A 2011 survey by the School Library Journal found that 31 percent had e-books in their collections. But 63 percent of those surveyed said they couldn’t afford to buy digital books.
On a recent afternoon, 9-year-old Josh Hezel and his classmates were in the library at Long Elementary.
A generation ago, Hezel and the others might have stopped by a shelf of recommended books, or searched on his own in the card catalog. Instead, he and his classmates sat down with some of the school’s new e-readers. The book titles flew by on a digital screen as the boy scrolled through, stopping at one that caught his eye.
“I think librarians are in favor of anything that gets students reading,” said Margaret Sullivan, regional director for the Missouri Association of School Libraries and president of St. Louis Suburban School Librarians Association. “What we just want to make sure is that every student has access to technology, because some students might not have that at home.”