Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Going Out of Print

Warning: Controversial topics ahead! 

I read this article about the transformation of public school libraries into "digital media centers," and I wanted to share some ideas that might be useful for public librarians to consider also. 

Learning commons.  The idea of the library as a "learning laboratory," in which the bookshelves are pushed to the outside of the room in order to accommodate groups of learners in flexible, central spaces. David Loertscher talks about this idea in his book The New Learning Commons.

Virtual learning commons.  If library websites only offer one-way information streams, Loertscher thinks that kids will simply ignore it and use Google.  He advocates for using more democratic spaces, such as wikis. 

E-readers.  Some schools are trying to provide Kindles for all of their students, but many questions remain about the value of e-readers.  Like with many technologies, the future is both exciting and troubling.

Books.  One librarian tries to bridge the technology gap by using web 2.0 tools to promote books.  As a result, circulation numbers went up, especially with boys, when she used online book trailers. 

Reading.  Another librarian believes that we need to be more open minded in defining "what reading is."  Many popular new releases tell stories across media platforms, changing the way kids interact with the text.   

Just some food for thought!  Please feel free to respond and share comments, questions, and ideas.

-- Rebekah