Monday, November 02, 2009

"The biggest Losers: Going bookless is sure to shortchange your children"

This title came from the note from Brian Kenney, Editor-in-Chief of School Library Journal.

He had a great editorial on the new library at Cushing Academy - one without books. As Kenney states, "Libraries aren't just about instructing students in finding and assessing information. Librarians also work to develop a love of reading in students that lead to information literacy skills. We do this by encouraging free or voluntary reading - reading because you want to."

While the fact that Kenney, an editor-in chief, ended his sentence with a preposition, which is so grammatically incorrect, he adds a few sentences that, I would hope, would convince any administrator to keep libraries and teacher-librarians, as well as the wide variety of materials available to students.

He states, "According to education researchers like Stephen Krashen, kids need books that they find so compelling, they don't want to stop reading them. Browsing YouTube, reading snippets on, and updating their MySpace pages aren't enough."

No, the activities above are not enough to educate our students, to engage our students in critical reading and thinking, and developing in our students the ability to and desire to contribute to a democratic society.

He adds that most of the 86 titles on the 2009 Best Books for Young Adults are not accessible digitally. Already the students at Cushing Academy are at a loss. Just because technology is touted as the be-all and end-all, it doesn't give students access to some of the most important people, characters, words, and concepts to them at this time and stage in their lives. For these attributes will prepare them for the future of our 21st century world.


Judy Gressel said...

Amen. Most people don't realize that everything is NOT digital.

Mary Ann said...

Accessibility is another issue to consider.