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Follettshelf is off and running here. We are a K-8 public school. I chose to have our first shelf target our 6-8 graders with an eye of adding the 5th grade very soon.
The pluses are that students can select their choices from any Internet connected device. To get all the current bells and whistles of FollettShelf they need to read off a computer or laptop (any platform). They can read from mobile devices but in the ebook format. Very doable just fewer features. An android app is coming in Dec. (Thanks Michelle Luhtala). Can the ipad app be far behind?! What I like about FollettShelf the most right now is that it allows our library to be open 24/7 all year long. No closed doors over breaks and the summer. I have gotten my LA and Reading Specialist excited about putting the summer reading choices on there, the state award books (Caudill here in Illinois) and popular summer titles. Other pluses include no overdues or overdue notices, no drowned books in backpacks or lost in lockers.
The minuses are that the model is still one title one reader so you have to purchase multiples for small group reading circles, very popular titles etc. The ebooks are less expensive than hard covers but pricier than paperbacks. Reader’s advisory will be more challenging. You lose that one on one time where you pull things off the shelf and talk with your students. You lose having cover art catch their eye and spark a conversation. But there are always gives and takes with each new step in the library tech world. What you lose in one area, you gain in another. It’s all exciting and
I am heavily promoting having my students help build this collection. I already have them doing this for the wood pulp and glue collection. I want them to feel ownership of their school library. So, I have forms at the front desk for suggestions and they can also email me or post to my blog.
My vision is still any device any download. I truly believe that is coming sooner rather than later because of all of you amazing library people are out there pushing what we know our students need and deserve.