By Kelly Hladek, a Library Media Specialist from Morton High School 

Recently we had a chance to speak with Kelly Hladek a Library Media Specialist from Morton High School who is using an interactive blog and a book club to help promote eReading among her school community. Here is her story of how she set it up and how they’re using it with students.FotorCreated

Where did the idea for the blog/book club come from?

The idea for a blog developed out of an interest in using technology to promote reading and sharing news of Book Club activities and Library Media Center information with students, teachers, and our school community. I started our blog in November 2015.

How are you using the blog with your students?

Through blog entries, the Book Club shares information and critiques about its reading selections, upcoming meeting dates/times, and general club-related notices. The Library Media Center shares news, updates, and announcements related to its print and digital collections; online resources and other available technology; and special events and activities.

What successes/achievements have you seen as a result?

Since November, the blog has brought increased visibility for the Library Media Center and its student Book Club and recognition to club members for their literary efforts. The blog also has drawn more attention to the importance and enjoyment of reading.

How are you marketing your eBooks to your students?

In addition to marketing eBooks with our blog posts, at Morton High School, we also market them to students in a variety of other ways, including a:

tabletop display 

“shelf” display 

window display 

hallway display

I try to incorporate OverDrive’s QR code in all displays. I also market eBooks to students via Twitter, our library webpage school email messages, morning announcements, and during class visits to the Library Media Center. We’re always looking for the creative ways to help students remember and use their eBook library.

At Edison Elementary School, another School City of Hammond school, students teach each other how to use OverDrive. 

What has been the reaction from your students/school community.

While our district, which has 23 schools, is not able to run circulation reports by school yet, our overall circulation numbers reveal a growing interest in reading eBooks. Since July 2015, the number of checkouts in the district has grown with every passing month. December 2015 had the highest number of checkouts to date (940) even though school was in session for only 14 days out of the month. This seems to indicate that students have been embracing and enjoying eBooks—especially over the winter break.

One student, Deanna, a junior had this to say: 

“It’s [reading e-Books] really efficient. Instead of walking to the library to check out a book, I can click on the OverDrive app on my phone and download a book. I think it’s easier to swipe [instead of turn] pages, too. I also like the variety of books on OverDrive. There are even kids’ books that I can read to my young sister. My phone is always with me, so when I’m bored, I can just pick up my phone and read a book.”