Stories the old-fashioned or the newfangled way (anytime)

January 23, 2009

If you’ve had it up to here with reading Goodnight Moon and a library visit’s not in today’s schedule, check out new books in one of two ways: old-fashioned (the phone) or newfangled (the Internet). A variety of local libraries and organizations still offer Dial-A-Story numbers. Among them are:

  • The St. Louis Suburban Council of the International Reading Association at 314.989.8415
  • The Hayner Public Library in Alton at 618.654.3113
  • The St. Louis County Special School District at 314.989.8415

Typically, the stories change weekly and are three to five minutes long.

On the other hand, if you’re interested in reading a story to kids and don’t mind it being saved for posterity, the Community Volunteer Reading Project is looking for people to read the books listed on its homepage.  There’s a brief how-to explanation here.

The newfangled idea of using the Internet as an in-home library is off to a good start at … with a couple of caveats. It’s a great idea to have a click-and-turn-the-page feature. But sometimes the scanning isn’t high enough resolution to make the small words easily visible; other times the books are just not designed to be viewed online. I’m thinking in particular of The Other Side by Istvan Banyai, one of M.’s favorites. The pictures are all visible, but it’s just not the same. On the other hand, books for toddlers are generally easy to see and fun to read; clicking the same place every time is ideal for kids just learning to use a mouse.


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