This guest blog post was written by school librarian and audiobook advocate Kerry Lewarne. Thanks for this wonderful insight into your world of audiobooks!
With today being my 46th birthday, I can say audiobooks have been a part of my life for nearly 45 years. Reading was a huge part of our family’s life, whether reading print or listening to stories on tape cassettes. My sister and I loved going to our public library to grab the popular hanging plastic bags with the book and story cassette inside. If you were lucky, you got a stuffed animal as well!
Reading in all formats has always been normal for me, so when asked if reading through audiobooks was really reading, I had to pause. “Of course!” is always my response, but since the question was asked, I wondered if my students had the same question.
Interestingly, they didn’t. In the three years that I’ve promoted Tales2go audiobooks to my students, I’ve never received a question or concern. I only hear excitement! My students love the idea of reading in a variety of formats. They read texts all day, so to get the chance to hear books read aloud by professional narrators is exciting and very popular. Reading in a “different” way is cool in our school and encouraged by teachers and parents.
St. Francis students have listened to over 30,000 minutes on Tales2go the past 3 years. The minutes even increased 235% in the 2016-17 school year compared to the 2015-16 school year. This supports the knowledge that promoting audiobooks is key. Students must be taught the login and search methods over and over again. While doing this, booktalking new Tales2go titles gets them hooked every time. Parents need to be taught the login and search methods as well. Our AEA has thousands of printed bookmarks with the Tales2go log in, QR code, and website. These are very helpful to the parents and a great reminder for the kids.
Tales2go gives our kids the incredible opportunity to listen to their favorite series, characters and storytellers in the format that fits their reading style.
Some of the favorite audiobooks for kids at St. Francis: Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney, I Survived series by Lauren Tarshis, My Weird School series by Dan Gutman, A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd and Escaping the Giant Wave by Peg Kehret.
Kerry was also recently featured in an article on the University of Northern Iowa’s website. You can read more about her and the use of audiobooks at St. Francis here.
Thanks again for sharing, Kerry!