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Feeling Nostalgic? The archives > NY Times Debate: Do School Libraries Need Books?

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message 1: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments http://roomfordebate.blogs.nytimes.co...

gets popcorn, sits down to watch

message 2: by Kevin (new)

Kevin  (ksprink) | 11469 comments wow. this should be muy interesante.

my thoughts. hmmmm. in our town it seems that most of the books in the school libraries are outdated and not particularly relevant. that being said, i remind myself ("listen self..") that i taught my kids to read at home using Dick & Jane books that were originally put out in the 30's and the ones i was using were 60's vintage. also, just monday i took one of my mentoring boys to the school library to get a book of his choice for our reading project. he and i did it together at school. he would not have gone to the city library and gotten any book.

i think they should have a reduced selection of reference materials though and go to more of a digital avenue for that.

message 3: by Matt (new)

Matt | 819 comments My knee jerk reaction is that while there is a place at the table for electronic materials, I don't like the direction that this could go.

Will there be as many opportunities for a librarian's skill set when they are reduced to what is essentially glorified tech support positions?

Does anyone know how the pricing works for electronic materials for libraries? I'm assuming that similar to any software it is subscription or licensed based. Sure it is the cheaper option now, but if printed materials are no longer the standard i'm assuming that the fees will skyrocket in a short amount of time (similar to what happened with academic journals in the 90's).

Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments Of course there should be books in school libraries. It doesn't have to be all one or the other.

Electronic resources are great for reference materials, they are easier to keep current, take less shelf space, etc. If the kids have access to paid databases like encyclopedias, the information is just as authoritative as anything you'd find on the shelf. But I bet kids print out the info they're looking for.

Books are great for browsing, because you can often go to the subject area in the library shelves and find not just one book, but several, all RIGHT THERE.

And books are still better for finding sources that you can tell are from experts, instead of being from just anyone posting on the web, and for fiction and literacy needs.

And for reading picture books to kids, I find that books are much, much better than computers... :)

message 5: by Phil (new)

Phil | 11556 comments I'm on the board of a K-8 charter school, and I would never support a bookless approach for our students.

One of the most important things I learned in my 16 years in the computer field is that technology can be a wonderful tool, but should never be embraced simply because it's newer or flashier. Use of technology should be adopted only when it's equal to or better than the alternative.

A second answer to the question of this thread comes from the accreditation process we're currently undergoing. That answer is "yes." To be accredited, we are required to maintain a certain number of real, physical, page-turning books in our library (the number being based on our student population).

message 6: by Cosmic Sher (new)

Cosmic Sher (sherart) | 2234 comments "Of course there should be books in school libraries. It doesn't have to be all one or the other."

"technology can be a wonderful tool, but should never be embraced simply because it's newer or flashier."

Voices of wisdom here.

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