We don’t need libraries anymore…isn’t everything online now?

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I hear this question quite often: Why do we need books/libraries or librarians? Isn’t everything freely available online now? To which I answer:

Yes, many resources are now available online. Unfortunately, not every book that’s been published in print is available in electronic format. If it is available in electronic format, it’s not free unless it’s in the public domain (authors and publishers still want to – and should – be paid for their work!). In addition, if you would like to access an ebook, you’ll need a device (such as a computer, tablet, or smart phone) that’s connected to a power source and wifi. Depending upon where you obtain the ebook, you’ll need to either use a web browser, mobile app, or specialized software to read it. Once you download the necessary app or software, you’ll need to learn how to navigate it to read the book. And when finished reading the ebook, you’ll need to remember which program or device within which it is stored if you wish to access it again.

Though there are many benefits to the use of ebooks, the process of accessing them can be frustrating for a new user. So how does one gain the skills to successfully access an ebook? Ask a librarian!

Today’s teacher librarians are so much more than “keepers of the books” since library resources now exist at least partially online. They are instructional technologists who know how to organize, access, and use digital formats of information. So why do we still need school libraries and teacher librarians? To teach students and staff how to effectively navigate the increasingly complicated digital world of resources.

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