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Collaboration With Library of Congress Allows for Digital Access to Rare Books

Collaboration with Library of Congress Allows for Digital Access to Rare Books

The Library of Congress has collaborated with digital media company, Cricket Media, to provide digital access to four rare children’s books.

"The collection – The Slant Book (1910), The Rocket Book (1912), Gobolinks or Shadow Pictures for You and Old (1896) and The Song of Sixpence Picture Book (1909) – are available on Cricket Media's Story Bug app. The iOS app combines video chat with a shared reader so two people can enjoy virtual story time anywhere, anytime,” said Cricket Media in a statement.

Cricket Media is excited about its partnership with the Library of Congress and hopes to release more classic books to young readers’ access in the future, as does the Library.

"The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs, publications and exhibitions," the statement said. 

Indeed, this isn’t the first time the Library has sought to expand access to its resources through digital media.

In June, it released ebooks for tablets via Student Discovery Sets that allow for the Library’s primary resources to come alive through "maps, songs, posters, pieces of sheet music and iconic images.”

The ebooks "bring together historical artifacts and one-of-a-kind documents on a wide range of topics, from history and science to literature. Interactive tools let students zoom in for close examination, draw to highlight interesting details and make notes about what they discover,” the Library said.

Best of all, the sets are completely free for download.

The Story Bug app is also free for download and can be found here. Story Bug takes interactivity a step further by also involving collaboration.

"Users of the Story Bug app see and hear each other while viewing the books. They also share controls for turning pages and interacting with the content. So when a page is turned on one device, the page simultaneously turns for the user of the other device."

"In addition, a digital 'shadow hand' shows where each person is pointing, so grown-ups can challenge their young readers to point to illustrations on the page or sound out specific words. In addition to enabling real-time story time, the App also allows users to record themselves reading for later viewing,” Cricket Media said.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

1/28/2016

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