I was doing some PD with district librarians, and we were talking about collaboration between library and classroom. We know collaboration creates an environment that engages students and makes them the center of instruction. It can also be the perfect place to encourage e-book reading for academic and pleasure pursuits. Here are a few ways to begin to attract readers to the digital side of reading
1. Use excerpts and throw it up on a screen. E-books don't have to be independently read from a single device. Try using features on the device to highlight part of the e-book for students to read and discuss in small groups? It also allows students who don't have their device not to be able to read along with the classroom. Reading time can be taken to a whole other level, especially when reading picture books. Show them the cover of the book while you introduce it, which can help encourage curiosity about e-books and (hopefully!) checkouts!
2. Buy an e-book version of popular books. We all know those students who wait and wait.....and then wait some more for a popular book to come in. The problem is, that sometimes those popular books always come in late, or even never at all. If a title is that popular, why not buy an extra copy in digital format? Not only will it NEVER get lost, but it could also be the gateway for those who want it so badly they'll take the digital copy to become e-book readers! Bonus? You get more shelf space to add other titles than duplicates!
3. Create a brochure/poster with QR codes for them to open quickly. If you're a school library, you may have a circulation system that delivers e-book content to students. If so, why not make it easier for them to check out books by using QR codes for them to go directly to the system and the book. I think part of the frustration of reading e-books is actually getting to them. If you have the QR code ready, wah lahhhhh!! Easy as pie! One easy idea: Follett's Destiny Discover has Collections, where you can create a list of e-books and create a PDF you can print or share online that's super easy to create.
4. Do a book talk all with e-books. Nothing says I love to read more than booktalking all of the amazing books you want to share. Oftentimes, e-books are overlooked when booktalking so add a few to the mix and see what happens. What would be even more interesting would be to have the actual e-book open and read the first two paragraphs of the book while they track with you. That's a powerful hook!
5. Talk to students about the ease and benefits of e-books and the added tools to use with a reader. E-readers can go farther than just turning pages. Highlighting, annotations, key word searches and more are built into some e-readers, so never neglect the fact that e-books are great resources especially when doing research. It's all in one handy place ready for them when they need to start using their documentation.
And whatever you do, never ever stop promoting reading and remember there are ALL types of readers. What may feel uncomfortable to us may not to another reader, so keep your mind open. Time to crack a book cover...or click a virtual cover!!