Kindles offer new, easy way for students to learn

Bradley students can now access Cullom-Davis library books in a new way.

Despite constant complaints from students about the state of the library, many are unaware that the institution now provides students with Kindles available for checkout.

Amazon Kindles are eReaders which can hold e-books, newspapers, magazines, blogs and other digital media on a handheld tablet.  Among these materials, students can request any digital book, whether for casual reading or class, from the library.

Bradley has provided Kindles to students at the library since early 2010. The library originally bought six Kindles, but the collection has now grown to 16. The Kindles are available for all students, faculty and staff to check out at the Information Desk.

“If [students] know the book they want to read, Library staff check the Kindle to make sure the book is in our collection and available on that Kindle,” said Executive Director of the Cullom-Davis Library Barbara Galik. “You can also check our Kindle holdings on our website to ensure we have a book on the Kindle. If it is not in our Kindle collection, students can request that we buy it and one of the Librarians will buy and load the book for them to check out.”

Galik said it’s unknown how many students have used the Kindles thus far, because the link to the person who checked it out is lost once the device is returned. However, she said she thinks the program is successful thus far.

“We do know that there are times, especially over breaks, that all Kindles are checked out,” she said. “From requests we are getting, students, as well as faculty and staff, seem to use the Kindles for casual reading.”

Junior dietetics major Kelsey Mayginnes said the devices will help the library’s reputation.

“I have never used a Kindle before,” she said. “However, I think having technology like that would help the library to improve its image. Lots of students don’t like the library because it’s so old and outdated, but having Kindles available might help students to think a little better of [the library].”

However, some students don’t feel as strongly.

“I don’t know if Bradley is ready for a digital library,” said junior theatre arts major Crystal Pulkowski. “I have yet to meet someone here on campus that preferred to read off of a digital screen. I’d rather print out a play than read it off my laptop. Plus, the idea of having technology rented out is a risk on the part of the university and a trust they will have to have with the students.”

If students continue to use Kindles, Galik said the library will attain more in the future.

“If the need increases and we have more times when all the Kindles are checked out, we will buy more Kindles,” she said. “We are monitoring other possible [technology] for the future.”

Kindles can be checked out for two weeks and renewed once for two more weeks if no one is waiting to borrow one. They can be checked out at the Information Desk in the library.