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The Last Mile: Making Sure Digital Libraries Deliver on their Potential

Thu, April 18, 1:30 to 3:00pm, Hyatt Regency, Floor: Pacific Concourse (Level -1), Pacific H


As hard as it is to build local language libraries in locations where few books exist, peer organizations on this panel have been able to actively share and adapt content with each other to stretch resources and serve learners in their distinct geographies. But how does each organization ensure that children, families, and educators actually use the valuable books found in digital libraries? Using examples from across Asia, we will demonstrate how we use partnerships to localize our digital library and catalyze reading in schools and homes. These include collaborations with universities to translate e-books into local languages, with INGOs and MOEs to adapt and print digital books into big books for classroom use and book pamphlets for home use, and with schools to use e-books in classrooms. Equally important, we will provide examples of how we use social media to provide encouragement to parents along with direct links to e-books to read at home. Research shows that involvement with reading activities at home has significant positive influences not only on reading achievement (Gest, Freeman, Domitrovich & Welsh, 2004), but also on pupils’ interest in reading and attentiveness in the classroom (Rowe, 1991). Research also finds that parental involvement in their child’s literacy practices is a more powerful force than other family background variables, such as social class, family size and level of parental education (Flouri & Buchanan, 2004), while reading enjoyment is more important for children’s educational success than their family’s socio-economic status (OECD, 2002).


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