UNION — Sims Middle School students can read or even check out more than a hundred books from the library any time of the day using a computer or smart phone through the school’s new eBooks program.
Librarian Jennifer Tazerouti said that the school began looking into setting up an eBooks program last year. At that time she said a few of the books in the school’s library were placed into the system as she learned how to manage it.
Since then, Tazerouti said the school has placed a total of 106 of its library’s approximately 15,000 books into the system which allows students to access the books with computers or other electronic devices linked to the Internet.
“We currently get our eBooks from Follett and all the students have access to the eBooks,” Tazerouti said. “An eBook is a digital copy of a book that can accessed with a computer or an eReader or a smart phone or any electronic device.
“In this case our eBooks can be accessed on any computer with an Internet connection, on iPads, and other tablets and smart phones,” she said. “The two apps that they have to have to use the eBooks on the tablet are Follett Enlight and Destiny Quest.”
Tazerouti said that while all the library’s books are on the system, only the 106 currently designated as eBook’s can actually be read by the students.
“They have to login and then they search for the books,” Tazerouti said. “They can see all the approximately 15,000 books we have, but only 106 are eBooks right now. On the tablet or the computer or app or program the eBooks each have the letter ‘E.’
“They select the book they want and it opens it in a browser,” he said. “At this time they can either check out the book or read it online. If they want to read it online the book would appear.”
In addition to being able to read the eBook, Tazerouti said the system allows students to make and save notes about what they are reading.
“You can make annotations,” Tazerouti said. “In the annotation you can make notes and save it. So if you’re doing literary assessment, close reading for an assignment, or literary analysis you can keep your notes digitally. Some of them even have a feature where you can highlight.”
Tazerouti said that another benefit of the system is that that it makes those books that are eBooks accessible anytime of the day.
“It makes part of the library collection accessible 24/7,” Tazerouti said. “So if it’s nine o’clock at night and a student needs a book they can get information from these places.”
Tazerouti said that the number of library books that are now eBooks has grown since the program started last year with 12 books being added this year alone. Most of the Sims books that are now eBooks are the classics along with a few contemporary books, but Tazerouti said plans are to add even more in the future.
“I’m going to see how much these get use to determine how many get purchased,” Tazerouti said. “We will definitely be getting more.”
Tazerouti said that the addition of more books onto the eBooks system is being fueled by the reaction of the students who she said have given her “very positive feedback.” She added that many of the students she sees are actually doing a lot of their reading on their cellphones, something she said is helping them connect very well with the school’s eBooks program.
In addition to acquiring more eBooks for reading, Tazerouti said she also hopes to eventually get digital audio books as well.
Another benefit of the school’s eBooks system is that it can help students continue reading even when school is out.
“The books can be downloaded and when they are you can have them to read even without an Internet connection,” Tazerouti said. “They can then be available for reading while traveling.”
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