D. Parrott

East Tennessee State University (UNITED STATES)
E-books have been garnering fans at a rapid pace since they were designed in 1971. Their convenience is enormously attractive to today’s busy students and to technologically- savvy millennial-age learners. Once primarily used for pleasure reading, E-Books have additionally become a strong emerging tool for learning in modern contemporary classrooms and school libraries. School leaders strive to employ the most successful communication and teaching strategies possible using generational and cultural demographic characteristics [1]. Therefore, the E-book is attractive as a means to appeal to elementary and secondary school students.

With the increased usage of the E-book, one might assume that the role of the librarian is diminishing; however, the role of the librarian is actually becoming more significant as the librarian connects users with E-Books and other emerging technologies.
Yesteryear’s school librarian was regarded primarily as the custodian of the books. However, the school librarian is a vital member of the literacy team in today's instructional climate, making decisions regarding the purchase and usage of reading materials and tools to support literacy instruction as well as to satisfy patron demand. Due to budgetary constraints, all literacy and reading materials must be evaluated carefully and assessed with the needs of learners.

This paper explores the school librarian’s role in accessing, using, and promoting E-books in innovative ways with the purpose of engaging technologically-oriented learners. When purchasing any curricular materials designed to enhance literacy, it is reasonable to analyze the potential gains and challenges. This analysis examines how E-books apply the Five Areas of Focus (recommended by the National Reading Panel) [2] which benefit reading instruction and learning in today’s modern classrooms and school libraries. E-Books support reading instruction by assisting with phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension [3]. Specifically, this discourse explores how E-Books bolster reading education for the digital generation through this framework.

Nevertheless, with the implementation of any educational media, there are factors and limitations to consider. This paper will additionally discuss the points for consideration when integrating E-Books into the curriculum and the school library.

[1] A closer look at the five essential components of effective reading instruction: A review of scientifically based reading research for teachers (2004). Learning Point Associates. 1120 East Diehl Road Suite 200, Naperville, IL 60563-1486.
[2] National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. (2000). Report of the National Reading Panel. Teaching children to read: An evidence-based assessment of the scientific research literature on reading and its implications for reading instruction: Reports of the subgroups (NIH Publication No. 00-4754). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.
[3] Polanka, S. (2011). No Shelf Required: E-books in libraries. Chicago: American Library Association.