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ALIAWest and InfoSci@ECU cordially invite you to attend

Reading Practices in a Digital World

lecture by Dr. Vivian Howard (Dalhousie University, Canada)

DATE: Thursday 25 June
TIME: 5:30 for 6pm
COST: Free
VENUE: State Library Theatre
RSVP by 23 June to:

WHY: This event is a unique opportunity to learn from a visiting academic whose research focuses on literacy and young people. 
Light refreshments provided!

Reading Practices in a Digital World: Two Case Studies

One Book, One Community (OBOC) programs represent an intersection of traditional forms of reading and reading practices with communication technologies of the twenty-first century. OBOCs aim to create community through book-related interactions. In particular, digital technologies can be used to unite geographically disparate people in ephemeral communities – i.e., people who are not necessarily local to one another – through the practice of shared reading. Begun in 2012, One Book Nova Scotia (1BNS) is organized by Libraries Nova Scotia, and is described on the program’s website as “a province-wide community reading event for adults” ( This case study analyses the success of the One Book Nova Scotia program in achieving its goals of developing a reading culture and community based on the findings of a participant survey and an analysis of the Twitter discussion. The paper concludes with some recommendations to improve the effectiveness of OBOC future programs. 

The second case study focuses on reading apps for preschool children. As a new technology, interactive multimedia reading apps for young children have not been the focus of much previous research and our understanding of their use is limited. The objective of this recent research project is to gauge parents’ and caregivers’ perceptions of reading apps for preschool children. This research project investigates the extent to which parents/caregivers are choosing reading apps for their children, what factors they take into consideration when choosing reading apps, and what they consider to be the benefits and drawbacks of this technology in encouraging their children to enjoy reading for pleasure.

Speaker Biography
Vivian Howard is Associate Professor in the School of Information Management and Associate Dean Academic of the Faculty of Management at Dalhousie University. Her research interests include barriers and motivators for pleasure reading, particularly for young readers; social reading initiatives; and Atlantic Canadian literature for children and teens. She is the editor of the YA Hotline newsletter and is the principal investigator of a research team developing the Sea Stacks website (

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