More e-books for children!

By Jimmie Epling, Director, Darlington County Library System

How do we get children hooked on reading? You have to find just the right hook to get a child interested in reading. For some children, it is the printed page of a book. Others find reading short pieces in magazines more to their liking. In this high tech age, some get hooked on reading through a digital display! The Darlington County Library System and the South Carolina State Library have joined together to offer you and your child the Tumble Book Library, an online collection of over 500 children’s books and more you can access from your home or in a classroom through a computer or tablet by going to our website at www.darlington-lib.org.

The Tumble Book Library is a collection of over 500 titles. It is designed to provide children, parents, and educators with a variety of high interest e-books and support resources to help encourage reading and build skills that can be matched with the school’s curriculum. The Tumble Book Library can be used independently by a single child, or by a teacher and an entire class.

A great feature of this collection is that it can be accessed online 24/7 from any computer in your home, at school, or in the Library that is connected to the Internet and goes through the direct link to the Tumble Book Library on our website. You can access it with a tablet or iPad by going to the Library’s webpage and clicking on the screen button. You will be directed to a screen designed just for tablet users.

There are over 300 picture books, many of them animated, which children can read or have read to them. There is a wealth of information about each book, too. In addition to a description of the book and the reading time, the reading level for each book is included for parents and educators. As an example, the popular book, “Scaredy Squirrel,” the story of a squirrel afraid to leave his nut tree until his worst nightmare comes true, has an eight and a half minute reading time. The book’s rating in four different reading level schemes is cited. Fans of the Accelerated Reader system will find the reading level, word count, the AR quiz number and There are even three brief reviews of the book!

The collection includes 25 chapter books. Among them is “Anne of Green Gables.” The book’s citation includes the same elements as for the picture books. The notable exception is this one clocks in with a reading time of ten hours and thirty-nine minutes. The non-fiction collection of over 50 books is a nice mixture of books on animals, history, science, and biography. The citation format is the same, with the exception that only the Accelerated Reader and Grade Level reading levels appear for all the books. A few include the Lexile and Common Core reading level.

Of special interest to English as a Second Language (ESL), French, and Spanish teachers and speakers is the collection of about 100 children’s books in French and Spanish. Familiar stories, like the “Ugly Duckling,” “Rumpelstiltskin,” and the “Wizard of Oz,” are included in the collection. Many are bilingual titles, which allow children to read the book in two languages.

The Tumble Book Library partnered with National Geographic to offer over 80 videos that support the Core Curriculum Standards. They cover history, geography, social studies, and science. These videos are paired with non-fiction titles in the collection so a child can read a book on a subject and then watch an educational video from National Geographic to learn more.

A collection of puzzles and games accompany the collection to reinforce concepts from the books. There are spelling, memory, and sentence matching games, as well as jigsaw puzzles tied to many of the books that are designed to be fun and enhance a child’s learning experience.

And finally, there are eight very familiar children’s and folk songs to which you and your child can sing along while watching the bouncing ball.

The Tumble Book Library nearly doubles our collection of e-books for children. We offer a special collection of e-books for children in partnership with other South Carolina libraries through the Palmetto Consortium. These e-books may be found by also going to our webpage at www.darlington-lib.org. Parents do not need to worry about children being exposed to inappropriate content, the “For Kids” collection is separate from the adult e-books; both are easily downloaded to devices, including computers and tablets.

We are thrilled to be able to offer a new reading hook, the Tumble Book Library, free for two years through our online “Digital Branch” 24/7 to children, parents, and educators. It is another way for us to encourage and support the love of reading in children!

Author: Duane Childers

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