Category Archives: technology

NPR Best Books 2016

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For the last few years, I can’t remember how many, NPR has done this virtual concierge of their best book suggestions for the year. I like it, but I’m a list person so some part of me misses the basic list. See for yourself and you can how you feel. Please note, there are way more in this concierge thing than on a regular best of 2016 list because of the algorithm they have to choose different topics. 309 books!

I looked at them all. Because, why not? I have read, 11 of them. To completion! I have tried to read, or almost finished as I like to call it in Goodreads, 13 of them. That’s 8% – rounding up. Haha. Let’s include one more layer. There are 24 of them I have checked out and brought to my house but never opened, or only read the first few pages. That puts me up to 15% so I feel a bit better. Anything above 10% and I’m golden. Who can really compete with NPR?

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Filed under adult, best lists, children, fiction, fun facts, graphic novel, non-fiction, short stories, technology, young adult

Goodreads

I love Goodreads y’all. Love it. Except when I hate it. The two times I hate it are as follows:

1. When I can’t mark a book read in different editions. Hardcover, paperback, this is especially true with audio. Sometimes I listen to a book and then I also read it and I want to mark it twice. Why can’t I do that, Goodreads? Huh? Or why oh why can’t I mark it more than once? If I read a book multiple times shouldn’t I be able to mark it read multiple times? But no. You either read it or you didn’t. It doesn’t matter how many times. GAH!

2. When I start reading something and then stop but have every intention of finishing. Right now, I’m currently reading those books —-> yes those ones over there on my widget. But let’s just make note that I’ve been “reading” All the Light we Cannot See for like 2 years. Not really, but you get my drift. I wish there was a way to say that to the community. I started this book and I really love it and I will finish it, probably the next time I go on vacation and need an airplane book, which is how I was reading it the first time.. whew. I wish Goodreads had that kind of shelf.

Other books I’m currently “reading”

11.22.63 by Steven King – I started reading this one because I wanted to watch the Hulu miniseries with James Franco. But then I started watching it and I did NOT like it. So perhaps I won’t actually finish this book..

The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee – this one has been lost in my pile of books somewhere and I’m not at a super compelling part that’s calling me back. There are those parts, I’m just not at one. But I will finish gosh darn it.

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Literacy App Results

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If you’re like me, you are wary of giving children tablets. I see two year olds playing on phones and I cringe. If I were a mother I’d probably think differently and look at that two-year-old knowing their mother was getting 10 minutes of silence and say a hail Mary. After reading this study I can now feel slightly in between my cringe and Catholic tendency to praise God.

Let me sum it up for you. Researchers at MIT, Tufts University and Georgia State University have been giving tablet computers loaded with literacy apps to different groups of kids (all in economically disadvantaged communities) to see if it improves their reading readiness.

One group was in rural Ethiopia, one was in a suburban South African school, and one was in a rural U.S. school.

Results? In the African deployments, students who used the tablets fared much better on the tests than those who didn’t, and in the U.S. deployment, the students’ scores improved dramatically after four months of using the tablets. How dramatically, you ask? You’ll have to read the study. They’re better at explaining the results than I am.

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Libraries Need Help

Every other day there’s a new article about how libraries are going to become non-existent. Now, I don’t believe this is true, but I do believe that less people are using them and it makes me sad. Another thing I believe to be true is this (from this article),

“Ninety percent of U.S. local libraries offer ebook lending, for instance, but 38 percent of Americans either don’t know or don’t think that their local branch does so.”

I posted a photo of the Star Wars move the other day, the day after it came out. It was the blu-ray DVD from the library. It had 48 likes. I’m not a serious Facebook fanatic but 48 likes for me is a lot. Not only that I had tons of comments about how my own friends, people who know I work at a library, didn’t think libraries had new movies. Whaaaat? Seriously? Of course we do. So I find it unsurprising that 38% of people don’t know we have ebook lending. What if they did?? Would all these articles about libraries falling into the gutter stop being written? I doubt it, but there might be more articles about how libraries are amazing if we were better at publicizing our materials / offerings.

Now, I’m not in marketing. In fact, I know nothing about marketing. I’m a Children’s librarian. And I’m not saying that those who work in marketing for libraries are doing a bad job. I’m just saying, we need help.

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Where is Reading Rainbow?

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Remember when I posted about the Reading Rainbow Kickstarter campaign like TWO YEARS AGO? Good glory where has the time gone. Someone is finally asking what happened with that. Check out the whole conversation here.

Long story short, the first big project to come out of the campaign is Skybrary, an all new, interactive, digital library! We downloaded this on our library iPads but quickly deleted them because they wanted an account to be set up. This makes sense on a personal device because the app wants to tailor to the age of the child and their “likes” but it doesn’t work in a library setting when more than once child is using the iPads (aren’t all the same age, don’t like the same books, etc).

 

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Book Vending Machine

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So the library I used to work at in the Midwest had a DVD vending machine. When I was at ALA a few years ago I also saw some book vending machines. Apparently there are now book vending machines in D.C. for underprivileged children. This article (in People of all places) talks about where they came from and how they work. A few things I don’t understand are how do they know the child is 14 and under? For that matter, how do they know it’s a child getting the book? Can they get more than one book? What if a kid is just pushing every button to get every single book? There is an adult woman in the photo so perhaps it’s only on certain hours and is monitored? I would need more information before I’d consider getting one of these machines for my area. Not that they’re being offered to me, but you know..

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Reading on Screens

This article tells us EVERYTHING science knows about reading on screens. Now, my husband hates to read. But whenever he’s supposed to be listening to what I’m saying he is usually reading on his phone. And he doesn’t even know that he’s reading. But is that good for him I wonder. IT HURTS YOUR EYES! READ A BOOK! These are things I want to yell, but I don’t.

I think this is most definitely true.

“But this style of reading may come at a cost—Liu noted in his study that sustained attention seems to decline when people read onscreen rather than on paper, and that people also spend less time on in-depth reading.”

I definitely skim more in electronic books than on paper books. Why? No idea. Very interesting article.

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