I have concerns about the way eCollections are developing – particularly the following emerging trends in K-12 library programs.
The following statements are based on conversations I've had in edWeb.net/emergingtech, and on the conference circuit with fellow school librarians in other districts.
(1) Administrators/Board of Education members confuse owning eContent with technology integration.
(2) Administrators/Board of Education members “gift” libraries with iPads/Kindles/Nooks, but fail to provide additional funding for eContent/apps, or tech support to manage them.
(3) Libraries replace print with eContent, without making curricular adjustments to their instructional program to teach students and teachers how to access eContent.
(4) Librarians feel compelled to acquire eContent from only one distributor because it is too confusing – for them, for students, for teachers, for business managers - to purchase eContent from a variety of distributors, thus materials selection is driven by who they buy from, not what aligns with the curriculum.
(5) Distributors are “packaging” eContent, and marketing these packages as Common Core aligned, or standards aligned. (...) It is our job to develop our collections, aligning them with our school/district’s curriculum – not to buy ready-made packages from vendors.
(6) eContent requires meticulous, patron-aware (rather than traditional) cataloging. It is virtually (no pun intended) impossible to “display” eContent. There is no way to physically put it in the hands of students, if students are using their own technology.