What are Libraries & what are they good for?Presentation Transcript
LIB 601 Libraries and Learning Fall 2012 what are libraries and what are they good for?
2What is a Library?OK, What is a Library? “A truly great library contains something in it to offend everyone.” • Jo Godwin “If you want to get laid, go to college. If you want an education, go to the library.” • Frank Zappa – Online Dictionary of Quotations
3Library?“You see, I don’t believe that libraries should be drab places where people sit in silence, and that’s been the main reason for our policy of employing wild animals as librarians.” • Monty Python skit Gorilla Librarian
4Dictionary definition of Library?Main Entry: li·brary Pronunciation: lI-"brer-E; British usually and US sometimes -br&r-E; US sometimes - brE, ÷-"ber-E Function: noun Inflected Form(s): plural -brar·ies Etymology: Middle English, from Medieval Latin librarium, from Latin, neuter of librarius of books, from libr-, liber inner bark, rind, book 1 a : a place in which literary, musical, artistic, or reference materials (as books, manuscripts, recordings, or films) are kept for use but not for sale b : a collection of such materials 2 a : a collection resembling or suggesting a library <a library of computer programs> <wine library> b : MORGUE 2
How do librarians define it?library A collection or group of collections of books and/or other print or nonprint materials organized and maintained for use (reading, consultation, study, research, etc.). Institutional libraries, organized to facilitate access by a specific clientele, are staffed by librarians and other personnel trained to provide services to meet user needs. By extension, the room, building, or facility that houses such a collection, usually but not necessarily built for that purpose.
But what are they for?What are libraries for? Are they cultural storehouses that contain the best that has been thought and said? Or are they more like actual stores, responding to whatever fickle taste or Mitch Albom tearjerker is all the rage at this very moment? If the answer is the latter, then why must we have government-run libraries at all? Theres a fine line between an institution that aims to edify the public and one that merely uses tax dollars to subsidize the recreational habits of bookworms. • Checked Out: A Washington-area library tosses out the classics by JOHN J. MILLER reproduced on blog Carpe Libra Jan. 3, 2007
One possible modelThe Library as a Dictionary Instead of embracing this doomed model, libraries might seek to differentiate themselves among the many options readers now have, using a good dictionary as the model. Such a dictionary doesn’t merely describe the words of a language--it provides proper spelling, pronunciation and usage. New words come in and old ones go out, but a reliable lexicon becomes a foundation of linguistic stability and coherence. Likewise, libraries should seek to shore up the culture against the eroding force of trends. • Checked Out: A Washington-area library tosses out the classics
Why bother, though?What about the internet? Libraries will have a crucial role for years to come no matter how much of recorded human knowledge makes its way onto the Internet. No one has yet come up with a proven method of preserving digital information for a century or more, and the explosion of knowledge and information abetted by the digital revolution makes the organizing and cataloging skills of librarians ever more valuable. • “Do Libraries Still Matter?”
What about School Libraries?School Library A library in an elementary or secondary public school, charter school or non-profit private school serving some combination of grades K-12. Some also serve pre-kindergarten (PK), or may be combined with a public library or branch. • Colorado Librarians Survival Guide • Glossary
10History of School LibrariesNot very well known! Although the American public school library is one of this nation’s most ubiquitous educational institutions, we know very little about its history. • First sentence of:
Yet, it’s a long history!Over 1,000 years: . . . there is considerable evidence for the existence of libraries in schools in England (and in some other European countries) from at least the 8th century; in the United States from the 18th century; and in Australia from the early to mid-19th century. . . . , Charles Hoole, advocate of the use of library books by pupils in their day-to-day school work, would have had little difficulty in 1660 with the “modern” concept of the school library as “the centre of the school.” • Clyde, L. A. (1999, January). “The schole lybrarie: Images from our past.” School Libraries Worldwide, 5, 1.
12 A Pioneer of School Librarianship Hannah Logasa (1879-1967) General objectives of the library study-room: 1. To serve as the laboratory and workroom of the school 2. To make available library material for the use of teachers and pupils 3. To coöperate with all departments of the school in the carrying out of their objectives 4. To serve as the centralizing agency in the plan of school organization – The High School Library: Its Function in Education (1928)
A mid-20th Century View
Is it a library if it has no books? “Instead of a traditional library with 20,000 books, we’re building a virtual library where students will have access to millions of books,’’ said Tracy, whose office shelves remain lined with books. “We see this as a model for the 21st-century school.’’ See the defense A Library Transformed from Cushing Academy’s own library website
What does ALA say?Keith Michael Fiels, executive director of the American Library Association: “Unless every student has a Kindle and an unlimited budget, I don’t see how that need is going to be met,’’ Fiels said. “Books are not a waste of space, and they won’t be until a digital book can tolerate as much sand, survive a coffee spill, and have unlimited power. When that happens, there will be next to no difference between that and a book.” • Welcome to the library. Say goodbye to the books. The full article is in pdf here
Another reactionWilliam Powers, author of “Hamlet’s Blackberry: Why Paper is Eternal”: “There are modes of learning and thinking that at the moment are only available from actual books,’’ he said. “There is a kind of deep-dive, meditative reading that’s almost impossible to do on a screen. Without books, students are more likely to do the grazing or quick reading that screens enable, rather than be by themselves with the author’s ideas.” • Welcome to the library. Say goodbye to the books.
Do School Libraries Need Books?The library without books A library with books Do schools need to maintain traditional libraries? What are the educational consequences of having students read less on the printed page and more on the Web? – February 10, 2010, 7:00 pm