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Local Libraries Go Digital by Offering EBooks for Checkout

The printed book is losing ground, fast. When librarians are hocking eBooks, proverbially that’s the last nail in the coffin. So why are municipalities finally joining the digital revolution fueled by Amazon and Barnes and Noble? That’s an easy answer: it’s cheaper.

Digital books offer library patrons amazing benefits. Multiple people can check out the same title; no more waiting lists. No more library fines for returning late books, the files automatically expire. Every check out can be done anywhere there is wifi; with a variety of devices available for viewing, the books can be taken anywhere.

Local libraries at the mercy of cash-strapped municipal government budgets benefit from a lower cost per unit. Physical libraries will never go away, as certain reference materials are unlikely to make the jump into digital editions. Also, the librarians offer services that far exceed just checking out books. The local library will still be a sanctioned location for community and government information.

To find out if your library is offering eBooks online, just check their local website. Be prepared to enter your library card number, and possibly a unique PIN you receive from the library. Some libraries are still using pilot programs, so registration may be restricted to patrons in good standing.

Depending on the electronic book lending system the library uses, you have to install a program on your computer, e-reader, MP3 player, or cell phone. This helps protect the digital copyright on the titles. After that, browse the online catalogue, and select the titles that most interest you.

Check out limits will apply, and are far lower than the traditional fifty or so books brick and mortar libraries offer. Also, some programs disable printing, so don’t think you can make an easy copy of a favorite book. Finally, some patrons may be leery about a third-party company having access to their reading habits.

This move is a godsend for the eBook industry. eBook sellers have faced recurring opposition from some publishers and authors about offering their titles in a digital format. Adoption by public libraries lends more credibility to the system, and also expands the reading audience beyond just those willing to pay for digital copies.

Libraries offering eBook lending services is unlikely to diminish digital sales for private companies and publishers. Not every book available for purchase in a digital format will be freely available right away from a library. Also, this will entice people to try out digital book formats who have previously resisted due to cost. The convenience and availability of titles might draw new customers to sites with eBooks for sale, rather than driving out to the book store and hoping the title is there in print. Ultimately, this move will encourage more reading, especially among young people who don’t frequent the public library.

Library Cards – Warp Speed Your Future

Have you ever entered your local public library? Have your children ever entered their local public library? Do you have a library card? Do your children have their own personal library card? If the answer to these questions is yes, read on.

Today I made a mad dash for the library it was due to close in thirty minutes. I always love to stop and watch the children of every age picking through the books and making the big decision of which ones to take home and read.

It always brings back memories to me of when my son was about ten years old. I was on my way to the library and I asked him to accompany me. A friend of his was over and they were playing in the yard. His friend asked me if he could go with me to the library since he had never been in one.

I could not believe my ears. I could not believe that a child ten years old had never been in the public library.

What happened is somehow I ended up taking my son and three of his friends to the library. I could not believe that his three friends had never been in a public library.

I was delighted to introduce these boys to the mysteries of the library and all the wonderful books that it contained. The boys all were really excited to be on this unexpected outing with me.

Before we left home I had permission from each of their parents for this unexpected trip. The boys also obtained a note from their parents to receive their own personal library card.

I enjoyed every minute of helping my son along with his three friends pick out two library books each to take home and read.


It opens the door for you to learn about any subject you may have been interested in your entire life. It makes your imagination soar and explode.

This day is engrained in my memory forever. I feel that I opened a door to the future for these three boys. I hope my son remembers it.

Another special day at the library is when my daughter was seven days old. I remember sitting her in her infant seat on top of the counter as I was checking out my books.

I don’t care if parents are working and live very busy lives, they must make the time for their children to obtain a library card. When they get old enough they can ride their bike or walk to their neighborhood library.


Thank you for reading my article. I hope you feel free to read my other articles. I love to hear from you.

Copyright 2006 Linda Meckler

How to Organize a Classroom Library

The best way that I have found to organize a classroom library is to sort books by genres. This would work best in classrooms that are 3rd grade and above. Organizing by genres helps students understand what types of books they are reading and helps prepare them for state testing, as they are often asked the genre of passages they read. Many students also tend to be attracted to certain genres of books over others. Having them organized in this way allows them to find books they will enjoy much more easily than if they were organized by author, level, or some other way.

Some examples of possible genres are:
1) Realistic fiction
2) Historical fiction
3) Fantasy
4) Adventure
5) Folktales
6) Mystery
7) Newberry Winners
8) Science
9) History
10) Biography
11) Poetry
12) Quick Reads

Depending on how many books you have in a certain category, they could be broken down further. The science category could be broken down into Plants and Animals, the Solar System, etc. Also, if you have a variety of books written by the same author, you could make those books a category of their own. There are also many series of books that could be separated out as their own category. A category of “quick reads” could be shorter books that are below grade level that students would be able to read through quickly.

The easiest way to sort these books is using baskets. You could create title cards to label each of the baskets with their genre. This makes finding books easy and enjoyable for kids because they know exactly where to go to find the type of book they like.

Students often make the mistake of taking a book and then forgetting which basket they took it from. To solve this problem, you could choose a certain type of sticker to put on the front of all the books within a certain genre. Each genre will then have its own color or design. Making a chart with the different stickers and their matching genres can be especially helpful to students when they are returning books. This serves as a key for them to look at when they are not sure where a book goes.

There are a couple of ways that kids could check out books from the classroom library that makes keeping track of books easy. With each of these options, it is easiest if each student has a number, and you have a small file box in your classroom with file cards that have numbers on them. One possible way for students to check out books is to glue a library pocket into the front of each book with a checkout card inside. Once the kids have chosen a book, they write their names on the checkout card and put it behind their number in the file box. When they go to return a book, they put the card back in the book, check the key to see what basket the book goes in, and return it to the correct basket. Another idea is to have each student have a 3 x 5 card with his or her name on it. When the students choose a book, they write the title of the book down on their card and put the card behind their number. When they are done with the book, they pull the card out, put a checkmark next to the title and return the book to its basket.

Organizing your library this way is great for both students and teachers. It will get kids excited about choosing books and finding books they love, and it will be very low maintenance for the teacher.