September 16th, 2014

Listen Up!

listeningOne of the most often asked questions by parents at the library is how to help their child be a stronger reader. Like books, struggling readers come in all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, and cultures. A child’s ability to read is a result of various factors, and may sometimes be influenced by a language barrier, medical condition, or learning disability.

Trained educators know that early intervention can make a world of difference for a child. Many techniques and strategies, some not involving letters or words at all, can dramatically increase a child’s ability to read. One technique is utilizing audio books.

Audio books are CD’s or other forms of digitized media, on which stories are recorded as a person (or sometimes a cast of readers) reads them. The reader’s voices of these books bring characters to life, and the readers adjust the tone, speed, and volume of their voices to dramatize the story to the fullest potential. Many adults love audio books. We listen to them on long commutes back and forth to work. We listen to them while we clean our houses.

Somewhere out there, though, there is a feeling that children must physically read books. That listening to them is somehow cheating; not beneficial. In most cases, that is just not true.
Listening to audio books is actually one technique that can make a dramatic difference in a child’s ability to read. Listening to an audio book, while reading the book simultaneously, is even better! Studies show that listening to a story being read, while reading along, improves comprehension and fluency.

This is where your local library steps in.

Did you know that the Cecil County Public Library has entire collections of audio books for children?  We have audio books for beginning readers, like the popular Bob Books series available as a CD Book, where the CD is packaged directly with the book. Cecil County Public Library offers several CD Book titles in our EZ Reader section, like titles from Cynthia Rylant’s series “Henry and Mudge,” or “Fox in Socks,” by Dr. Seuss.

Classic favorites by award-winning authors, as well as new titles, are available in our picture book area.  Maybe a child in your life would like reading along, while listening to, a book by Kevin Henkes or Patricia Polacco! More challenging CD Books are available in our chapter book areas. We encourage you to check out the book with the CD Book, and listen as you read. We carry a slew of popular titles and series in CD Book format, from Junie B. Jones and  Magic Tree House, to 39 Clues, Little House on the Prairie, and Harry Potter (just to name a few). Why not listen to a children’s book on your way to school or sports practice?

For technology-hungry families, have you considered downloading audiobooks? CCPL has thousands of titles, click here.
Whether you are looking for strategies to help a struggling reader, or just a new way to enjoy a great book, try out an audio book and let us know about your experience the next time you stop by!

What’s your favorite audiobook?


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December 14th, 2011

Audiobooks Make Everything Better

42-16471757I’m a mom and I work full-time, so I’m usually scrambling to get too much done in too little time. Always multitasking is said to be bad for the brain, but it’s how I function: folding laundry while watching TV, helping kids with homework while cooking dinner, scraping yet another mystery stain from my good work sweater while attempting to pay a few bills… you get the idea.

My latest discovery, and it’s an indulgent one, is the audiobook. Although I love reading, I rarely get time to sit down and do it. But with my iPod in tow, that long car ride or even the jog to stave off holiday poundage becomes an enjoyable excuse to slip into a great book – by listening.

Cecil County Public Library just launched an even easier way to get audiobooks, for free, from the convenience of your own home. OneClick Digital provides a great selection of downloadable audiobooks, most of which are always available (no holds necessary!) Grab your library card, create an account, and you’re set to start browsing. Will listening to an audiobook make all dreaded tasks fun? Probably not, but it certainly makes them more enjoyable. So, excuse me as I turn on my audiobook, take a deep breath, and decide which items to tackle next on my to-do list…

What’s your multitasking secret?


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