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Why Digital Libraries?

By Bhargavi Nanduri

Digital libraries are becoming the hot topics at schools, colleges and universities since they combine technology and information resources to allow remote access to educational content, breaking down the physical barriers.

A digital library is a collection of documents – such as magazine articles, book, papers, images, sound files and videos – organized in an electronic form and available on the Internet or on a digital support, and is updated on a daily basis.

Many schools and institutions have already begun converting their traditional collections of books and educational materials to electronic format: some files become available in HTML format while others can be downloaded in PDF format, to be printed if necessary.

The main limit for traditional libraries is represented by physical space: books consume a lot of it and people often have to walk round in search of a particular material. Thanks to Internet and cloud storage, digital libraries overcome this limitation, expanding students’ horizons in learning. Thanks to search engine technologies – even novice users can start using digital libraries accomplishing their searches independently.

1 Creates more engaged Learning environment

Useful features commonly found in eBooks can engage readers more thoroughly than traditional books. Readers can highlight, draw and annotate. Reluctant and struggling readers benefit the most from eBooks that involve the senses. eBooks can give students a full reading experience by emerging them into the text using animations, sound effects, and relevant imagery.

2 Boosts love for reading and learning

eBook aid in the love of reading and learning. Digital libraries give educators powerful tools to teach students how to find, evaluate, and use digital content—an essential skill for 21st-century learners.

3 Benefits of Read aloud books and Podcasts

The benefits of listening to books read aloud is one of the single most important activities for reading success, it also provides students with a idea of reading comprehension skills.

Digital texts allow books to become read alouds, giving the reader the ability to follow along. Similarly listening to Podcasts makes you stress free.

4 Cost Effective Learning

Ebooks save time, money, and storage. Not only does a digital library make books more accessible to students and educators, but the convenience factors of downloading and returning eBooks are a significant advantage for students. Digital libraries cost far less than physical books, allowing librarians to stock up on a variety of titles.

5 Supports Bilingual Speakers

Students with English as their second language can utilize tools like the built-in dictionary in eBooks. Readers can quickly look up unfamiliar words, while the recorded audio can provide auditory models of the correct syntax and grammar for the English language.

Digital texts can also incorporate other languages, such as Spanish, to make it possible for family members with limited English proficiency to read with their children.

6 Aids in Reading Comprehension

Students can express ideas, opinions, ask questions, and create discussions using highlight or underlining tools. This means they can identify story elements, plot, main ideas, and supporting details within the text, annotating as they go. The level of interaction contributes to reading comprehension.

7 Improve Literacy

eBooks are engaging. They spark interest even in reluctant and struggling readers. Students apply reading comprehension skills, and read more difficult texts, when using digital libraries—leading to higher literacy.

8 Enhances Classroom Libraries

Classrooms can benefit from a digital book collection. When eBooks are accessible, educators are no longer limited to a few titles or copies. Classroom libraries can become more robust to incorporate more creative projects and activities to help students engage with the text.