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Re: school libraries


>My experience teaching in a K-8 districvt is that the library facility is
>terrible. Our proposed solution is to invest in the Internet and CD-ROM
>research tools rather than hard copies. Parents support this, ironically some
>teachers and the "librarian"(another 1/2 time aide) are trying to block it.

The problem here is, the internet and CDROMS are _not_ replacements
for a good research section in a library.  Neither can provide the
depth and variety of information a library can and should, they
simply don't have the bandwidth.  CDROM comes closer, but the soft-
ware just isn't there yet - and when it is, I think you will find
a good book far more cost-effective.  I think your teachers and
part-time librarian are right.  In this day and age, you need all
three, but of the three, you need a decent library first and fore-

>My 6-8 students are reguklarly thrown out of the library because their
>encyclopedia research interferes with some 1st graders watcning cartoons.

This says to me that you have far more serious problems that must be
addressed.  First of all, why are cartoons being shown in a school
library at all?  Secondly, why are 6-8 graders using the same library
used by first graders?  You have serious, fundamental problems, here,
problems no amount of CDROM systems and Internet ports are going to

The net is not a basic research tool, it is a tool for refining a
paper once the basic research is done.  The books give you the basics,
and Tom and the others here can tell you the absolute latest research,
including where the books might be wrong - but they simply _can't_
provide everything.  The Internet _is_ people - _people_, not books.
We aren't all out here to save someone reading a book, even if their
library _is_ crap.  If your library is crap, _fix_it_.  It doesn't
matter how good the tires on your car might be, if the engine won't
work it _still_ isn't going anywhere.

Larry Smith