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Draper Journal

Canyons School District students able to check out online books

Jun 21, 2018 11:54AM ● By Jet Burnham

Canyons School District held a kick-off for its online book service simultaneously throughout the district with the visit of the OverDrive bookmobile at Lone Peak Elementary. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com

This summer, Bell View Elementary students will have more opportunities to read, thanks to Canyons School District adding OverDrive online book service. 

“This will help our students with their summer reading, who can’t get to the library, still be able to read,” said Bell View librarian Audrey Clare, who often listens to audiobooks as she performs chores around her home. “They won’t be dependent on someone to drive them to the library to be able to read from or listen to a vast selection of books.” 

OverDrive isn’t just for Bell View students, but for all students across the school district who want to get in their reading hours or books assigned for honors classes. The service will provide a digital e-book collection of classroom titles, audiobooks, as well as books for pleasure, said Canyons Library Media Specialist Jim Wilson.

“Students can have access to their (reading) level and below,” he said. “We will have titles appropriate for up through high school.”

Canyons held its kick-off simultaneously throughout the district with the visit of the OverDrive bookmobile at Lone Peak Elementary in early May. 

“It shows us what was new — including the bookmobile itself. It’s a digital bookmobile, with a large screen and stations to look up e-books, not the bookmobile many of us knew in our past,” Wilson said. 

In the bookmobile, which is just used as a promotional tool for libraries across the United States and Canada, a class of first-graders were learning that they could highlight words as they read along with e-books as demonstrated by Lauren Bajda, OverDrive digital media events specialist.

Other features she showed students included clicking and holding a word to find its definition, highlighting a section and then being able to write notes about it, customizing the book for font, point size and background color. 

“If you come back to check out the book again, it will remember your settings, the page you’re on and still have the notes available,” Bajda said. “It’s awesome to have reading available 24/7 so students can read all summer and will never have late fees nor will any book be damaged. It’s a complement to physical books." 

Bajda said Canyons sets up its filters, from allowing students to check out three titles for two weeks, to currently focusing on e-books rather than videos or music. 

Wilson said start-up costs are more than $20,000, but students will have access to thousands of titles. 

Lone Peak Principal Tracy Stacy said students will be able to access their Pearson Education text as well as News English Language Arts articles. 

“The last few years, we’ve had a reading calendar where students mark off their number of minutes over the summer. With e-book access, we’re hoping that will give our students even more opportunities to read,” she said. 

Stacy, who enjoys the children’s book “The One and Only Ivan,” which is available on OverDrive, said she hopes that by providing the service this summer, students and parents will eat together. 

“Research shows that when children are read to, read with and by parents, the children’s reading improves and they become more fluent readers themselves,” she said. “While this gives students greater access and reading on technology is becoming more of their generation, we still will have our school collection. I would hate to have them miss out on the smell of books we all know.” 

Currently, Salt Lake City, Jordan, Granite, Davis and Weber school districts, Brigham Young University as well as Salt Lake County and Murray libraries also use OverDrive. Bajda said about 98 percent of the public libraries use OverDrive, which began in 1986.

Columbia Book Mobile

Villa West Park: 8400 S 4000 W, 10 a.m.-10:30 a.m. on June 13, 27, July 18.

Woodcove Park: 8025 S 2870 W, 10 a.m.-10:30 a.m. on June 20, July 11, Aug 1.

The book mobile will also be available during the summer breakfast (8:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m.) and lunch service (11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.) at Columbia Elementary, 3505 W 7800 S.