When Connie Dopierala was hired as the media services administrator for the Charleston County (S.C.) School District, one of her tasks was to update the district’s library books. “I was shocked by how dated some of the books were,” she says. “One school had a biography on Nelson Mandela that was written while he was still in prison.”
Some of the younger librarians suggested buying digital books, but Dopierala was skeptical. “I wanted to prove that kids still love having books in their hands,” she says. As a pilot program, the district purchased 206 digital books for the 2010-2011 school year and measured how often the books were read. Dopierala says the results blew her away. By the end of the school year, those 206 books had been accessed more than 101,000 times by K12 students all over the district. One Title I elementary school had accessed the books 58,000 times.