To date, we have provided over 88,000 e-books in 39 libraries – giving tens of thousands of children the opportunity to explore a new world of reading.
E-books for Zimbabwean communities
In 2018, we partnered with Worldreader on the Zimbabwe Community Reading Project. Working with eight libraries in Zimbabwe that already have Children’s Corners, we provided 15 to 20 e-readers per library loaded with 200 e-books each as well as an additional 1,000 print books to top-up each library’s collection.
The programme aimed to provide children in those libraries with access to e-books, but also to give librarians and teachers the confidence to use the e-books to promote reading in the whole community.
We welcomed 37 librarians and teachers to a three-day workshop that focused on how to use e-readers, how e-readers could support reading promotion activities and how e-readers can support young readers’ education. Today, these librarians are working in their own communities, inspiring reading and helping young people succeed in school.
Integrating e-books into Children’s Corners
Since 2014, we have been integrating e-readers into Children’s Corners across Africa. Where digital reading is integrated into libraries, we always offer additional training for librarians in how to use e-readers and how e-books can support children’s reading.
To date, we have found that children enjoy reading both e-books and print books. The e-books act as a draw for young readers and the inclusion of books in local languages can also help encourage reading.
So far, 39 Children’s Corners have e-readers in their collections, offering access to over 88,000 digital books. We hope to expand this number over the years to come.
The impact of e-books in Ugandan libraries
Between 2015 and 2017, we worked in collaboration with the National Library of Uganda and Worldreader to implement the Digital Futures for Ugandan Libraries.
Ten public and community libraries in Uganda took part. Each received e-books, a range of brand new printed children’s books, training for staff in how to use and integrate e-books into their reading programmes and support in promoting their collections and programmes to their local communities.
Key outcomes from Digital Futures for Ugandan Libraries included increased library usage and increased community interest.
Digital Futures for Ugandan Libraries is funded by the Dulverton Trust and players of People’s Postcode Lottery. We would like to thank them for their support
How children experience e-reading
In 2014 we piloted the use of e-books in Children’s Corners for the first time, resulting in an increase in the numbers of children attending libraries, particularly among children who would not usually engage with reading. Read our report on the pilot’s outcome.
In addition to this report, we also asked children to use their new tablets to make a video about their reading.