July 28, 2014

All Electronic: A Minnesota School Library Gets Rid of Entire Book Collection

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From the The Star Tribune (Minneapolis):

The school library inside Benilde-St. Margaret’s junior and senior high is now nearly barren of books.

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But the tall stacks of 5,000 books that towered in the main room last school year are gone. Teachers brought a few into classrooms, but most were donated to schools in Africa. Now the room is filled with tables and chairs where students gather with their school laptops.

Leaders at the school in St. Louis Park decided against trying to duplicate what area public libraries offer. Instead, they will emphasize teaching the school’s 1,200 students to find reliable information electronically. It is among the first schools in the state to take out stacks and transform its library into a digital learning center.

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Nationally, teachers have mixed verdicts on how technology is affecting students’ research, a Pew Internet Project survey showed. While electronic access is helpful, teachers are worried that students rely too much on search engines and “think, in effect, that Google equals research,” said Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Internet Project.

Students have difficulty judging the quality of information on search engines, the survey found, making that skill a high teaching priority.

Much More in the Complete Article

See Also: New Report from Pew Internet Looks at How Teens Do Research in the Digital World (November 2, 2012)

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Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.