Carmel library introducing kids to eBooks

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Children’s Librarian Holly Southern explains to fifth-grade students at College Wood Elementary School how to access eBooks. (submitted photo)

Children’s Librarian Holly Southern explains to fifth-grade students at College Wood Elementary School how to access eBooks. (submitted photo)

By Amanda Foust

It’s no surprise that many young Carmel students own devices such as Kindles, iPads and laptops. And while many of these kids use them to play games, surf the Internet and endlessly watch YouTube videos, they just need a little encouragement to realize that an entire world of information is at their fingertips.

That’s where the friendly local librarian steps in.

Carmel Clay Public Library has been working with schools to promote the use of eBooks from the library as an educational tool. These books offer students an opportunity to explore new worlds through the pages on their device.

A few of eBooks’ perks are that no fines are involved, they are available at all hours of the day and they provide parents an opportunity to discuss safely using these devices.

“From the library’s perspective, we are thrilled to work with the schools on this,” Library spokeswoman Beth Jenneman said

The library has focused its outreach efforts on third-, fourth- and fifth-graders by offering presentations in the schools to teach students how to use their devices for educational purposes and accessing eBooks.

These presentations have offered students a chance to bring their own devices to school, learn how to access the browser OverDrive READ, navigate that browser and download free books.

The librarians use the students’ media center time to offer an extra set of hands and the expertise needed to help the media specialists promote this high-tech reading advancement.

“They love knowing they can read on their device,” said Denise Dragash, a Carmel schools media specialist about her students’ reactions to the free eBooks.

And for their second act, the library staff is taking requests.

“We want to get the word out as much as possible. It’s a great resource, and people love it,” Jenneman said. “We want to always expand our collection and could use suggestions and demand. We try to be responsive and have always taken suggestions.”

But overall, the eBooks have generated a positive response from young readers. The evidence is in the increasing number of checkouts based on the latest library’s circulation numbers.

To begin checking out books visit carmel.lib.overdrive.com.

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