Saturday, October 23, 2010

For those treading the uncertain waters of e-readers

This couldn't come at a better time for me. The SLJ Leadership Summit focused on the 21st century. I am a changed person. Change is difficult and not very well received because people sometimes become entrenched in personal beliefs and status quos. But we need to make sure we look at the change and why it's needed and be careful....don't look at one side but BOTH sides. It's so much easier finding info YOU want to support reasons for not supporting change. I had the honor of listening to Stephen Abram, among other leaders, talk, and here are some key highlights of his speech for the change from traditional books to e-books:

The internet has passed it's infancy - it's now moving into its terrible twos, and we have to control it.

"Shift happens"

Teens have collaboratively created a new language (texting) in two years. Who are we to stifle their creativity because we don't understand this change paradigm?

9 percent of books through Amazon sales has gone down.

Women are predominant buyers of e-readers. This is going to filter down to their children as reading models

Google is in collaboration with 80 percent of publishers for online books.

We don't buy albums anymore but singles online. Kindle has singles, which is a fundamental shift that will change reading of short stories and poetry.

20 percent of the population is text-based learning while 80 percent is experience-based. Think of the preference of watching a video vs reading a manual.

Reading goes on with and without binding.

50 percent of people go to Amazon to look at a book and its reviews et al before going to the OPAC.

If you feel like you're drowning in technology and it's overwhelming, start small!

And there are still some questions. Another speaker said

we don't have a common vocabulary when it comes to e- books. There are e- book and enhanced e- books. Do you know the difference?

Books now come with directions

Do we buy or subscribe? What exactly do we own when we have an e-reader

The Carnegie Foundation speakers showed that 4 million US homes have e-readers and predicts sales of more than 29 million devices by 2015.

57 percent of kids 9-17 are interested in e-readers and are more likely to read for pleasure on this format.

So I'm changing my focus and looking at the evidence to embrace 21st century reading. If I don't, then the library I work in will be the one that never changes while the rest of my school goes forward in the classroom with educational technology and standards and the new state standards that have been revamped to integrate new technologies. I'm not one who wants to be a dinosaur...I like the hip, on the top of the newest out there instead.

Now to change some mindsets....!

Remember....10 years ago with the advent if the Internet, pessimists predicted the demise of libraries. But we proved them wrong and adapted to it. We can do it again in this new digital age.

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