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Vomaxx
10-29-2009, 07:25 PM
http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2009/09/04/a_library_without_the_books/

Cushing Academy, a (not very distinguished) prep school in Ashburnham, Mass., is getting rid of all the books in its library. The headmaster is convinced that books are now as obsolete as scrolls and that Kindle readers, and other such things, should be used exclusively instead.
Now how about that!

Shadow_Ferret
10-29-2009, 07:29 PM
I'd go to the public library in that case.

CaroGirl
10-29-2009, 07:39 PM
"When I look at books, I see an outdated technology, like scrolls before books."
I, for one, still love a good scroll. If that makes me a dinosaur, so be it.

I think this is nonsense, by the way.

The Lonely One
10-29-2009, 07:40 PM
Prep school headmasters are always level headed and contemporary.

Always.

(Always.)

The Lonely One
10-29-2009, 07:42 PM
And how about books that aren't available on kindle?

I have to say this...

Wait for it...

The Lonely One
10-29-2009, 07:43 PM
WHAT A FUCKING TOOL

The Lonely One
10-29-2009, 07:44 PM
Where the reference desk was, they are building a $50,000 coffee shop that will include a $12,000 cappuccino machine.

Yes. That's what kids need. Coffee. And so someone who went to school to work at a library now has to serve fucking coffee????

It's the end of the G-D world when people like this guy get in charge. "Abolish the old! Bring in the new! And put a god forsaken flipping Starbucks there, so we can overcharge for shitty cappuccinos!"

I hope the rest of the world doesn't follow suit; I'm going for a library sciences degree :)

Okay, now I'm done.

Jcomp
10-29-2009, 07:47 PM
Well, technically the school isn't abolishing "books" (in the sense of a "printed or written work"), just books on paper. I still think it's silliness, but there's a chance that this could eventually be the future...

veinglory
10-29-2009, 07:49 PM
What a twit.

The Lonely One
10-29-2009, 07:51 PM
Well, technically the school isn't abolishing "books" (in the sense of a "printed or written work"), just books on paper. I still think it's silliness, but there's a chance that this could eventually be the future...

True, I think it is the future, you're right. But this guy's taking too much power in his own hands and forcing a change that hasn't happened yet. These kids will likely never visit a library--which part of going to the library is to be social and get into your community and browse the shelves, take part in library activities (like read-a-thons, etc.) This guy isn't just abolishing text in his school, he's, in a way, abolishing the idea of libraries.

And he says it isn't like Bradbury or anything, but come on. He's buying huge flat screen TVs to disseminate information? All you need is to put a drugged out Mildred on the couch for kids to wander in on and you'll be right there. It's like he accepts some kind of future where kids are blocked off from certain experiences.

The fucking douche probably just learned what an "e-reader" is, and like some crazed relic with no real concept of what the current industry or world of literature is, started calling shots. That's what power does to a person.

swvaughn
10-29-2009, 07:53 PM
Oh, my. They're replacing all the books in the library with three big screens and 18 e-readers. Eighteen. That's supposed to give all their students "access to millions of works of literature..."

NOT the way to digitize a library.

Charlee
10-29-2009, 07:56 PM
So they are getting rid of all the books and replacing them with computers (which most library's have anyway) and 18 kindles!!! 18!

What happens if more then 20 kids want to read a book at the same time?

Charlee
10-29-2009, 07:57 PM
Lol you beat me too it sonya

CaroGirl
10-29-2009, 07:58 PM
I hope he won't be too surprise when parents start pulling their kids from that school. I, for one, am not ready to send my kids to a school that doesn't have books in its library. The sea change might happen in the future, but it hasn't happened yet and you can bet the parents aren't ready for it.

S.J.
10-29-2009, 09:09 PM
This. Is. SACRILEGE.

!!

Phaeal
10-29-2009, 09:20 PM
He can send those old paper books to me. I'll take good care of them, until the firemen come.

PeterL
10-29-2009, 09:22 PM
It is interesting that there does not seem to be a move to fire the guy, yet. Who knows, it may take a year or two before it will become clear that the students are even less literate than most high school graduates.

Jcomp
10-29-2009, 09:30 PM
I dunno, I think some people might be overreacting a bit. It is indeed not like Bradbury or Farenheit 451. And I love traditional books and do believe that the e-volution of books is oversold and quite a ways off yet. I also think this plan is short-sighted and going to cause some difficulties for this school. But it's just in this one relatively tiny pocket of the universe, where most likely exist other libraries. It's just a good old fashioned bad idea, not some diabolical attack on mankind.

S.J.
10-29-2009, 09:43 PM
I dunno, I think some people might be overreacting a bit. It is indeed not like Bradbury or Farenheit 451. And I love traditional books and do believe that the e-volution of books is oversold and quite a ways off yet. I also think this plan is short-sighted and going to cause some difficulties for this school. But it's just in this one relatively tiny pocket of the universe, where most likely exist other libraries. It's just a good old fashioned bad idea, not some diabolical attack on mankind.

Yeah, but... they're BOOKS. Haha.

Also, school is what introduced me to books as a child, and I doubt I'd have got too excited about them if I had to queue up for one of the eighteen e-readers to access them. The fact that I could hold them and turn the pages was all part of the experience. It feels like the headmaster is making it HARDER for children/teenagers to get to books (there's a bigger selection, yeah, but I'm betting that you have to stay in school to access it and nobody would bother). It's such a shame.

MaryMumsy
10-29-2009, 09:52 PM
There was a thread about this a while back. I think it was in round table. The library wasn't that large to begin with, and they had stats that showed the students hardly used it.

MM

Alpha Echo
10-29-2009, 09:54 PM
You know what? Some of my best memories are libraries. Reading, studying, working on projects with friends, writing, internet surfing, sleeping occasionally between classes in college...

Some of that can still be done in their new "library" but what the hell is a library without any books? The smell of books when you walk in...I think it's sad. I don't like it.

James81
10-29-2009, 10:25 PM
Marketing ploy on part of the school.

/thread

PeterL
10-29-2009, 10:31 PM
There was a thread about this a while back. I think it was in round table. The library wasn't that large to begin with, and they had stats that showed the students hardly used it.

MM


That is at least partly right. The library had only 20,000 volumes, which is not all that many; but that is enough for a good basic library.

Dicentra P
10-29-2009, 10:45 PM
Marketing ploy on part of the school.

/thread

Pretty poor one IMHO -- My daughter would be out of that school with the books, preferably with a couple tucked under her arms. I'm all for e-books but there are plenty of worthwhile books that are not digitized and the books that are digitized are not indexed and cataloged well enough to do without the hard copy library both for research and for browsing.

Rushie
10-29-2009, 10:49 PM
If it's a private school, go for it! The market will tell them if they screwed up.

RG570
10-29-2009, 10:52 PM
A private school, big surprise.

I won't complain, because anything, like this, that exposes privatized schools as the jokes that they are is a good thing.

stormie
10-29-2009, 10:56 PM
The headmaster looks totally perplexed in the picture. Wonder why.

I think it's too big an over-haul too quickly.

ishtar'sgate
10-29-2009, 11:06 PM
Although my first reaction was strictly emotional - you'll have to pry books out of my cold dead hands - I think the guy must be nuts. You can't even GET every book on an e-reader. There's just too much literature out there accumulated over hundreds of years. Access to so many wonderful books will be gone. Good thing there are still real libraries, something you'd expect a learning institution to value. What a sad day for those students.

Mara
10-29-2009, 11:08 PM
This is sure to fail miserably and maybe discourage other idiots from trying it for a while, so I'm not too worried about it.

AnonymousWriter
10-29-2009, 11:11 PM
I've never borrowed any books from my school library. :Shrug: Very few people do.

I will have to use the university library when I go, but never the high school one.

benbradley
10-29-2009, 11:16 PM
http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2009/09/04/a_library_without_the_books/

Cushing Academy, a (not very distinguished) prep school in Ashburnham, Mass., is getting rid of all the books in its library. The headmaster is convinced that books are now as obsolete as scrolls and that Kindle readers, and other such things, should be used exclusively instead.
Now how about that!
How about going green, and dictate that bicycles are to be used exclusively as transportation to and from school by all students, parents, teachers and administration.

Well, technically the school isn't abolishing "books" (in the sense of a "printed or written work"), just books on paper. I still think it's silliness, but there's a chance that this could eventually be the future...
Yeah, but The Future is NEAR, not HERE yet...

So they are getting rid of all the books and replacing them with computers (which most library's have anyway) and 18 kindles!!! 18!

What happens if more then 20 kids want to read a book at the same time?
They can use a computer screen, if they can figure out how to get the file and the right program to read the file format.

Also, I've not heard of a library where the total number of books that can be borrowed is 18 (plus the library's computer screens, maybe). And how are these transferred? Does the school "own" digital copies that then get put into a Kindle when the student wants to read a book? Or does it have to be bought through Amazon? If so, this could cost a lot more than the original library it replaces.

That is at least partly right. The library had only 20,000 volumes, which is not all that many; but that is enough for a good basic library.
I bet thousands of those are not available as e-books.

And again there's the problem of how do you "borrow" an e-book?

Pretty poor one IMHO -- My daughter would be out of that school with the books, preferably with a couple tucked under her arms. I'm all for e-books but there are plenty of worthwhile books that are not digitized
True, though Google (another topic, I know...) has been trying to change that...

and the books that are digitized are not indexed and cataloged well enough to do without the hard copy library oth fir research and for browsing.
Huh? The indexing and cataloging of books has been done with computers for a while now. Once you have the title you want, it should be easy enough to find a free copy of many public domain books at gutenburg.org and similar sites, or for more recent books pay Amazon's e-book price. Though that last bit defeats the purpose of a lending library.

"You can have my books when you pry them from my cold dead fingers."

Dicentra P
10-29-2009, 11:57 PM
Huh? The indexing and cataloging of books has been done with computers for a while now. Once you have the title you want, it should be easy enough to find a free copy of many public domain books at gutenburg.org and similar sites, or for more recent books pay Amazon's e-book price. Though that last bit defeats the purpose of a lending library.

My problem is getting to the "once you have the title you want" (thanks for quoting so I know to fix my typos)

The Lonely One
10-30-2009, 12:01 AM
If it's a private school, go for it! The market will tell them if they screwed up.

Is that like the economy's invisible middle finger? :D

benbradley
10-30-2009, 12:21 AM
My problem is getting to the "once you have the title you want" (thanks for quoting so I know to fix my typos)
I think I get what you're saying now, but it's NOT an inherent flaw in digital catalogs, it's just a limitation in the way the interfaces are designed that catalogs have no "browse" function. it's an easily fixed artificial limitation - you can't go through the next or previous alphabetical entries as you can in a real book or "card catalog." Most online dictionaries are like that (you can only look up one word at a time, and can't find the previous or next words that would be on the same, previous or next page in a printed dictionary), and I find it REALLY annoying since it would be easy enough to do.

In that sense microfilm and microfiche catalogs were also much better than most computer implementations of catalogs. The irony is a computer catalog could be accessed AND BROWSED in many different ways easily enough that would be impractical any other way - by title and/or author of course, also by subject, publisher, date published, YA only, ... it's just a matter of database programming.

I just had an idea for a website...

katiemac
10-30-2009, 12:33 AM
We talked about this more than a month ago in P&CE (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=154044&highlight=cushing+academy). I personally take no issues with this. Academics makes sense to be the first industry to completely digitize. The original article I read said something like 48 books had been checked out the entire school year, 30 of them children's books.

As I said in that thread, to me this does not mean books are over. All it means is students don't use the library for research, they use the Internet, and we've known that for years. What's the point of keeping those books around if no one is using them? (And are quite possibly outdated?)

When the bookstores start to digitize, that's when I'll be upset.

Matera the Mad
10-30-2009, 02:53 AM
To paraphrase someone...what a tucking fool.

scarletpeaches
10-30-2009, 02:59 AM
WHAT A FUCKING TOOLWord.

Richard White
10-30-2009, 05:27 AM
I wish my HS library would have had 20,000 books. We might have had 2,000 to include the three sets of encyclopedias. Admittedly, my school only had 242 students in the entire HS, I guaran-damn-tee that I read a BIG chunk of the fiction and the history section in my four years there.

And that's not counting the books I got from the public library.

cptwentworth
10-30-2009, 05:39 AM
What about if you want to read while sitting on the John, or riding home from the school bus, or while waiting for everyone else to finish after an essay test and you have nothing to do? There's nothing like a hard copy in your hands.

I really don't understand.

I'd be the first parent stepping up and questioning that, and if I had no effect, I have the perfect place at home where they can dispose of all that lovely reading material. They could even auction it off and I'd be there.

defcon6000
10-30-2009, 10:10 AM
It's the end of the G-D world when people like this guy get in charge. "Abolish the old! Bring in the new! And put a god forsaken flipping Starbucks there, so we can overcharge for shitty cappuccinos!"
Sounds like my university :D (and it's a state one).

At least their library is going to be remodeled for some educational good, most people at my uni use the library for a little hanky panky.

I have to admit, I don't check books out at my uni's library, I prefer online cataloging just because when you make a search WHAM! you get a list of sources and sources for your sources. It's all very convenient. Plus, I'm lazy and it takes ages to look through stacks of books.

blacbird
10-30-2009, 10:20 AM
The library wasn't that large to begin with, and they had stats that showed the students hardly used it.

Which likely says more about the school and the students they accept than it does about libraries and books.

This sounds like one of those preppie East Coast places Garrison Keillor skewered a while back in a comment about someone having attended "Chutney, Amway, one of those places."

caw

DeadlyAccurate
10-30-2009, 05:57 PM
So, they're going to buy 18 copies of every book they plan to replace that's available in e-reader form? Sounds very expensive.

Vomaxx
10-30-2009, 07:35 PM
Is that like the economy's invisible middle finger? :D

Yes. Independent schools [that's the term they prefer to 'private schools'] that are tuition-driven [i.e. not rich] are very sensitive to the market. Cushing is not a distinguished Eastern school [such as, e.g., Phillips Exeter, Choate Rosemary Hall, Loomis Chaffee, or St. Paul's], and if parents pull out their kids there will be big trouble. The Headmaster and the Board should have checked out reaction to this tremendous innovation before they did it, and maybe they did; but heads and boards sometimes do very silly things. It will be interesting to see if the school is doing OK, and if the current Headmaster is still there, in two years.

PeterL
10-30-2009, 09:53 PM
Yes. Independent schools [that's the term they prefer to 'private schools'] that are tuition-driven [i.e. not rich] are very sensitive to the market. Cushing is not a distinguished Eastern school [such as, e.g., Phillips Exeter, Choate Rosemary Hall, Loomis Chaffee, or St. Paul's], and if parents pull out their kids there will be big trouble. The Headmaster and the Board should have checked out reaction to this tremendous innovation before they did it, and maybe they did; but heads and boards sometimes do very silly things. It will be interesting to see if the school is doing OK, and if the current Headmaster is still there, in two years.

So far, the parents are with the headmaster, but what will happen in a few years?

Flint
10-31-2009, 02:10 AM
So they are getting rid of all the books and replacing them with computers (which most library's have anyway) and 18 kindles!!! 18!

What happens if more then 20 kids want to read a book at the same time?

Don't be ridiculous. You'll never have more than 20 kids at a school wanting to read a book at the same time. :) In this particular case 18 Kindles might actually be overkill since only a grand total of 48 books are ever checked out any given time and 30 of them are children's books. I actually had to read another article to get clarification of this statistic since the one in this thread was so obtuse on this one factoid. In any case that means only 18 books are checked out so 18 kindles is perfect you see. The logic makes perfect sense. Unfortunately this also tells me that private schools are incredibly overrated and charging the hell out of rich parents. If no one is reading there is really little justifcation to construct a $500,000 "learning center" for their new "library." Maybe they should take that money and investigate why virtually no kids are reading in the first place. Btw I'd love to work at that library! There's nothing to do! I bet the library is empty the majority of the time and no one even brings up any books to checkout. You can just kill the time reading, writing or whatever else you do.


He can send those old paper books to me. I'll take good care of them, until the firemen come.

LOL.



Also, I've not heard of a library where the total number of books that can be borrowed is 18 (plus the library's computer screens, maybe). And how are these transferred? Does the school "own" digital copies that then get put into a Kindle when the student wants to read a book? Or does it have to be bought through Amazon? If so, this could cost a lot more than the original library it replaces.

I bet thousands of those are not available as e-books.

And again there's the problem of how do you "borrow" an e-book?


Well they are spending $500,000 on the whole project so I'm assuming they're buying a good chunk of the kindle library. Not that it will matter anyway since no one at that school is going to be reading the books anyway.

Charlee
11-02-2009, 08:38 PM
Doesn't say much for the school does it? I didn't go to a private school but there was always people in our library (probably mainly because the teachers were strict on homework deadlines) and it wasn't even a very big library.

Our computer rooms were obviously busier but they didn't take away from the library.

then again it was a while ago I was at school maybe if I went back now the library woudl be empty.

ishtar'sgate
11-02-2009, 10:09 PM
Don't be ridiculous. You'll never have more than 20 kids at a school wanting to read a book at the same time. :) In this particular case 18 Kindles might actually be overkill since only a grand total of 48 books are ever checked out any given time and 30 of them are children's books. I actually had to read another article to get clarification of this statistic since the one in this thread was so obtuse on this one factoid. In any case that means only 18 books are checked out so 18 kindles is perfect you see.
I think this is one big part of the problem. Unless the school allows the kids to take home the kindles, they have to read on site or not at all.
My love of books began when I was a small child. We had library day once a week during my early school years. On those days the teacher read us a book then we scanned the shelves and checked out books to take home. This fostered my love of reading and I used the school library for most of my reading material until I graduated from high school.

Another thing that is lost when you don't have a school library is impulse reading on topics you may not have considered reading or learning about. Walking up and down rows of books allows you to view a wealth of fiction and nonfiction titles at a glance. If you're drawn to one you can pull it out for a closer look. I've developed interests in a wide variety of areas I don't think I'd even have considered if I hadn't first seen an intriguing title or some eyecatching cover art.

Shadow_Ferret
11-02-2009, 10:18 PM
A private school, big surprise.

I won't complain, because anything, like this, that exposes privatized schools as the jokes that they are is a good thing.

Yes, because public schools are so superior in educating the children.

Clair Dickson
11-02-2009, 10:35 PM
Y'know, as readers of course we're outraged, but honestly, if the kids aren't using the library, then there's not much loss overall. I mean, you can't force the kids to use the library.

The school where I teach... wait for it... doesn't have a library! Gasp! But the students I work with, sadly, aren't really readers. Most of them will not read something unless it's required. I don't feel the students are short changed because they have access to the local libraries, including one about a 1/2 mile away in the city-- IF they were ever so inclined. Again, they're not. Why would my school spend the huge and continued money on a library if they aren't going to use it?

Some private schools get the cast-offs from public schools. Kids that can't or won't make it in the public school. While some private schools are magnet programs with high standards, others are less rigorous and get less rigorous students. We can't pretend that having books nearby will suddenly make these students into readers and scholars.

It's possible to meet the state standards (even Michigan's which are now rather rigorous) without having a library. I can expose the kids to good books and to the other things they're supposed to learn without the expense of a school library. It's not like there aren't libraries around that they can use if I assign something that requires it.

veinglory
11-02-2009, 10:38 PM
If the kids weren't using the books I see that as a failure of the school, not the books. Book use is still a necessary skill for research, not satisfactorially replaced by the internet.

Shadow_Ferret
11-02-2009, 10:40 PM
If the kids weren't using the books I see that as a failure of the school, not the books. Book use is still a necessary skill for research, not satisfactorially replaced by the internet.

This.

Because my sons' school have a library period each week. They USE the library.

ishtar'sgate
11-02-2009, 11:07 PM
This.

Because my sons' school have a library period each week. They USE the library.
Kids won't discover the enjoyment of reading if the opportunity isn't made part of their regular education any more than some kids won't get the chance to find out they love science if they're not exposed to biology, chemistry and physics.

Jamesaritchie
11-03-2009, 02:15 AM
Has everyone forgotten how hard it could be to get the right print book in college just when you needed it? Or how horribly expensive it would be to buy a print textbook? How about all those times when you needed a book, but the library had only one or two copies, and fifty other students needed the same book?

I love print books, but if ever there was a time and place for e-books, college is that place, particularly for textbooks, reference books, and most nonfiction in general.

But I also remember buy a whole stack of novels that I shouldn't have had to buy simply because the library didn't have them, or someone had already checked out the book I needed.

I love print books, but as a poor college student, this system would have saved me a ton of money, and probably hundreds of wasted hours.

blacbird
11-03-2009, 02:41 AM
I teach a freshman-level Composition class, and am requiring a final paper involving some formal research and MLA-style documentation. I've been urging the students to get their butts down to both the University library and the main City Library, which isn't all that far away.

It's a frustrating task. They all prefer to collect information on-line, exclusively. The mind-set is that if it isn't available on-line, it isn't worth knowing.

caw

Delhomeboy
11-03-2009, 02:50 AM
Has everyone forgotten how hard it could be to get the right print book in college just when you needed it? Or how horribly expensive it would be to buy a print textbook? How about all those times when you needed a book, but the library had only one or two copies, and fifty other students needed the same book?

I love print books, but if ever there was a time and place for e-books, college is that place, particularly for textbooks, reference books, and most nonfiction in general.

But I also remember buy a whole stack of novels that I shouldn't have had to buy simply because the library didn't have them, or someone had already checked out the book I needed.

I love print books, but as a poor college student, this system would have saved me a ton of money, and probably hundreds of wasted hours.


Yeah but how is this better? The school has made millions of texts available...for 18 people. Which is, IMO, one of the scams of E-readers.

I mean, Amazon is being absolutely diabolical, and ppl don't realize it, I don't believe. no one realizes that to get access to all these texts, you have to have an e-reader. Therefore, everyone has to have a e-reader. Therefore, Amazon rakes in the cash. I mean, do we really think they care about spreading literature to the masses? Come on.

Sorry for the bit of a derail.

veinglory
11-03-2009, 03:30 AM
Setting up kids to see books as unecessary doesn't strike me as better at all. I bought most of my text books second hand, and I still own--and use--many of them almost 20 years later. Using paper materials is important, and IMHO will remain important as part of the full spectrum of materials whch now also includes ebooks. But how are they going to all have print in their homes and rooms? Cage-matches to see who gets the Kindle?

Clair Dickson
11-03-2009, 05:12 AM
You can't force a kid to see the value in something. Sure, I can require kids to use print resources for their research project by making it one of their requirements (and thus worth points.) But I can't make them understand the value. I can hardly get them to listen to me when I tell them that their internet searching ability is severely lacking.

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't stop him from drowning himself.

There are other libraries for the kids to use (or not.) It maybe money better spent for this private school in question.

How many of you have walked to the sanitized library of your local high school with a group of kids assigned to to a paper? Few of them want to thumb through the meager selection of books. And, as an internet researcher myself, it's much faster to find things online. Sure, they need balance, but the limited books of a school library are not really the place where they're going to be exposed to the wonder of books and knowledge. I *never* found the topics I wanted to research in my school's libraries.

BTW, I really miss the find function when I'm researching in hardcopy. I get used to being able to search...

Jamesaritchie
11-03-2009, 09:08 PM
Yeah but how is this better? The school has made millions of texts available...for 18 people. Which is, IMO, one of the scams of E-readers.

I mean, Amazon is being absolutely diabolical, and ppl don't realize it, I don't believe. no one realizes that to get access to all these texts, you have to have an e-reader. Therefore, everyone has to have a e-reader. Therefore, Amazon rakes in the cash. I mean, do we really think they care about spreading literature to the masses? Come on.

Sorry for the bit of a derail.

My guess is you can access every book that was in that library, plus abut a million more, with any computer, not just an e-reader. Amazon is far from the only source for books, but even if it were, I don't think the issue here has anything to do with spreading literature to the masses.

This is a small school with a tiny library (My TBR stack(s) has almost 5,000 books.) that no one uses, and I doubt many students at such a school have any interest in literature.

I'd argue to the death if this were a large college with a wide diversity of students, but in this case, I think the choice was a good one.

veinglory
11-03-2009, 09:12 PM
I just can't see how removing books from a school is good, nothing on earth stopped them from having both.

I very much doubt they have access to all the books a good school library would contain. But aside from that, using and handing physical books is a useful skill.

When I see undergraduates who not only will not, but cannot, access physical archived material--I despair.

James D. Macdonald
11-05-2009, 07:24 AM
Huh? The indexing and cataloging of books has been done with computers for a while now. Once you have the title you want, it should be easy enough to find a free copy of many public domain books at gutenburg.org and similar sites, or for more recent books pay Amazon's e-book price. Though that last bit defeats the purpose of a lending library.



Here's an article on the flaws of Google's cataloging and indexing (http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=1701).

Wayne K
11-05-2009, 07:28 AM
I wouldn't send my kids to a school that did this.

Mythical Tiger
11-05-2009, 07:55 AM
Private school or not, they shouldn't have a right to replace books. The best part of school for me is the library. Sometimes, especially in this case, it's better to keep books then replace them with those..... things. I think browsing for a book on a shelf is a hell of a lot better:tongue.




~Sam

Stijn Hommes
11-05-2009, 03:01 PM
I've never liked having certain technology forced upon me. I still refuse to use a mobile phone since when I want to be called, I have landlines available. And I flat out refuse to use public transportation if the go through with the stupid chip card system. That school probably wouldn't be for me. That guy doesn't bother taking into account how tired eyes can get from watching a screen and he doesn't even care about books that are not digitally available. I hope that school goes bankrupt, because it gives kids the wrong message. If kids aren't using the library it should be their job to encourage use.

I did hear about a school that banned its school books in favor of digital copies so the kids didn't have to carry piles of thick books around. That was a smart move, and I only wish they'd thought of it when I was still at school.

Stijn Hommes
11-05-2009, 03:13 PM
It depends on what the library has on offer, but it is entirely possible for more than 18 kids to want to read the same book at the same time. Harry Potter is still popular as are plenty of other books. It only takes a couple of students to max out a library's capacity for certain popular books.

What I find upsetting is that the headmaster decides to dismantle the paper library in favor of something with less reader capacity (18 versus whatever number of copies they had on the shelves) instead of encouraging students to read.

We already have kids who no longer have an idea what an audio cassette or vinyl record is. If this sort of nonsense goes through, kids will lose valuable research skills when it comes to paper books and eventually stop knowing paper books exist. Until I was 16-18, my schools used to have a limited number of books, but they did teach every single student how to look a book up -- I'd hate to see kids lose research skills as well as any sense of historical knowhow.

PeterL
11-05-2009, 05:42 PM
It just occurred to me that they may have trouble with accreditation. Libraries are supposed to up to certain standards. They may have some way around that, but it will be an issue.

Jamesaritchie
11-05-2009, 09:56 PM
But, dang it, no one was using the library. No one is cutting of books from kids, no one is stoping anyone from learning anything.

It also amazes me how often I hear that reading from a screen is hard when about nine tenths of the population spends forty-seven hours a day surfing the internet and reading from a screen.

blacbird
11-05-2009, 11:29 PM
But, dang it, no one was using the library.

Which is a point, but to me it basically says no one was being required to use the library. Which says a hell of a lot about this school. And doesn't make this e-reader experiment very promising. Why even get e-readers if the students aren't going to be required to read stuff?

caw

Clair Dickson
11-05-2009, 11:56 PM
My college courses required students to use the library, and yet, somehow, there were students in those classes who, at the end of the semester, did not know which building was the library...

And yes, some of those students even graduated, without ever setting foot in the library, EVEN THOUGH their profs had required them to use print resources.

How do we know that the students aren't using other libraries? I HATED HATED HATED having to use the library at my high school. I think in 3.5 years there, I only checked out 2 books. Instead, I got my books at the local township library, where the slection was infinitely better. And I could get interlibrary loan.

benbradley
11-06-2009, 12:22 AM
I've never liked having certain technology forced upon me. I still refuse to use a mobile phone since when I want to be called, I have landlines available. And I flat out refuse to use public transportation if the go through with the stupid chip card system. That school probably wouldn't be for me. That guy doesn't bother taking into account how tired eyes can get from watching a screen ...
There's something about that last line that brings to mind Isaac Asimov's short story "The Holmes-Ginsbook Device (http://www.fictionwise.com/ebooks/b3062/The-Holmes-Ginsbook-Device/Isaac-Asimov/?si=0) (link has an excerpt), which is of course, ironically, available on Kindle (http://www.amazon.com/The-Holmes-Ginsbook-Device-ebook/dp/B000FBJ40Q). I can only hope that someday two bright students at that school invent such a device there, though the school will surely pass a "zero tolerance" rule for such devices...

ETA: I read Asimov's "Opus 100" (his 100th book) which contains the above story in my high school library, as well as every other Asimov title the library had, about a half dozen.

Nivarion
11-06-2009, 08:40 AM
WHAT A FUCKING TOOL

Quote for the win! Quote for the WIN!


We talked about this more than a month ago in P&CE (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=154044&highlight=cushing+academy). I personally take no issues with this. Academics makes sense to be the first industry to completely digitize. The original article I read said something like 48 books had been checked out the entire school year, 30 of them children's books.

This is amazing to me. 48 books in a year, 30 of them well below what the reading level of these students should be. And this is a well funded (If they're able to blow 500g's on a learning center, they're well funded in my book) school where these kids should be learning.

In comparison, my underfunded, over crowded high school managed to collect almost 60,000 books. They could have more than 45 checked out before breakfast.

However, which school will look better on a resume. :rant:


You can't force a kid to see the value in something. Sure, I can require kids to use print resources for their research project by making it one of their requirements (and thus worth points.) But I can't make them understand the value. I can hardly get them to listen to me when I tell them that their internet searching ability is severely lacking.

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't stop him from drowning himself.

There are other libraries for the kids to use (or not.) It maybe money better spent for this private school in question.

How many of you have walked to the sanitized library of your local high school with a group of kids assigned to to a paper? Few of them want to thumb through the meager selection of books. And, as an internet researcher myself, it's much faster to find things online. Sure, they need balance, but the limited books of a school library are not really the place where they're going to be exposed to the wonder of books and knowledge. I *never* found the topics I wanted to research in my school's libraries.

BTW, I really miss the find function when I'm researching in hardcopy. I get used to being able to search...

I actually like older books. When researching things I'll normally start with the oldest book on the subject I can lay hands on and move forward. But I did see that a lot while I was at school. Everyone would start with the computers. A lot would move to the books after they found where it was.

Knowing the basics of the dewy decimal system I was always able to get there first. But a lot of the kids I went to school with did like to use a book or two in their project.

Rhys Cordelle
11-06-2009, 01:32 PM
I think I'm most appalled by the idea of a school serving coffee to its students. And kinda shocked at how few books are loaned out. I would've easily checked out that many books a year by myself.
I like the idea of a Kinder for college students though. Saves them breaking their backs trying to lug around textbooks

Terie
11-06-2009, 01:51 PM
The biggest problem I have with this is that e-book readers are, quite simply, not searchable. They're great for just reading a book straight through, but if you need to find a particular passage and don't know what page it's on, you're hosed.

So while I could certainly see a library like this moving to e-book readers for their fiction collection, it's a disaster for teaching students how to research. Even online sources can be searched. E-book readers are only good for plain ol' reading.

A headmaster who doesn't understand that one of the very important functions of a high school is to teach kids how to research is a bit disconcerting, unless the school really has no intent to produce students who are university bound, which might indeed be the case.

AnneMarble
11-08-2009, 08:29 PM
There was a thread about this a while back. I think it was in round table. The library wasn't that large to begin with, and they had stats that showed the students hardly used it.

MM
Maybe they needed to fix the library. Or maybe there was something wrong with the students. :D No, you can't force kids to use the library, but couldn't teachers create assignments that taught them how to use it or showed them that not everything can be found on Wikipedia?

How a school library is run can have a lot to do with how it is used. I loved my elementary school library and my high school library. Sure, they were small and limited in some ways. But there were a lot of out of print books there, and you never knew what you could find. The staff members were helpful. The nun who ran the library school was very nice and verrry forgiving of fines. (On St. Patrick's Day, you could return overdue books without paying a fine. I confess that I may have abused the privilege. :o) Both had lots of out of mass market paperbacks, like reprints of Doc Savage and the Shadow and old SF novels that were hard to find at the time.

My college library was bigger, and they also had a lot of old hard to find titles. That may be the only place I have seen the novel that the Bette Davis movie Mrs. Skeffington was based on. Try finding that for the Kindle. ;) At the same time, I was often disappointed in it because of the way it was run. They kept out-of-date science books on the shelf, even though the information was wrong, but they didn't buy enough new titles in a lot of areas. They stopped getting Publishers Weekly because it wasn't "useful" to them and even threw out all their copies because they thought no one was using them. :eek: Yet the staff seemed unaware of some of the buzz about hot new literay titles. (They hadn't heard of Ironweed, even though they had posted up a list of the latest Pulitzer Prize winners that included ... uhm, Ironweed.) So while I used that library a lot to work on my novel, I often went to the local public library for actual books. One of my classmates had to do the same to research her papers -- the college library had few up-to-date books on her field (education), so she had to pay extra for the membership to the local library, which had a lot on that topic.

AnneMarble
11-08-2009, 08:37 PM
I think I'm most appalled by the idea of a school serving coffee to its students. And kinda shocked at how few books are loaned out. I would've easily checked out that many books a year by myself.
One of the local library systems in Maryland (at least one) now has snack machines and coffee machines near the entrances. They realize that they have to compete with Borders, Barnes & Noble, etc. (If fewer people go to the library, funding gets cut, and maybe if people are told it's OK to drink your coffee there as long as they are careful, they will start going to the library more.)


The biggest problem I have with this is that e-book readers are, quite simply, not searchable. They're great for just reading a book straight through, but if you need to find a particular passage and don't know what page it's on, you're hosed.
It depends on the type of software. On my eBookwise, I can search throughout the entire book in two different ways. eReader format and most other software created for PDAs also allows the user to search through the entire book. In fact, that's one of the reasons many people want digitized copies, even if they have already bought and read the paper book.


A headmaster who doesn't understand that one of the very important functions of a high school is to teach kids how to research is a bit disconcerting, unless the school really has no intent to produce students who are university bound, which might indeed be the case.
Or they want to produce students who will become overpriced executives or attorneys who can simply hire assistants to do all the hard work later on. :rolleyes: That might explain some of the marketing errors made by overpriced executives, attorneys, etc.

Matt Willard
11-08-2009, 11:30 PM
This headmaster probably took advice from his teenage son or something.

HEADMASTER: "Hey, John, do you think I should have the school keep out books?"
JOHN: "Naw, man. Books are ghey."
HEADMASTER: "Well, from the mouths of babes..."
JOHN: "Man, shut up! I'm tryin' to play Fallout."

Libbie
11-09-2009, 08:44 AM
http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2009/09/04/a_library_without_the_books/

Cushing Academy, a (not very distinguished) prep school in Ashburnham, Mass., is getting rid of all the books in its library. The headmaster is convinced that books are now as obsolete as scrolls and that Kindle readers, and other such things, should be used exclusively instead.
Now how about that!

HAHHAHAHhahahhahahaha.
Whadda goober.

blacbird
11-09-2009, 09:24 AM
I think I'm most appalled by the idea of a school serving coffee to its students. And kinda shocked at how few books are loaned out.

Books checked out does not equal library use. When I was a grad student, in particular, I very rarely checked out any book. But I spent gazoogles of hours, whole days even, in the libraries (there were multiple ones) doing research in books. It was easier than checking out the damn things and lugging them around.

caw