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eBooks for Children and Learning January 16, 2013

Posted by poppendeckc in Technology, Youth Services.
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Children’s eBooks are becoming more available at your local library. The title list is burgeoning, and it is only the beginning! Everything from picture books, easy readers, chapter books, even nonfiction has been converted to eBook style, and can easily be borrowed to your eReader with a click of your mouse on your local library’s website!

eReaders are given as gifts, incentives, and for many more reasons. But have you considered the impact the reader may make on your child? How can you use an eReader to its best advantage beyond borrowing and loading?

The method of learning on an eReader is not merely different than the traditional book; learning the technical details in and of itself is a skill, and coupling this with reading comprehension creates twice the work.

According to author Lisa Guernsey, (Why eReading With Your Kid Can Impede Learning, on Time.com) parents happily guide their children through the technical use of an eReader, but comprehension of the reading material is overshadowed, neglected and suffers. Children can be left with a less homogenous understanding of the story, and this may affect their overall mastery of reading and comprehension.

So what can you do to support their efforts? Minimizing commands, both from you and from the eReader, can help a child grasp the material more thoroughly. Conversational interaction, or, chatting about the material, can be critical to learning. Allowing the child a chance to be thoughtful about the story helps the story sink in for better understanding. Ask her questions about what she thinks may happen next; talk about the situation in the story. Have fun! This effort remains the best tool for reading and comprehension in both paper books and electronic ones.

Also, let her control the device. Explore with no agenda, as this allows her to become acquainted with it and “own” it. Hold back directions from you and be patient.

Then pat yourself on the back for assisting your child to face future reading challenges by breaking down the comprehension barrier of traditional reading and electronic reading!

Caroline Poppendeck, Librarian
Head of Youth Services
CCLD, Central Library

Loving Librarianship August 8, 2011

Posted by metzgerd in Van Etten, Youth Services.
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Big Rabbit's Bad MoodI love being a librarian. Here is an example of one of the reasons why:

A six-year-old girl just came in with her grandpa. Tayla couldn’t find any picture books to suit her, so Grandpa & I selected books we thought she might like.  At random, I pulled out one called: “Big Rabbit’s Bad Mood.” I laughed inwardly, because I happened to be in a Bad Mood myself, although I was successfully acting cheerful on the outside.  On impulse, I plopped down and read part of the book to Tayla, making growly voices for the Big Bad Mood as he followed Rabbit, “stuck to him like glue.”  I wanted to get Tayla interested in the story, but I also wanted to know how Rabbit got rid of his Mood, for me!  Just as Rabbit got a “very, very brilliant idea” about how to get rid of his Bad Mood, I clapped the book shut.  I told Tayla that she should take the book home to read and then tell me what Rabbit did about his Mood so I could get rid of mine.

I was rewarded with a small, shy smile. Tayla decided to take the book home.  Grandpa told me that Tayla often pretends she’s a librarian and makes him check his books in and out properly at home.  I beamed at Tayla, amazed that I had made any impression on this quiet little girl, who has barely looked me in the eye or said three words to me in all the time I’ve known her.

I still don’t know what Rabbit did to get rid of his Big Bad Mood. But Tayla, her grandfather, and finding the right book for them (and myself), rid me of mine.

The thrill of finding the right book, (or information), at the right time, for the right person.  I love being part of that, and this library profession that holds that process at its center.

Doris Jean Metzger, MLIS
Van Etten Library

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