Obama pushes reading through e-book, library initiatives

1 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Obama Pushes Reading Through Electronic Books.

At last Saturday’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner, President Obama declared he was determined to “make the most of every moment” left in office, saying he had been working on a “bucket list” that included executive action on immigration and climate regulation. President Obama traveled five miles from home on Thursday and did something he had never previously done in more than six years in the White House: make an announcement with the mayor of the District of Columbia.

President Obama told a group of middle-school students Thursday that he’ll likely go back to his work as a community organizer after leaving the White House. “I’ll still be a pretty young man” after leaving the White House, he added, and will go back to helping people, bringing business into communities that need it.President Obama speaks during a live virtual field trip with students from around the country at the Anacostia Library.(Photo: MANDEL NGAN, AFP/Getty Images) WASHINGTON — President Obama unveiled new reading programs and plugged the value of the desire to learn Thursday during a “virtual field trip” for middle school students.President Obama announced Thursday that a string of major book publishers have pledged $250 million in donations to help low-income kids access electronic versions of around 10,000 of the most popular titles in children’s literature.President Barack Obama said he’ll likely return to the kind of community organizing work that initially propelled him into politics after his presidency ends. Obama announced that nine major publishing houses will donate digital access to about 10,000 of their popular titles, worth about $250 million, to low-income students.

Taking questions from audience members and from other middle school students following online, Obama said at one point that books, computers, and other can technology can only take people so far. In addition, the District and about 30 other towns and cities said they would introduce or press ahead with plans to put library cards in the hands of every student — helping give lower-income students access to digital books in libraries even when they lack Internet access at home. “For a lot of people, if they live in a home where they don’t have a lot of books, books can be expensive. The president told students that he wanted to be an architect when he was young, and then aspired to be a basketball player, but “I wasn’t that good.” When the president gave a rather long answer to a student’s question about how to beat writer’s block, the boy eventually cut off Mr. Obama told the students that how well they do in life is going to depend on whether they love reading and learning, and whether they know how to find information and use it.

But some critics have pointed out that the e-readers and other electronic devices necessary for reading e-books may not be readily available for all students. The offer of free e-books comes as low-income households still lag far behind others in computer ownership, but White House officials said libraries and schools in poor communities are increasing access to the Internet. Obama spoke about his favorite books growing up — a list that ranged from Hardy Boys mysteries to The Lord of The Rings to The Great Gatsby — and his own writing career as the author of three books. Obama’s recovery, average annual growth has been the slowest since the U.S. began compiling reliable economic statistics near the 20th century’s beginning—a feeble 2.9%.

During a question-and-answer session with about 40 students in the room and others participating online, Obama declared his love for turning and marking up the pages of traditional books. A US Census Bureau study of computer and Internet use demonstrated that only 62 percent of households with incomes under $25,000 owned a computer, compared to 88 percent of households nationwide. It took from June 2009 to April 2014—nearly five full years—to get back to having the same number of people working as when the recession began in December 2007. Obama were to return to nonprofit or community building work in the U.S, he would build a post-presidency that differs from both of his immediate predecessors. She also added that Apple Inc. has pledged to donate $100 million in iPads, laptops, and software to underprivileged schools, technology that would facilitate the use of e-books. “More and more, you’re going to be seeing kids using devices, and what we’re doing is making sure that there’s more books available on those devices.” Moreover, the New York Public Library is developing an app to facilitate access to e-books donated by publishers as well as works that are available in the public domain.

The program will draw on $2 billion in private-sector commitments and funding from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for school and library connectivity, which includes $2 billion specifically for Wi-Fi.

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