The Pima County Public Library is keeping up to date with quickly evolving technology of ebooks by digitizing the concept of physical reading rooms with their new “eReading Room.” This digital collection of children’s books features professionally recorded narration that plays and highlights words while reading.
“We’re always striving to make sure that our customers get the materials they need and in the format they want,” said Holly Schaffer, library community relations manager. “For many parents and caregivers, the Read-Alongs will make it even easier to make reading a regular part of their lives, spend time together, and support curious, young learners.”
Narration in childrens’ ebooks also helps replicate the interactivity found in physical books and read-alongs. According to the library, the eReading Room concept was born from the existence of physical spaces in libraries that are designed specifically for different ages, subjects or themes.
There are more than 300 children’s Read-Alongs available on the library’s website, OverDrive and the app Libby. An additional benefit is these books are accessible at any time, and compatible with computers and devices such as iPhone, iPad, Android and Chromebook. A library card is required to read the ebooks. Titles expire after three weeks and there are no late fees.
The library also offers thousands of ebooks in other genres. These online resources benefit those who struggle getting to the library.
“With access to great books anytime and anywhere and the benefit of building digital literacy skills with an easy-to-use format, the Read-Alongs are just another building block in improving early childhood literacy in our community,” Schaffer said.
Beyond ebooks, PCPL is committed to advancing their technology, such as aiming to add 3D printers, a computer coding club and podcasts to their libraries.
For more information, visit the Pima County Public Library’s ebook read-along website: pima.overdrive.com/library/readalongs.
Bivian Contreras is a University of Arizona journalism student and Tucson Local Media intern.