Does the school library have a future in the digital age?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The concept of a school library in a digital age is challenging. With the capacity to download books onto a range of digital devices, there is every possibility the library could look superfluous to youngsters growing up today. Why would you want to visit a room which is essentially about storage and distribution?

This question has exercised the mind of my school because senior school students are already equipped with iPads. We had to consider what for many teachers is the unthinkable – is the library an anachronism? A resource to be discarded as no longer fit for purpose?

If we view the library as purely a function of lending books this is indeed the case. However, we felt very strongly that the library is more than a facilitating process – it has cultural significance which matters. The library can inspire. It is with good reason that the great Library of Alexandria is remembered today as a fulcrum of intellectual curiosity and invention. It was here that Archimedes invented the screw-shaped water pump; Eratosthenes measured the diameter of the Earth, and Euclid discovered the rules of geometry.

Read more »