Technology changes role of school library

The News Press in Florida, has a
great look at school libraries.

“On the Internet, you can just type it in and it will
find it for you,” Congregane said. “You can do it right at
home, you don’t have to go out to the library to get

Educators have mixed opinions about how the Internet
and other technology are used in schools.

Overall, what the Internet means is that the role of the
school library has changed. \"
“It’s a tool like any other tool. If it’s utilized as a valuable
resource and taken into the proper context, you can find
items of information you cannot find elsewhere,” said
Sandy Agle, program administrator for instructional
technology and media services for Lee County schools.

School libraries are now commonly referred to as
media centers because they offer more than just
books. Students have it all at their fingertips — from
audio visual equipment to Internet search engines and
computerized encyclopedia sets.

In Lee County, where all school media centers have
computerized card catalog systems and Internet
access, the move toward more technology-driven
research is even more apparent than in some other
areas of the country.

Some say the trend is taking school media centers in
the wrong direction.

Last year, Lee County received $1.83 million for
technology from the state Department of Education,
more than six times what it received for books and

“When there is not enough money to update book
collections, we lose out,” said Ellen Jay, president of
the Chicago-based American Association of School
Librarians. “If the library is full of tired, out-of-date stuff,
you are not going to want to look at what is there. It’s
difficult to get a kid motivated and that’s when they will
turn to the Internet.”

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