May 27, 2022

New Jersey: “Library is Limiting Book Rentals to Boost Kids’ Screen Time. Parents are Peeved”

UPDATED POST November 29, 2018 Newspaper Editorial: Library Shouldn’t Limit Book Rentals to Boost Kids’ Screen Time (via of Trenton)

End Update

From Advanced Media:

Every week, students at elementary schools in Mahwah could take out books from the school library. That changed at the start of this school year, and parents are concerned as to why. Some are downright angry.

Under a policy shift to have students receive more technology instruction, students in grades K-3 now take out books every other week and students in grades 4-5 take out books every three weeks.

“We’re hearing a lot of words and they’re the right words,” said Matthew Park, a parent attending a board of education meeting last week.

“And we hear people talk about how much they love reading and how (they) don’t want to take books out of kids hands. What’s being said is not matching up with objective reality and the reality is kids are getting fewer and fewer books into their hands.”


“Students access to books has not been dramatically limited,” she [Superintendent C. Lauren Schoen] said. “Students still have access to books.”

Not enough, though, for Robin Canetti, a former librarian at Joyce Kilmer, one of the Mahwah elementary schools that’s affected.

Canetti, who retired two years ago, said the shift is disturbing. Toward the end of her career, Canetti said the majority of her lessons were technology, but she still had 10 minutes at the end of a class period to let students look for books.

She said the technology standards from the state introduce students to excel and data, not realizing having a book is just as valuable.

Read the Complete Article

See Also: National Coalition Against Censorship Issues Statement About New Jersey School District Restricting Library Circulation (November 14, 2018)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( 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, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.