A new study from the Pew Internet and American Life Project looks at the future of libraries.
The study, titled “Library services in the digital age,” doesn’t include anything particularly shocking or revelatory, but it suggests that many people still value the role of libraries, and that librarians are thinking about how their services can evolve.
The new survey finds that many library patrons are eager to see libraries’ digital services expand, yet also feel that print books remain important in the digital age.
It also explores the changing world of library services by exploring the activities at libraries that are already in transition and the kinds of services citizens would like to see if they could redesign libraries themselves. It is part of a larger research effort by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project that is exploring the role libraries play in people’s lives and in their communities. The research is underwritten by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Libraries are significant resources for written text and educational materials. It is true that the surge in blogs, search engines, ebooks catalogues, and document sharing communities has tremendously weakened the online presence of libraries but still often times libraries provide a treasure trove of information and rare documents that you can hardly find elsewhere.
Educators should at least know about two or three library resources where to look for and find precious documentations. They should also introduce students to such links to use in their research.
Avi Steinberg's memoir of life as a prison librarian
In his oublished memoir, Running the Books: The Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian (Random House), Steinberg promoted for nearly two years books and creative writing to a multitude of prisoners ~ students, pimps, prostitutes, junkies, thugs, robbers, con men, and even killers. At the prison, inmates nicknamed him “Bookie.”
This book "is a rich meditation on this wild experience and the related nuanced questions about morality and humanity that he confronted armed with little more than his own sensitivities and book learning."
“A prison library is a fascinating place,” Steinberg says in retrospect. “People there have a dire need to connect—with other people, with estranged loved ones, with their past, with themselves.” At the same time, the library is the only place, apart from solitary confinement, where inmates can experience any quiet in a social setting; carpeting and books dull the roar and screams of prison life that reverberate against all that steel and concrete.
It was within this context of books—of writing, reading, and thinking—that Steinberg aspired to create “a space where you can make people open up instead of close down, to awaken people instead of numbing them,” he explains. “Everywhere else in prison is a place of shut down, lock down, literally.” The library allows people to relax, briefly, away from the power-mongering and threats of physical harm, and reminds them “that they are more than criminals, if they choose to be.”
The recently announced iPad mini, along with similar digital tablets like the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7 make for nearly perfect e-reading devices.
Building an e-library is ten times easier than building and maintaining a paper book library.
So after you’ve purchased your iPad, you will want to install at least two e-book reading apps on your device: the iBooks Reader and the Kindle for the iPad. Both are free downloads.
This beginner’s guide recommends apps and features to get you started in building your library. Though the focus on is on the iPad, because it’s the device used for the last two years to build an e-library, the recommendations apply to other devices, including the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes and Nobel Nook. But the iPad offers some extra features that you will eventually find useful over other devices.
1.Books that are professionally selected to meet school and personal needs.
2.Equitable access to computers and other forms of technology. 3.Someone to talk to and someone who listens – the school librarian. 4.A place to get help when they need it. A place to assemble with their friends openly..........
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