverDrive collection. The Twitter hashtag for conversations related to the topic quickly became #hcod (for Harper Collins Overdrive).
Ever since the news of HCOD broke, I’ve been thinking about it. Thinking about it partly in terms of whether or not the Harper Collins move was good or bad, but really I’ve been asking myself what does the HCOD announcement say about the big picture future of libraries, teens, and service to the age group? I’d say that’s the most important question here. While it’s important to know about the change in policies related to Harper Collins, Even more important is going beyond one publisher and one vendor and getting right to the heart of the matter, what is the future of libraries within a digital content world?
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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. Read More →
I’ve been thinking about this post for a couple of weeks. At first it was going to be a rant about the importance of accepting reading in different formats as reading. But, I’ve done that. Then it was going to be a post about how reading isn’t about format but about content. But, I’ve don’t that. Then it was going to be a post about lending clubs for digital devices. I just kept having different ideas about what a post related to technology and reading should focus on. Instead of selecting just one topic, I decided to write a post that covers a variety of topics related to the world of reading in the digital age. Here goes.
- A little less then two years ago I wrote on this blog about the fact that I was reading more than ever because I was reading books using the Kindle app on my iPhone. Since that post I have only read one book in traditional physical form – a manga title that wasn’t available as an ebook at the time I needed to read it. Read More →