While self-published titles may be an option for public libraries when it comes to acquiring ebooks, not so for schools, according to SLJ columnist Christopher Harris, who lays out the ongoing challenges for ebook adoption in K-12.
At one of the hottest sessions at ALA’s most recent Midwinter meeting, the Dewey Decimal System—that sacred cow of library organization—was trotted out in front of a packed room and subjected to intense scrutiny. But in the midst of Common Core, among other pressing issues, is this debate really worth our time?
“School libraries, I believe, will be the coming focal point for ebook licensing,” write Chris Harris. “We have strong relationships with our K–12 publishing partners, but now we must reach out to the trade houses. As the print market weakens, the time is right for schools to present a new business proposal.”
How will schools pay for new CC resources, including digital? One approach is to look for existing funds within your school and district that can be redirected so that your library can purchase CC resources for the classroom. But that requires that libraries market their expertise in resource selection and collection development so that your value is obvious to others, says Christopher Harris.
Christopher Harris shares his thoughts on how rural districts—with an average size of 1,100 students and less than half the budget of the average New York school district—are, in effect, subsidizing the state’s large, wealthy, suburban systems, which are purchasing the same content at the same cost per building.