Multimedia Journalist

Moniteau County gets free reading tool through library

The Moniteau County Library is increasing the number of young readers with a free digital program.

TumbleBook Library is an online system allowing many ways for children in grades K-8 to read more books. The public library purchased the program subscription in April 2018 and wanted to give access to Jamestown, Latham, California, High Point and Clarksburg schools to use as a tool in the classroom.

The program didn’t have this feature at the time but allowed Director Connie Walker to test it out.

“After them seeing the crazy statistics they now advertise for the first time any library district that subscibes they allow free access to the tumblebooks for the schools in their district,” Walker said.

Now, each school has its own IP address to track the use and allow students direct access.

“It has really been wonderfully used in some of the smaller schools,” Lana Dicus, Title I instructor at Latham School and library board member, said.

At Latham Elementary School, Dicus makes sure students take advantage of the multiple ways the program can be used. She said she’s seen a lot of growth in the students reading levels.

“You don’t have to buy eight copies or however big your reading group is; you can download TumbleBooks,” she said. “You can actually do a literature set, most programs you check out a book. But in this program, if you find a book you want to read, they can all download it on their iPads or Chrome Books and do a literature set together.”

She added it helps to have friendly reading competitions. She also recommends having students read books on their level and letting them read on topics they are interested in.

“Usually once they are successful they find out readings not so bad after all,” Dicus said.

The program features animated and audio books among other ways to get youth reading. Users can search for books by title, author, subject, language, tumble-time, genre or lexile.

The Tumblebook service helps fulfill the county library’s efforts to serve more people in rural areas, Walker said. In 2018, 10,558 TumbleBooks were checked out. The library saw just about 6,300 print checkouts for youth ages 3-10.

“We feel it’s an excellent way to provide services to every child in Moniteau,” Walker said.”The schools were the ones that were really racking up the numbers. The really important factor in all of this is not every child in the county has the opportunity to come into the library and check books out.”

She added she’d like to see more consistent use of the program.

In Jamestown, the use is less than they would like.

“I’d really like it to become a more used program here at the school because, for the little guys, it’s a great program because it will actually read books to them,” Jamestown librarian and media specialist Dixie Trester-Berry said.

Teachers can use the program to get Accelerated Reader points, assign book reports and more.

Once a day, the Jamestown kindergarten class has sensor time. Teacher Julie Wingate said she allows up to 25 minutes in the tech station on their iPads. Recently, she said students choose to use the audio books.

“It’s a way for them to hear literature in a different form,” Wingate said.

At their age, they don’t use the tests available, but she said giving them access to the program throughout the years will make it familiar to them.

“Anything I can do to introduce the program now, so when they start using the testing in second or third grade, will help them be familiar,” Wingate said.

Schools aren’t the only ones who have access to TumbleBooks. Anyone with a library card can also use the program with internet access.

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