Opinion

Library's new READometer: I'll bet you'll like it | Darcy Brixey | Required Reading

My brother and I bet on everything. Even though he lives 300 miles away, one of us will call or text a wager on topics ranging from the Stanley Cup winner, the duration ofcelebrity romances or (as we get older) our cholesterol counts.

The things we bet on have to be measurable in some way, such as press coverage or lab results so that nobody can cheat. It’s not that we don’t trust each other, but we still like to know that our sources are solid so when we collect on those bets (often dinner or dessert) there is no room for argument. We are siblings, after all.

KCLS has a new iPhone app to record reading time called READometer. This can be used to encourage reading or spark a little competition between friends, classrooms or siblings.

In the beginning, you can set a reading goal for a number of minutes and start the timer. There is an option to pause and resume if real life interrupts your reading time.At the end of the goal you can add minutes to log more time.

There are several tabs in the app for more information. One is for statistics where you can look at your reading minutes in a form by week or month. The app download will let you record reading for up to 50 users so you can see who is reading the most. If you are in need of reading material, there are other tabs that will use GPS to locate KCLS branch libraries or the Take Time to Read quick shelves which are located in places such as area licensing departments, hospital and urgent care waiting rooms, tire shops and community centers.

The app collects minutes from all users to get a collective idea on how much KCLS patrons are reading. It records no personal information such as the reader name you used or what you are reading since it is in no way attached to your library card.

The free app is available through iTunes. More information can be found at www.kcls.org/taketimetoread.

Because you can log so many readers into one app, you can record your family members, your neighbors and even your book group members.

At this point I’m willing to bet my brother that my library system can read more than his library system. He still owes me a pizza from that last bet and I’m ready to collect. You can bet on it.

 

Darcy Brixey is the teen services librarian at the Bellevue Library. She’d like to tell you she loves to read, but it’s an expectation of the job.

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