There has been a lot of talk about eReaders lately, especially in light of Harper-Collins decision to limit checkouts of their books on Overdrive to 26 for the lifetime of the book. The Swiss Army Librarian has a good breakdown of what is going on with eReaders lately.
What does this have to do with children’s literature? Much of what people talk about these days is about the children of today and the digital divide. Kids growing up today are considered digital natives. Check out this video about what the kids of today want from their libraries:
So digital content is necessary and this is why so many libraries are either now using or are considering using eReaders. Their interactive content and the shiny readers they come in make them appealing to children. At my internship, iPads are being used in select libraries as part of a pilot program and every time it comes out, you can see the kids lurking around the sides, ready to play with it. There is much to learn about this new form of delivering information and I forsee their role being expanded in libraries.
However, if you are not comfortable using eReaders, there is still time to learn. Furthermore, though we talk about the youth of today and their interest in technology and digital content, I have an anecdote that you should keep in mind. At this same internship where the kids swarm around the iPad, the library struggles to keep enough books about dinosaurs on the shelf. The project I am working on involves a category for trains. Despite how different children might be today in terms of technology, they still love to read the same categories of books that many of us did and those that came before us as well. It might show up in a different form, but kids will still argue about which dinosaur is best.
(PS: It’s stegosaurus).