Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A World With No Books?



I know some techies consider bound paper books "old media", but as much as I love the leaps and bounds the information age is taking...I can't see cuddling up with my computer on a rainy day.

Did you know that schools are slowly doing away with libraries? The worn pages of Bill Peet and Judy Blume are systematically being replaced with E-books and the librarians with aids. A well-to-do high school in my area has virtually no bound books.

I guess there are always downfalls with the advances, but this depresses me far more than I could possibly articulate. No technology can replace the smell of a new book, or the lovingly dog-eared pages of an old one...the crack of the spine...the joy of rediscovering a favorite childhood book in hardcover.

Aside from feeling the absolute injustice for future generations, this poses another problem for me. My yet-to-be-finished graduate degree is in Library Science and now all the librarians I speak to urge me to switch majors...they say the job will be obsolete. After volunteering so much at the school, I have come to the realization that I may not be authoritarian enough to teach. I identify with the kids too much and have real trouble enforcing rules I don't feel are necessary... I knew I should have gotten that tattoo gun when I was 19...

Has America moved that far from away from reading? Has "The Nothing" grown so big that libraries could be disappearing with no mention anywhere? Maybe. I have been noticing that on all those home improvement shows when they redo the rooms and houses --there are never any books. How does a house have no books? I have told my boys from birth that their only dating no-no will be dating someone from a house with no books...

Sorry, I know ramble when I'm upset. Now I feel the need to buy every book I've been putting off buying because of space constraints... Rikki Tikki Tavi, The Man that Walked Between the Towers (Read this if you haven't!), The Pinkish Purplish Bluish Egg, Tikki Tikki Tembo, The Story About Ping (actually way too many to list...) Can any of the teachers out there weigh in on this? Are we phasing out books in schools all over the country...?

Here's a relevant article from the ALA's (American Library Association) website: School Library Funding

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