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Gering Schools survey interest in Ebooks
March 13, 2014 Jerry Purvis   

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An online survey conducted by the Gering schools media center has revealed a large number of students would like the library to provide ebook lending.

Annie Boggs, Gering’s library media specialist for grades 7-12, said the survey was to research whether it would be beneficial to students to offer ebook lending through the libraries.

“We’ve had 261 responses to the survey,” she said. “Sixty percent said they would like to see ebooks offered. Most of the comments said that ebooks are more convenient because they can check out a book anytime and even during the summer.”

Survey results also indicated that 25 percent of students would use ebooks for research, and another 25 percent for pleasure reading. Thirty-four percent of students said they would download ebooks to their smart phones and 26 percent would use an iPad. And 24 percent said they would down their ebooks to a Kindle reader.

“We’ve had Kindle devices in the library for four years now and they’ve been great,” Boggs said. “It’s been very cost effective for us to get books.”

She added that with the school district’s emphasis on upgrading the technology, it would be great for students to download books to their devices. When the school’s hard copy of a book is checked out, it’s still available for other students. One vendor she investigated has more than 300,000 titles to choose from.

“I’m biased because I’m the media person,” she said. “But I believe this would increase reading among the students. We have a lot of readers and the schools and we could always use more because it’s such a lifelong skill.”

Boggs said she’s not sure the media center will go forward with the program, although there has been positive response. The next step is to discuss the proposal with high school Principal Eldon Hubbard. If he agrees, he would present the proposal to the school board for consideration.

Boggs said if the program is approved, she would like to see ebooks available in the schools by the fall of 2014.
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