The Enormous School Library

Jason SingerThe explosive growth of the e-books marketplace has made available entire libraries of literature from around the world to anyone with a laptop computer, tablet or smartphone. As ever younger children bring digital devices into classrooms, though, the last frontier for e-reading is proving to be their teachers’ lesson plans.

Education, technology, and entrepreneurship intersect in the person of Jason Singer, co-founder and CEO of San Francisco-based Curriculet, an innovative e-reading platform for K-12 teachers and pupils. Curriculet enables teachers to deliver customized, Common Core aligned learning and to create and share digital curriculum and lesson materials. Curriculet also allows school districts nationwide to rent e-books at lower costs than purchasing print copies, expanding their libraries’ offerings and making it possible for teachers to broaden reading lists.

“Especially in this digital age, schools desperately need publishers to think differently about how they sell books. It is absolutely daunting if you have a library of 10,00 to 20,000 volumes in your school to ever imagine converting that entire print-based library into something that’s digital, despite the fact that districts are investing millions of dollars in devices that they really have to leverage to the greatest extent,” Singer tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally.

“Our book rental business makes a profound change for schools,” Singer says. “They’re used to buying thousands of volumes that they put into their library that literally never get read, but give their library some breadth and depth and make it feel like a big room full of books, despite the fact that kids will never read them. More importantly what happens is the books that the students are most interesting in reading, there’s a limited number to select from. On our on-demand digital library, there’s an infinite supply of every book.”

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