Thing 16 – eBooks and eBook Apps

We are pleased to have Ms Zarah Gagatiga (PH) from Beacon Academy to share her insights with us. Make sure you click all tabs (Discover, Explore, and Activities) to get to the end of the lesson.

Let us start Thing 16 with a short video on The Future of Publishing.

How did you find the video as a whole? Did it disturb you? What ideas struck you as you watched? What concepts in the video do you agree or disagree with? What ever impressions you took away from the video, it portrays a distinct characteristic of the time and the era we are in. We are living in very challenging environments prompting us, librarians, to examine the demands of the bigger society from us, as well as paradigms we’ve held as gospel truths of the profession. What an exciting time to be a librarian of this age!

Indeed, we need to look at the changing face of publishing with an open mind and with an even more positive outlook. The rise of ebooks, ereading and epublishing has dramatic effects on the work we do in the library and the way we deliver services and programs to our readers. You put one vowel beside those words: books, reading, publishing and the game changes entirely. One way to traverse this changing landscape is through strategically analyzing it.

Three things that matter in ebooks and ebook apps: access; technology and community.

On Access

  • Ebooks come for free; through library subscriptions, portals, websites and pathfinders; and by individual sales;
  • Ebooks are covered under a digital rights management scheme;
  • Ebooks can come in the form of locally created content converted into digital format.

On Technology

  • Ebook apps and ereader manuals exist, but librarians need to assist readers on handling technology of this nature. There are digital natives and digital migrants who both need a mediator who can speak both the languages of the newbie and the oldie.
  • There is always something new in the ebook apps and ereader market. Librarians must be aware of what’s hot and what’s not to help readers make informed decisions on format or medium of ereader and choice of content.

On Community

  • Librarians are valued resource persons to publishers and content creators who give feedback on the reading experiences and profile of library users.
  • Librarians are conduits of technology and knowledge to readers, thereby developing sturdier intellectual and virtual structures of learning.

Now here are links to blog posts I’ve made in 2011 and 2012, when during those years, I was in the process of developing an ebook collection in our school library. Caveat: I am a school librarian so the experience and practice I bring forth to this discussion is that of a school setting. I invite you to look at underlying principles and the process involved in building an ebook collection as these can be applicable for academic, special, corporate and government libraries too. It would benefit us all if you can take down notes of your own experience in your library so that we can enrich the discussion on ebook and ebook apps and we learn from each other.

For a discussion on management strategies on ebooks, go to Ebook Issues. Click this link to read on Ebook Collection Development.



  • What happens when you travel abroad and your ebook couldn’t be accessed because of geographical limitations and licensing issues? Read about Library Box. Watch this video on Library Box Video
  • Reading ebooks can be extended to writing and content creation. WattPad allows its subscribers to create as well as publish ebooks with in its online community. For aspiring writers, WattPad is a platform where they can test their stories to fans and followers, friends and readers who provide comments and feedback on their stories. This engagement leads the aspiring writer to improve the story, work on revisions and in the end, submit a manuscript to a publishing house. Halohalo Books offers free children’s stories written by children and adults. In our school, The Beacon Academy, our high school students have been writing and illustrating stories for primary readers. These stories can be downloaded and translated into mother tongue provided that the translation be shared with back to the school. This project is called Early Readers and you can access the stories following these steps.


  1. Read this article about the human brain and how it responds and works when reading printed books and ebooks. Tweet your response or reply using #23mthingsphsg or post it in FB via the 23 Mobile Things PH SG page.
  2. If you have an existing model for an ebook lending system in your library, write us a paragraph or two and share about it via the FB page of 23 Mobile Things PH SG. We will be very glad to hear your success story!
  3. If you have not started building an ebook collection yet and a system of circulating them, make an assessment using these basic questions:
    1. Is there budget to begin an ebook collection?
    2. How can the IT department and administration support the library’s ebook project?
    3. Who are the readers of the library? Are they ready for individual, shared or institutionalized access of ebooks?
    4. What training sessions can be given to library users before, during and after implementing an ebook collection and circulation/lending system?

Send your answers by posting in the FB page of 23 Mobile Things PH SG or replying on the comments below. You may also email your answers to

The first five librarians to do and submit any of the three activities by May 31, 2014 will get one of my books for free through courier.

Thinking Points

Something to think about before we end Thing 16:

  • What challenges do you face concerning ebook collection development in your learning community?
  • How can you overcome the challenges you’ve identified?
  • How do you promote ebooks to your readers?
  • Read the IFLA document on The Principles of eLending

Lastly, watch these two videos: one of Lisa Bu How Books Open Minds and the other of Rica Bolipata Santos Books Matter. Ms. Bu and Ms. Santos may be talking about printed books as valuable tools and technology to gain knowledge and to uplift the human condition, but I invite you to look beyond the format. Either printed books or ebooks/ebook apps, we need to remember that our role as librarians to foster a genuine love of reading and promote a reading culture in our learning communities is paramount. We must be agents in paving the way to intellectual freedom and the right to read among our readers regardless of their age, color, creed, religious beliefs, political affiliations and sexual preference.

A reading community learns! A learning community reads!

Remix from the original 23 Mobile things :
23 Mobile Things – Thing 16
ANZ 23 Mobile things – Thing 16

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Thing 10’s Guest Blogger

Zarah-Gagatiga Zarah C. Gagatiga is a teacher librarian from the Philippines. She works in The Beacon Academy, an IB World School offering the MYP and DP. Zarah is also an influential blogger, avid storyteller, and board member of the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY) representing librarians. She is one of the staunchest advocates for books and literacy in the Philippines and had published 3 children’s books including 1 co-authored with Dianne De Las Casas, titled Tales From the 7,000 Isles: Filipino Folk Stories (ABC CLIO, 2011). Tweet her @thecoffeegoddes.

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