Challenge #2 – Your Library and eBooks / Audiobooks
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I’ve talked about how I love Capstone Interactive eBooks before. The parts I love the most, however, aren’t really exclusive to Capstone: the web-hosting, device neutrality, and unlimited simultaneous access. Capstone is one publisher who is executing the idea the best though. There’s no DRM, no downloads, no logging into an account, and no lockdown to buy from one vendor. All of the those barriers are reasons I don’t buy eBooks from Overdrive, Follett, or Mackin.
I’ve looked into other publishers that offer web-hosted eBooks like Lerner, Rosen, and Bearport, but I haven’t been impressed by the quality of the content. Even Capstone isn’t always a home run on quality. Also, most of the other web-hosted eBooks I’ve investigated lack any interactive functions, which I find ridiculous. If I’m going to pay a premium price for eBooks, they need have more features and not look like a scanned PDF with Flash-animated page turns! Interactive features like audio by a real person and embedded definitions of vocabulary should be standard, not extras, if publishers are going to charge extra for a digital copy of a book.
As an educational publisher and vendor, Capstone truly “gets” what school libraries need and have found a way to make it work for both libraries and authors. The Big 5 and Overdrive should take notes! Students just click a link, and the book opens! There’s very little coming between the reader and the book. All educational tech solutions should look and work like this: simple and effective.
So my ranting about the dismal state of library eBooks aside, I’ve bought just under 100 Capstone eBooks. I’ve promoted them to students this year as part of orientation, and my usage stats have definitely gone up from last year. I’ve told teachers about them as the opportunity arises, but I haven’t had a chance to present to the whole faculty yet. So far, the teachers that try them, LOVE it! They use them as centers, or curriculum supplements. I’ve had a few topic suggestions for nonfiction eBooks to buy, and my only complaint is that Capstone’s offerings can’t meet all of those needs. They also could offer more and better quality fiction titles.
In my library class instruction, I’m using some pet informational eBooks to do a research unit in kindergarten in the next few weeks…we’ll see how that works out, but even with the challenges of getting a 5-year-old to focus and comprehend what they hear/read, I’m optimistic.
The blogging challenge is from Cybrarian Jen at Where Books and Technology Meet. I’m going to try it out, but instead of daily posts, I’m going to try for 1-2 posts a week.
Mrs. J in the Library is not affiliated with or otherwise sponsored by Capstone or any other publisher.