PAC encourages students to read outside the classroom

By Jonathan Baez
Pulse Staff Reporter

FullSizeRenderPalo Alto College encourages students to read more than their textbooks through both paper and digital content.

“We are here to help,” said Cynthia Sanchez, one of the eight librarians staffed at the Ozuna Library at Palo Alto College.

“Most of our selection here is academic,” said Sanchez, “but we are currently adding books to our young adult section.”

One way PAC encourages students to read is the Library a La Carte, a mobile library that the librarians operate. The Library a La Carte is available Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon in the courtyard. While Sanchez prefers the feel of paper books, she believes that e-books will help students with leisure reading.

With the rise of electronic books, it has become effortless to grab your tablet and read your favorite author without leaving the comfort of your home. However, studies show that college students prefer reading traditional paper books over e-books.

A study conducted by Direct Textbook, a website that searches for the lowest price textbooks, found that 72 percent of college students prefer the traditional method of reading paper over e-books when purchasing books off their site.

Whether it is for school or pleasure, students have their preference. The top three reasons paper was favored are: paper books are easier to read, e-books causes eye pain, and students like to highlight and write on paper. The students who read e-books gave their top reasons: e-books are lighter to carry, e-books are environmentally friendly, and e-books can convert text into audio.

Andrea Gonzales, a sophomore English major who is an avid reader, said she prefers paper books because, “e-books are too much of a distraction because to all the notifications that appear, and it hurts my eyes.”

Gonzales did not know about the Library a La Carte service, but she believes that PAC helps promote student reading.

“They have their young adult section, but it’s small. They need to add more popular titles,” said Gonzales.

Students are not the only ones who favor paper over e-books. Dr. Rafael Castillo, an English Professor at PAC, believes that reading for fun increases intellect and critical thinking skills; however, he does not favor the movement from paper to digital.

“The Internet for the poor, and face-to-face for the [elite],” he said. “The top schools in the nation, where the doctors, lawyers, and affluent people send their kids to schools, do not allow any digital content. They know it’s a distraction and they can’t fully monitor the kids to see if they are focused reading or on the Internet if everyone has a tablet.”

Whether your preference is paper or an e-book the Ozuna Library and Learning Center is a perfect place to read, and it is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, closed on Saturday, and on Sunday from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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