How to integrate digital reading into your library

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Worldreader is excited to announce the launch of our Digital Reading Integration Toolkit for libraries. 

Worldreader believes libraries are powerful agents of change and pillars of our communities. By providing access to books and a variety of community resources, libraries work to drive forward national development agendas and act as essential resources for providing equitable access to information.

In 2017, in partnership with the African Library and Information Associations and Institutions (AfLIA), Worldreader launched the Local Content for Africa Libraries (LOCAL) initiative as a contribution toward the Research and Innovation lever of the legacy framework of the Gates Global Libraries initiative. LOCAL leveraged digital reading technologies to improve access to local language early-grade-reading content throughout library networks in Ghana, Zambia, and Uganda, culminating in a toolkit to guide the replication of digital reading programs throughout African Libraries.

The resulting Digital Reading Integration Toolkit: A guide for libraries and community centers includes five modules : 

Module 1: Why Digital Reading? 

Module 2: Getting Stakeholder Buy-in on Digital Reading Programming 

Module 3: Acquiring Digital Content 

Module 4: Incorporating Digital Reading Into Your Library 

Module 5: Sustaining Your Digital Reading Program

Paired with tools like Worldreader’s BookSmart app, this toolkit aims to drive reading at scale by giving step-by-step instructions on selecting appropriate libraries for digital reading programs, engaging stakeholders to support these programs, acquiring digital content within your community, project managing, troubleshooting, and launching a digital reading program, as well as sustaining the program financially, programmatically, and environmentally. 

If you are interested in additional support for your digital reading program, please reach out to find out more about partnership opportunities so we can help bring your digital reading project to life at info@worldreader.org.

Module Descriptions

Module 1: Why Digital Reading? This module outlines the reasons for bringing a digital reading program into your library or community with recommendations on how to select a site, considerations before entering into a digital reading project, and ways digital reading can support learning. 

Module 2: Getting Stakeholder Buy-in on Digital Reading Programming This module outlines how to encourage stakeholder buy-in and support for your digital reading program. It will walk you through some proven methods for using digital reading to leverage funds for your library or school and advocate for your digital reading program. 

Module 3: Acquiring Digital Content This module outlines how to work with publishers to acquire digital content. It also provides a list of digital content curation services and open-source digital content libraries where you can download free content for your reading program onto available digital devices. 

Module 4: Incorporating Digital Reading Into Your Library The largest of the modules, Module 4 outlines how to design and implement a successful digital reading program for libraries from planning to launch, training, and roll-out. Read through this module before you design your project to help guide you through your planning and implementation process. 

Module 5: Sustaining Your Digital Reading Program This module provides some tips for how to sustain your digital reading program including allocating funding for device replacements and new content acquisition, tips and tricks for acquiring necessary funding from stakeholders, and how to responsibly recycle broken devices.