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Library backpack, 2007

Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


CUMBERLAND — Area students and their families can now check out the latest in high-tech reading backpacks. Students and staff from Northeast Elementary School and staff from the Allegany County Library System have teamed up to create iPods loaded with student-created book summaries, author studies and book reviews.

The unabridged audio book has also been added to each iPod to complete the backpack. Library Director John Taube and School Library and Media Supervisor Lisa Stevenson agreed that it was a great partnership that expanded the students' and staffs' horizons and highlights the students' work as authors on the iPod.

Northeast Media Specialist Mike Fiscus said, "Northeast students and staff put a tremendous effort into reading the books and to create the videos loaded on the iPods."

Public library staff visited Northeast Elementary in April to work with the students and produce the video content and has been loading the iPods and getting them ready for use since then.

"We are debuting 10 engaging take-home reading collections that include student-created digital media to enhance, engage and encourage students and families in reading activities," said Lisa McKenney, public services coordinator for the library system.

Each backpack has a theme or works selected by Library and Northeast staff and students geared to the elementary-age reader. "There is a backpack for every taste, ranging from pirates and shipwrecks to environmental themes such as Carl Hiaasen's 'Hoot,' to 'The Chronicles of Narnia,' the Lemony Snicket tales and 'Because of Winn-Dixie,'" McKenney said.

"The project helped with student reading skills, and using the iPods and accompanying books at home will promote families reading together," said Northeast Principal Kerry Kelly

These new backpacks will circulate from the Washington Street Library and include traditional content such as books. They will also include digital audio casts and video casts of students reading excerpts of the books, digitized student art work and alternate book covers, and public service announcements that can be posted on the library Web site or played during morning announcements at the school.

Funding for this pilot project was made possible by a grant from the Library Services & Technology Act, a federal program administered through the Maryland State Department of Education, Division of Library Development and Services.

For more information, call (301) 777-1200.


Cumberland Times-News

Braeden Davis, third-grader from Northeast Elementary, checks out a new iPod-equipped backpack from the Washington Street Library.


Collection Location:

Public libraries, Maryland, Allegany County; Allegany County Library System (Md.), Anniversaries.

Allegany County (Md,), 1924-2010

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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