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Students’ use of Kindles increases reading, bringing recognition to Chambersburg Area School District libraries.

Public Opinion Online’s Keith Paradise writes that “e-readers in Chambersburg schools [Pennsylvania] are increasing time spent reading and creating new reading enthusiasts among students, drawing the attention of school libraries nationwide.”

Chambersburg Area School District library leaders Joanne Hammond and Susan Berrier gave a presentation to the school board Wednesday and explained that “the electronic devices were purchased as a way to interest students in reading books and provide them technology to work with. The school has 30 Kindles and a cart to charge and store them in.

“The devices have increased the number of minutes students have spent reading and also the number of books that have been read.”

‘ Chambersburg’s experiences with reading devices were featured in this month’s Library Media Connection magazine, in a three-page article written by CASHS librarian Melissa Engel-Unruh.  She is now fielding calls and questions from school librarians around the country about the club.

“We really are on the cutting edge on what libraries are doing with technology,” Hammond said. ‘

The Kindles were purchased in early 2009 “as a way to encourage some of the school’s lowest readers as determined by test results.”

‘ “This generation is so gadget-centric and with the Kindle we thought we could get them to read in a gadget-centric format,” Hammond said.

The students participate in Kindle clubs, where they would meet in the library and use the devices to read books. Since the club was started, there has been a 12.1 percent increase in the amount of time the students have spent reading.  Students, when asked, estimated that they’ve read 31.2 percent more books this year over last year.

How students present the information they are taking from books is also changing, thanks to technology.

In the past, students would write book reports and critiques and turn them in to a teacher. Now, students are posting the critiques on online blogs that other students can view and comment on. Additionally, students are also creating and narrating video book reports that involve pictures and graphics. ‘

More at the Public Opinion Online site.

Via Andrys Basten’s Kindle World blog


  1. This all sounds good in principle but where is your post testing data which proves student literacy has improved because they have had access to these devices? It would be really great to know.

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