Sunday, April 20, 2008

Feeling Blue about BOOKS

...or lack of books.
First some info:

I went with A, one evening last week, to a fun event at her Jr. High School. It was for the students and their parents. They had a light supper and then we played games as we moved from classroom to classroom to see what the kids have been learning this year in all 4 core subjects- language arts, social studies, math and science. It was parents against the students as teams each time. Each subjects game was a different format-- like Jeopardy, Who Wants To Be A Millionare and Memory, and Hollywood Squares.

When we met for language arts class, we assembled in the library. First clue about my sadness is the fact that they do NOT call this space "the library" anymore. It is politically correct (apparently) to now call it "the media center".

About 80 percent of the space is filled with computers and 10% filled with desk/table/chairs. It's not the computers I have the problem with. They have their necessity in modern day education. BUT NOT IN THE LIBRARY. Not, when it compromises the existence of BOOKS!!! Books. Remember those useful things??
Only about 10% of "the media center" is taken up by paper pages within covers!!

I was overtaken by extreme sadness. I felt truly "blue".

I have written other posts about my love of books and the future of books in the school system.

Is it going to come to students requiring electricity (or a really strong battery pack) in order to look up a quick tidbit of information, a date, a name, or trivia?

Reference books are a waste of space? Biographies are a waste of paper?

I just can't be convinced that a story that has been loved by generation after generation emotes the same feeling when being read from the illumination of a flat computer screen.

I could write more about this whole subject, but then I would be keeping you in front of the computer.

So...go grab a well worn book and slowly enjoy turning the paper pages. It takes no electricity and as far as I know the only trojan a book can be infected with is the Trojan Horse.


Sal said...

I quite agree with you!
And there is nothing like the 'feel' of a lovely book,is there?

Maybe someone should start a campaign...'Bring back the Library!'

After all, in the UK, County Living Magazine is doing it with 'Bring back the Nature Table'.


joan said...

I love the library. My biggest concern about today's young people is that they are losing the love for reading. This includes my grandchildren and I feel so sad about i

As a youngster I read every chance I could, even with a forbidden light under the covers after bedtime. My Mom was such an avid reader that she really didn't get too upset with me. She understood.

I order all of my books online now, and the library calls when they are in. It is a nice way to do it, because they can draw from all of the county libraries.

I love our library and know most of the faces. I see many children at the tables when I am there and that encourages me.

carla said...

I took a break from reading a delightful book to read your blog. The book is "Owl's Castle Farm" by Primrose Cumming (love that name). Written for the juvenile market during World War II, it's the story of a girl working on a neglected farm. Good story, well written, lovely illustrations. No, computers are nice for connecting to others, but are no match for a book, especially an old one with thick, cream colored pages.