Sent to the Los Angeles Times (May 24)
Those who think school libraries are obsolete might consider the results of a Scholastic-Gates Foundation poll, given to 40,000 teachers, published in March, 2010. One question was: Where do your students get books for their independent reading most often? Select all that apply.
The winner: School libraries. Teachers reported that 80% of high school students, the group least dependent on school libraries, get reading material from school libraries. In contrast, 35% get books from retailers and 46% from public libraries.
Will e-books take over? To compete with the library as a source of books, e-book readers and e-books need to get cheap enough for everyone to be able to buy, use, and replace. Kindles now cost over $100, e-books about $10, and there are restrictions on sharing. Little wonder that only 7% of adults read e-books (NY Times, 10/14/10) and they are an affluent group (Mediamark, 12/1/2009).