Posted by: leish79 | March 12, 2013

The changing digital landscape from the publishing world and how these trends might affect school libraries and their collections

The necessity for primary school libraries to have p-books available for students I believe remains as vital as ever. Picture books for young children are an integral entry point to the development of their literacy skills. The ability for children to interact with a p-book provides a sensory experience that an e-book is unable to offer. As Shatzkin (2013) points out, the appeal of illustrated books in digital format is diminished when compared to print. Whilst the use of e-books and other digital media (eg. DVD’s and the Internet) has its place within a library collection, it is important to primary school children to achieve a balance between p-books, e-books and other digital resources. According to Mitchell (2011) teacher librarians are essential in ensuring students have access to resources that are “both high touch and high tech to maximise student engagement and learning”.

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The virtualisation of Henley High School’s library is reportedly a success within the parameters of older children who generally access the school library for research material rather than to access fictional material to read for pleasure. As Shatzkin (2013) points out the transference of “immersive reading” texts to e-book does not change the way the information is read and absorbed to a great extent. This being the case, the average teenager in today’s society is more likely to access digital content than non-digital content and the success of Henley High School may have an impact on other secondary schools as time goes on. However, it could be argued that the removal of p-books from the library space then significantly impairs the schools ability to cater to special needs students, who generally respond well to the sensory experience that accompanies a p-book, or those students performing at a lower than average level where more basic texts involving high levels of illustration are required.

Personally I am an e-book reader where novels are concerned despite cries from others about “don’t you miss the feel of a real book?” and I am happy with my choice. That being said, since beginning my postgraduate study my attempts to read the course content and readings on my IPad have failed miserably and I have been forced to print them onto paper for me to feel I have fully absorbed the content. Whether this is reflective of my age and therefore my exposure to digital media within my schooling (which during primary schooling was limited to a computer room you visited once a week for an hour where you shared a computer and played games only) or the sensory experience which calms me, it is evident to me that the transition to solely digital media for myself will never be fully achieved.

References:

Mitchell, P. (2011). Resourcing 21st century online Australian Curriculum: The role of school libraries, FYI Autumn 2011, pp. 10-15

Shatkin, M. (2013). What to watch for in 2013 in the idea logical company. Retrieved from http://www.idealog.com/blog/what-to-watch-for-in-2013/

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