Monday, May 7, 2012

To eRead or Not to eRead: That is the question

This weekend almost 200 people attended the NYS Section of School Librarians (SSL) conference in Binghamton.  It was a great conference and everyone walked away with many new program ideas.  Below is the PPT slideshare of our eReader presentation with a few of the main bullets, for those who were asking
The main points to remember are:
  • The market is ready.  If you don't provide ebooks, Barnes & Noble and Amazon, Wattpad, your public library,  will --and others already are.
  • Some publishers are refusing to sell to libraries, but are allowing distribution via Amazon and B & N.  Keep your eyes on that "fight" via the ALA news conduits.  They are currently our biggest advocate along with Overdrive who would like the ability to sell those licenses also. 
  • A digital book is not a "book" but a :license.  The copyright issues differ.
  • Keep in mind that libraries are primarily in the delivery business, not the device business. 
  • Devices will morph, age, self-destruct, and more.  Chances are your eLibrary will stand the test of time.
  • The music industry straightened out the licensing issue, we have no doubt that the publishing industry will as well. 
  • eBooks are a great tool for the Special Education accommodations.  Often devices can be secured via special education funding. 
  • Teachers are using our Overdrive library for read-alouds, on Smartboards, and more. 
  • Some districts are purchasing ipods for track team members to listen to books if they are running hours daily. 
  • Get to know the formats so you can speak intelligently on this new book format.  There is even a new flowable-text, browser based format coming out (  So, formats are evolving, but this is our industry and we have a professional obligation to stay informed. 
  • See whether you can re-distribute funding to secure an eLibrary.   Your district may not have "new" funds, but might be able to re-distribute funds such as AV funds to purchase your own eLibrary presence. 
There are many other points to deliver, but at least this is fodder for thought. 
I love print.  In fact, I love large print.  However, I was surprised that I enjoy reading on my little iPod.  Last week in a doctor's office I read 80 pages while I waited ...each little screen is considered a page and the page count is paginated as you read.  

Happy eReading! Thanks to the conference planning committee.  David Weisner was fascinating, the food was great, and it was nice to meet in person some of our virtual friends such as Joyce Valenza and Carl Harvey who shared their valuable insights!

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