August 29th, 2016

So Much to Read, So Little Time!

mobile-605422_640The other day, I found myself in the rare situation of having a day off work with absolutely zero plans and believe me, I took advantage of it! I ran errands, weeded my garden, gave the house a thorough cleaning, put the finishing touches on a quilt, and read an entire book! How on earth could I do it? I’ll tell you my secret: audiobooks!

I listen to audiobooks basically anytime my ears are free. They are a great way to pass the time when you’re doing chores, driving, or anytime your hands are occupied, but your mind isn’t. You can get done whatever you need to get done while also reading a book. Talk about multi-tasking!

Audiobooks have all of the same benefits of more traditional reading, no comprehension or quality is lost by listening to the words rather than reading them.  They are especially great for all of us who feel we’re just too busy to read. If you’re listening to an average-length audiobook (about 11 hours) only on your 15 minute drive to and from work each day, you’ll still have your book done in only about 3 weeks.

The library has several different ways to access audiobooks and I use them all regularly:

1.       You can borrow CD books from any branch. We have both fiction and non-fiction audiobooks for children, teen, and adults! All you have to do is check them out as you would a print book and just pop them into any device that plays CDs and let the narrator simply read the book to you.

2.       We also have 3 different ways to check out audiobooks digitally: through OverDrive, Hoopla, and OneClickDigital. It has been many a time that I’ve been about to leave on a long drive and I’ve quickly pulled up OverDrive on my phone, searched the available audiobooks, downloaded it to my phone, and I had a nice fresh book to listen to for my drive. All from the comfort of my home!

Hoopla has the added benefit that there are no holds, so any book that it carries is available for download immediately.

Our website has how-to guides on how to setup an account and access these books, or you can come to any branch to have a librarian show you in person. It’s easy!

Did you know that the average audiobook is 11 hours of listening? So as you’re gearing up for your next family vacation and looking to keep everyone happy and occupied on that long car drive, consider an audiobook!

Who is your favorite narrator?


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May 23rd, 2016

Summer Reading for Teens

girl-869213_1280You may have heard the term “summer slide,” which sounds like a pleasant family fun activity, but it actually refers to the tendency for students who don’t actively engage in educational opportunities to lose the knowledge and learning they gained during the school year.

But don’t worry, one of the easiest ways to reverse “slide” it is simply by reading throughout the summer. Our Summer Reading Program is almost here, which means we’ll be spending the next several months promoting reading and giving out prizes to those who complete a Summer Reading log. And teens have their very own program! We define “teens” as any child entering 6th – 12th grade. So if your child falls within that range, they can sign up for the Summer Reading Program, read 6 hours, and become entered into win cool prizes. And the best part, they can complete as many logs as they want throughout the summer!

We also have thousands of items available digitally, from ebooks and digital magazines to e-audiobooks, movies and music. All you need is your library card, PIN and access to the internet. While students have reading assignments during the school year – the summer can be all about what’s most interesting to them. Sports, zombies, pop stars – if your teen is reading books, magazines or graphic novels, they are engaging their minds and beating summer slide.

Did you know listening to audiobooks is a valuable reading tool? 85% of learning comes from listening and 30% of people are auditory learners. Listening to books exposes students to pronunciation of English, dialects and non-English words, expands vocabulary and can be combined with a physical book to guide struggling readers through the story. Audiobook narrators are actors who create compelling voices to make the stories come alive, thus improving attention spans.

AudiobookSYNC is a free program, available to all teens for 15 weeks, with a total of 30 teen-friendly audiobooks to download and keep. Many of the titles have curricular connections; all have high recommendations from both professional reviewers and casual audiobook listeners. You can even sign up for text alerts: text SYNCYA to 25827

Research has shown that freedom of choice in reading materials is a clear indicator in summer reading success. If your teen is picking out what she wants to read and listen to, she’s more likely to finish the books and keep reading all summer long.

Not sure what to suggest to your teen to read? Here’s a list of award-winning titles for teens, as well as a website dedicated to developing boys’ love of reading.

And our summer reading program has plenty of events for teens to hang out with other teens and explore topics from science experiments and games, to upcycling and art projects.

Our summer reading program begins June 1 – to register, go to http://www.cecil.ebranch.info/teens/summer-reading/.


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