TeachingBooks.net hosts a number of author interviews that are very interesting. I do not know of any dull people who write books. Lauren Child, for example, writes children's books, and she talks about how she illustrates her books in unique ways, all in a Super Duper British accent that is worth the price of admission all by itself. This resource will cost your school, however, but if money is tight, the free resources designed to hook you are very good.
As the proud owner of a Kindle 2, it is tempting to love it
unreservedly just because I spent almost $400 on it. Truth is, Kindle 2
ownership is a mixed bag.
Why I love it:
-Immediacy. The Kindle 2 has access to a large and growing
library of Amazon.com books. If I want it, it’s mine, usually for less than
half what I would pay for the book if I bought a print copy. Crime and Punishment is 99 cents. Most currently released hardcover books are around $10;
paperbacks are usually around $7-8. (Yes, I know, it’s still going to take me a
while to make up that $400, but if you are a voracious reader who wants your
books right here, right now . . . . OK, I just like gadgets. So, sue me.)
On the other hand:
-Even with Amazon’s huge selection, you will not find
everything.Graham Greene’s The Power and the Glory* is not there, for one thing, and though four of Anne Tyler’s books are available, her entire canon is not.However, I was surprised to discover that Michael Horton’s
newly released Christless Christianity was available, though I thought it might be obscure and difficult to find. Still, I will be relying on bookstores and libraries to
fill in the gaps, probably for years to come. (*Note: The Power and the Glory is available, free, from Google Books, thus opening up an entirely different can of worms that I will not tackle right here, right now.)
Why I like it:
-The Look and Feel. The Kindle 2 just feels good in my hand.
As I get older, it’s harder to handle a huge hardbound book, and turning a page
on the Kindle is a breeze. The screen is easy on the eyes and as I grow more
and more blind, I can increase the text size. Plus, Amazon has just come out
with an app for the iPod Touch so I can read my books on the iPod if I want to.
And I do. I really, REALLY do.
On the other hand:
-Navigation takes a little getting used to. Though it is not
difficult, moving around the Kindle is different from moving around the average
computer. I keep wanting to touch the screen as I would do with an iPod Touch,
and though flipping back a page or two to check some detail is easy enough,
it’s harder to flip back several dozen pages and find what I need to know.
Turns out I do this WAY more than I thought I did and only noticed because
flipping around is more inconvenient on the Kindle.
Why I still like it:
-The first book I read on the Kindle 2 was The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, and it is a wonderful book, full of wit,
heartbreak, and likable characters. Now it is mine forever, stored on Amazon’s
server so if I buy an upgraded Kindle, that book is there always. Great content
is great no matter the platform of access.
On the other hand:
-Most readers push their books on to other people after they
are done reading. My books either go in the library at school, or I hand them
to the family member or friend I believe will enjoy it most. I have a network
of people who know that if I read something I think they might like, sooner or
later I’ll be giving the book to them. Normally, they in turn will hand it off
to somebody else. With the Kindle, that book is tied to my Amazon account. I
can’t hand it to my mother. I just e-mailed her and told her it was good, and
she’ll check it out from the Hays Public Library when it is available.
Why I tolerate it:
-The Kindle 2 is a happy traveler. It is more lightweight
than a stack of books, and it holds a charge for several days. It relies on the
same wireless network as a cell phone so anywhere you can talk on your cell,
you can download a book.
On the other hand;
-Over spring break, I forgot my charger and the Kindle dried
up and left me bookless for a week. Or it would have, if I hadn’t had two
library books with me. As my sister told me, “I have a solution for you. Maybe
you’ve heard of it. It’s called a B-O-O-K.”
November 15-21, 2009, Kansas Reads to Preschoolers . . . About Fitness. Wiggle by Doreen Cronin is the featured book. Doreen Cronin has also written Bounce and is coming out with Stretch in September.She is also the author of Click, Clack, Moo (2001), a Caldecott Honor Book. Her other books include Diary of a Worm (2003), a Parent’s Choice Award Silver 2003 Picture Book, and Diary of a Spider (HarperCollins, 2005), both illustrated by Harry Bliss..
The following post is swiped from the State Library of Kansas website. Though the Library Use Calculator is designed with public libraries in mind, it made me think of using it with parents, teachers, and administrators to help them consider the value of the school library--something that seems to be taken for granted more often than not. I know I also offer a considerable amount of "free" tech and curriculum support. Oh, and I think all of us often overlook how much more efficient we make our schools when material is collected in one spot, organized efficiently, and obviously available.
Library Use Value Calculator
We know you don’t think about this on a regular basis, but considering the times, what is your library worth to you? Increased usage of libraries is giving people renewed respect for the value of their library. Books, movies, computer/internet use, free or low-cost meeting rooms, newspapers, magazines -- which services are you using at the library?
Do you have an amount in mind for how much money library services may save you on a yearly basis? You probably will be surprised…take the time to calculate your usage now.