Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Library services for children and young people: challenges and opportunities in the digital age. Edited by Carolynn Rankin and Avril Bock.

This book provides an excellent background for library staff and policy makers as they create services for children and young adults. The primary focus of the book is provision of services for 6 – 18 year olds, and it looks at service provision in both school and public libraries. The book also looks at how school and public libraries, in the same community, can work together to provide complementary services through consulting with each other and thus meeting all needs of users. The book also looks at the different formats of resources that are available to be used and encourages staff to use these to provide services as the technological advances in society today will be continued to be picked by today’s children who will be tomorrows adults and leaders. By encouraging use of the different technologies such as ebooks and e audiobooks children can become aware of new technologies which are used in libraries they can see how libraries evolve to stay relevant. In this way the young people can pass on the importance of libraries to future generations. The book also talks about the different types of reading that young people do be that in the form of a physical book or other types of reading materials such as magazines and newspapers or electronic texts such as blog posts, tweets, Facebook posts, and ebooks. The book states that it is important to encourage all these different types of reading, in children, as this is the way that they read and it will help to encourage a love of reading. While the book is primarily focused on the UK the ideas and suggestions in the book are relevant for an international audience as it has sections focussing on the United States and Australia and people from other places around the world can adapt the ideas to suit their needs and culture. (Rankin & Boyd, 2012) The idea of books and technology, particularly e books, being beneficial is taken up by (Leith, 2011) where the fact that using such technology is great for children as it encourages interaction with what they are reading. This is helpful because children have grown up interacting with the technological world around them through things such as computer and console games. Through using interactive e books then the children can take the next step to the love of reading and enjoying physical books. Through reading this book I learnt that encouraging reading in whatever format it comes in is important so that readers can make the step from one format to another and thus diversify their reading habits. By encouraging what is seen as simple reading the love of reading can develop and a new generation of readers will be born.

Leith, S. (2011, October 23). Don’t fear the Reader: how technology can benefit children’s books. New technology, far from tempting kids away from books, promises to add a new dimension to reading. The Observer. London.
Rankin, C., & Boyd, A. (2012). Library services for children and young people : challenges and opportunities in the digital age. London: Facet.

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