05 May 2009

E-Books and Youth -- Creative Media Online

I was in Borders last week, investigating for another class assignment (one where we looked at bookstores and compared them to libraries as a physical space). I couldn’t help but overhear a young mother with her child (or so I assumed it was her daughter). The little girl was probably 6 years old and she was telling her mom that she reads books online all the time. Her mom said that she doesn’t like books online since she can’t read them in the bath. While clearly this is just one example and I don’t think that physical books are going away anytime soon, it did make me wonder if the new trend of picture books online is influencing the newest generation in becoming online readers.

Sites like TumbleBooks.com provide kids with picture books online. Reading a picture book is very different from reading full-length novels online, so I wonder if this really is going to make an impact on how kids read online or otherwise, but more than that I wonder how this trend or perceived trend may help youth create media that will translate well online.

I know I enjoy reading books online if they are short or are picture books. When thinking about media literacy I think about not just kids using the Internet to look at what is out there, but also to be part of the creative process. PBSKids features the Reading Rainbow winners’ books online. Beyond that, I wonder if it would be possible to teach kids how to put their books online and if the library could have a collection of picture books online. These books would created by children in the community.

I think it is really fun to think of all the ways that the Internet makes it easier for kids to publish their work and share it with their friends and family. I think looking at different kids and age groups of kids, it would be fun to see how creating e-books would be possible.

This opens up to ideas about what teenagers could do as well with creating online publications. Zines tend to be very image centered with text, multimedia creations. They can be expensive to print and distribute, but if kids were able to create a zine online they could limit the number of print copies. Also, they would be able to reach more people and it could help make the library both a place to make the zines together, but also an online destination.

I wonder, what other ideas (besides picture books and zines) do you think would be good projects for youth to work on at the library? Self-publishing online is done a lot these days, but how could the library use this trend to help teens and children make books or zines or other creations online? Do you think that more text-centered projects would work, or work as well? Could the library have a zine club? Or could children create a picture book gallery online? Perhaps younger children could cre

1 comment:

  1. http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/article/CA6617664.html
    Article from School Library Journal on online picture books (free or low cost)

    A couple examples: