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Public School Libraries Essay

2175 words - 9 pages

Although not all agree, the trend toward removing print media from the library can be seen as refocusing public school library resources on 21st century learning. The debate over eBooks in particular has been very divisive. Traditionally the library has been a quiet place to read and research mostly from print materials. Most libraries have even incorporated a cluster or two of computers so that patrons can access the Internet or search databases, but the perception and reality of most libraries is that they are filled with shelves and shelves of print materials.

Library media centers all over America are being tasked with making an important decision: how much of their print collection should be weeded out and replaced with eBook technology? The books are suddenly more accessible; hundreds of options can be stored on slim devices that can be tucked into a back-pack, even a back-pocket. The new technology is certainly motivating and fascinates the school-age population, which does not remember a time when the Internet was not available.

This break from the traditional school library is not without concern. Although people may percive many cost savings, purchases and the maintenance of technology is very expensive. Many people do not enjoy reading on a screen and children can be distracted easily. New systems and strategies must be put into place to train school librarians and teachers on how to best utilize the new 21st century library media center. Although these are legitimate concerns, technology has changed society aand it is the obligation of the american public school library to reflect these changes.

eBook technology is not easily defined. It has been described by Gall in his article “Dispelling Five Myths” as “The device used to view an eBook could be a standard computer, a personal digital assistant (PDA), or an eBook reader (the dedicated piece of equipment on which an eBook can be read; confusingly, also referred to as an eBook) Technically, virtually any computing device with a display could be used as an eBook reader” (3). It also includes information resources delivered through computer search engines. ELR, Electronic Library Resources is the most frequently used way of referring to this type of electronic technology.

Therefore, an eBook can be either the electronic material downloaded to be read or the device (or equipment) itself which downloaded material can be viewed on. The eBook device (commonly referred to as an eBook) is capable of complimenting hardware or software. It is portable, uses proprietary files, and is capable of providing a panorama of services for students from readers, to research, to visuals, to audio functions. Delivery of information can be done through the eBook device, on a web site, or directly over a network.

eBooks have developed globally and there is an increased volume of highly superior content published for these devices. Many characteristics make the use of electronic books...

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