Technology is constantly changing the way we do things, and it’s impacting the reading world more than ever.
Kindles, Nooks and iPads have run book stores out of business, and now they’re popping up in libraries.
Kindle in hand, Snake River student Cody Rose got a lesson in e-readers Wednesday morning.
“I think it’s a great idea and great that the school has them,” said Rose.
The Snake River School Community Library has 15 Amazon Kindles that can be checked out by the general public or students.
“In the near future, students are going to be using electronic devices in their classrooms and I would like to give them a jump start and be prepared for that,” said Sherrilynn Bair, director at the Snake River School Community Library.
Most students are on the waiting list, but much like MP3 players with audio books a few years ago, the devices are a big hit.
“It’s small and compact and you can have it in your pocket or purse and it’s got up to 1,500 books on it,” said Bair.
Even traditional librarians, lovers of books, are adapting.
“I love the paper, love the way it smells, but I also know it’s very hard to travel with six or seven books,” said Jennifer Hentzen, director of adult services at the Idaho Falls library.
The Idaho Falls Library is in contract discussions with digital book distributor Overdrive to provide free online checkouts, compatible with any and all devices.
“I would love that actually,” said Mariam Rohde.
The service should be up and running by October or November and make reading easily available to the masses.
“People who are homebound can easily get the books they need without having to have someone come get them or take them out and bring them back,” said Hentzen.
“Our patrons are telling us they do read more,” said Bair.
Bair said the purpose of the library is also changing with technology. The traditionally quiet reading room is becoming more and more of a learning center.
“Books will never go away. Magazines will never go away. But the way we access them will change. We’ll have more options,” said Bair.
Those options already have people reading more than ever before.
If the Kindles continue to be in high demand, Snake River Library will consider adding more.
Directors suggest heading to your own local library and asking about the technology.