Application helps youngsters avoid the "summer slide"

Metro Creative

Making a trip to the library is not always feasible, but a new application allows you to take the learning home. 

With the power of a library card from the Huntsville Public Library, the community can now access digital ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, and educational video from the comfort of their homes, no matter where they are.

“Children obviously need their parents to take them to the library, but now we can bring the library to them,” library children’s coordinator Rachel McPhail said. “This is a great tool for keeping children engaged and avoiding the summer learning slump.”

The OverDrive app has been available at the library for several years now, but a new app, Libby, will allow the community to seamlessly download ebooks and other media. Those using the app can add multiple library cards, allowing them to access thousands of books, including those from best-selling authors, new release titles and the classics. Libby also allows for users to download books and audiobooks for offline reading.

“Libby is a great new tool that brings more children’s options and allows users to access their books and audiobooks without the internet, as long as they download them first,” library IT coordinator Jalpa Shah said. “The app has also recently added magazines, which is a great resource for children and adults.”

Children can use the app to access picture books, comics and graphic novels, which can be added to their summer reading logs. Users can choose from a large collection of movies and TV shows, including feature films, comedies, documentaries, children’s favorites and more from within the mobile app.

“Before using the app, one must get a library card and register it in the app,” Shah added. “We can get them set up and I am here to help them through any issues they have using it.”

A report by the National Education Association says that summer reading is imperative for children to retain information learned during the school year. The report indicates that only 50% of parents are aware of the “summer slide,” the loss of academic skills during school breaks. A lack of reading during can lead children to fall behind in their academic achievement and reading levels.

“This is a great way for parents to engage their kids during the summer,” McPhail added. “They do not have to worry about overdue books, damage or late fees. They can access up to 25 books and media. I hope this helps encourage more reading and learning.”

For those needing assistance setting up the app or navigating it, contact Jalpa Shah at 936-291-5485.