Books or ebooks?…. or both?

Our students have just had three weeks of holidays. Staff have been back for a Professional Development week, learning new technologies, planning and building the learning community here.

Our IRC has a comprehensive print collection but digital ebook resources for some curriculum areas are being purchased as funds allow. According to Kindelizaton: Are Books Obsolete? by Stephen Krashen,  the sales of paperback books are declining in comparison to the sale of ebooks.  This is based on the Amazon sales figures for January 2011 compared to January 2010. The point is made in this article that ebook readers and ebooks are less available to students of “high poverty families and under-funded libraries” and states that Ebooks are allowing the print-rich to get even print-richer”.

On the other hand in the Sydney Morning Herald on 21 July, 2011 an article by Faith Sands looks at the merits of books and compares the reading experience of books with that of ipad and ebooks. Her opinion is that “There’s no substitute for books”.

As we constantly weigh up library budgets and the reading experience versus convenience and innovation, research based decisions have to be made.

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