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Forum Index > Library, Books and Reading > Can a School Library Be Replaced by E-Readers?

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Library Junction 10 years ago
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Cushing Academy, a 144 year old preparatory school in England discarded its 20,000 printed book collection in the library and replaced that with e-reader's. They say that now the students can access millions of books online through the virtual library and the future is digital. Read the full story here.

Do you think that today's libraries become outdated in the near future, we should change over to virtual libraries and books will be replaced with e-readers ?


Richard Close 10 years ago
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I have met with a number of schools in CT USA and they all feel the Cushing made a HUGE mistake. They failed to realize that that libraries are collaborative by nature between humans. That even social networking does not replace the cultural guidance a high end school provides and parents pay for. The move was really about incompetence and budget. Download Communities, Publishing and Libraries white paper
V. JALAJAKUMARI 10 years ago
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Today's libraries will be replaced with e-readers in future but not in the immediate future.
Richard Close 10 years ago
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I actually have a proposal to deliver a Community Technology Center Cyber Library to some places in India The reader are apart of the funture library but only a tiny part People meet one another in libraries More import people "publish" works in libraries that are looked at in other libraries Readers at technically one-way knowledge tools in a organization that is also two ways on publishing knowledge and collaborative in sharing knowledge. We must grasp that libraries power is in in local culture and community collaborative nature or it will be replaced by readers. Again.. read the white paper
Barbara Combes 10 years ago
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Such a short-sighted move and one has to wonder if it is due to educational reasons or a cost cutting measure. Computers are not compensatory, they are complementary. New research is showing that children must have really good traditional reading/literacy skills before they can read effectively (make meaning) from text on screen, and even then they miss a lot. Why research also shows that young people and adults continue to print huge amounts of information, especially when they want to do some in-depth 'reading' of the information. The push towards the increasing use of technology as a delivery mode for education by politicians and administrators who do not do their homeowrk is disturbing. eLearning is also still in its infancy and emerging research in this field cautions us on how we should be using it. Ask the kids - they will continually tell you to leave their teachers alone. Of course the other argument for the library as the hub of the school goes beyond the academy. Libraries are and have always been social/community spaces. School libraries should be as much about supporting the school community at the social level as it is about supporting teachers and curriculum programs. Research over the last 30-40 years has clearly shown that kids who read a lot and include fiction in their diet are way more successful academically and have higher literacy levels than those who don't. Moves such as this also assume that the teachers and kids can find the stuff they need on the public domain Web. I wonder how much this school is now paying in database subscriptions (good information)? These are incedibily costly and you don't actually own anything, merely the to right of access for a limited period. We should be advocating for school libraries that provide students with access to all formats (we publish more in print than at any other time in our history). Much of the research and information/enlightenment about libraries and especially school libraries stays within our professional community - we all know this stuff. We need to get active on the principal and systemic education networks, lobby governing bodies and school districts - educate the educators in charge of the decision-making. Any ideas! BC
Barbara Combes 10 years ago
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By the way Cushing Academy where this took place is a coeducational college preparatory boarding school for grades 9 through 12 in Ashburnham Massachusetts. The library collection was apparently renown across the US. BC
Devika Raju 10 years ago
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No. The pleasure of taking up book reading and reading on e-readers is different........ A book is more pleasurable to read, holding it in ur hands and flipping through its pages in a frenzy to get at the suspense is different from scrolling up and down in a e-reader.
Barbara Combes 10 years ago
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Agree entirely Devika. Also, the way we learn to read as small children is still very much a concrete experience. Making meaning from symbols and transferring sounds to symbols is a huge cognitive leap which children do using a variety of methods, not just books, from between the ages of 3 - 8. They don't develop cognitive skills until around years 3/4. So reading and making meaning from symbols is actually quite a difficult process, and holding, feeling, smelling and yes even tasting the book is all part of the learning proces for children. Children also learn about beginning, middle and end, that stories have a structure that is echoed how the book is put together. They learn about whole and parts and sequence. These are not obvious when using an ereader which is a flat screen. Other literacy skills are also involved when using a screen - iconic literacy, inetnert literacy (knowing where you are), media literacy, image interpretation, .... As TLs we should be advocating literacy using all formats. We need to get the message across that this is about learning and literacy - not technology. BC
S. L. Faisal 10 years ago
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Exactly. As TLs we should promote different formats and acquire proficiency in them also. Today's learning methods are hugely twisted towards technology. Everybody is talking about Technology/Computer Aided Learning (TAl/CAL). But making them literate to use these technologies is a part of TLs routine and we should reposition ourself as real leaders here.
rubyhuria 10 years ago
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Books do not have any other substitue. For a quick information or update one can refer to e-library but the pleasure of reading can only be explained by book lovers who enjoy reading a book. Reading a good book is a bliss. We must inculcate reading habits in children.
Dr. Anil Kumar Sharma 10 years ago
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The pleasure of book reading is different from e-books.Only a reader can explain but still there are few things that cant be explained.ebooks can be popular in selected areas but they cant replace the book .There is no substitute of reading,we must inculcate reading habits in children
Renu Narang 10 years ago
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Answer is NO the day there no school that day may be , as long as schools are there teaching children to read and write school library will remain integral part of it I believe it is up to librarians what role they want to play? The pleasure of reading book under a tree and read in your bed can not be undermine
thumbi aadhi 5 years ago
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Today's libraries will be replaced with e-readers in future but not in the immediate future.

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