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Old 03-27-2013, 05:04 AM   #1
tubemonkey
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Some Parents Annoyed at Presence of iPads in Brooklyn Library

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Some Park Slope parents say a flood of new technology is distracting their children from reading books — at the library.

The Park Slope branch wowed readers with 20,000 new books when it reopened in September, but its collection of iPads and children’s computers hasn’t been sitting well with some parents, who say their kids are already drowning in a sea of screens.

Head librarian Stephanie Brueckel said she got a flurry of negative feedback about the iPads, which were the first in the Brooklyn public library system devoted specifically to children. After one of the shiny new devices was stolen just weeks after the branch’s reopening, Brueckel pulled the remaining iPads out of the children’s section and stashed them behind closed doors.
Hate to break it to these parents, but this is the 21st century and digital is the future. Reading is reading and the device used is secondary to the content. If these parents are concerned that their children will be distracted away from reading, then I question their parenting skills.

On a secondary point, I do question the library's purchase of iPads when other quality tablets are available for half the cost. What a waste of tax dollars.
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Old 03-27-2013, 05:36 AM   #2
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On a secondary point, I do question the library's purchase of iPads when other quality tablets are available for half the cost. What a waste of tax dollars.
You don't know what they actually paid for them. I believe Apple do deep discounts for educational establishments.
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Old 03-27-2013, 05:36 AM   #3
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I suspect the library got a good deal on the Ipads, lessening the impact on taxpayers. And given the dominance of Apple in the market, they may have wanted to use systems in the library that parents might be using at home.

Our suburban library is big on desktop computers and internet access -- and was a huge convenience to me when we lost power for a week in 2011 after the Halloween blizzard ... and then for another week in 2012 after Sandy. I know that even in our affluent town there are families that can't afford relatively modern computers and high speed internet -- the library offers hardware and access for kids to do their homework.

Unfortunately, our county library does have a theft problem (I suspect many do) and I don't know if portable (and easily concealable) Ipads would be a good idea.

Last edited by cromag; 03-27-2013 at 05:37 AM. Reason: EDIT: Harry is just ever so much quicker than I am on the "Enter" key!
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Old 03-27-2013, 05:48 AM   #4
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Quote:
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You don't know what they actually paid for them. I believe Apple do deep discounts for educational establishments.
Link?
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Old 03-27-2013, 05:54 AM   #5
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Why didn't the library just buy a bunch of Kindles rather than iPads? All of the reading without the distractions.
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Old 03-27-2013, 05:58 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canuck_in_Japan View Post
Why didn't the library just buy a bunch of Kindles rather than iPads? All of the reading without the distractions.
Are you referring to eink models? If so, one of the reasons they wanted tablets was to use them for interactive book apps. Of course, this could've been accomplished with much cheaper Kindle Fires, Nexus 7s and Galaxy Tabs.
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Old 03-27-2013, 07:52 AM   #7
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As a parent, I have to say that I agree with the general idea that libraries seem to moving away from being about being literate. As far as all reading being the same, the medium does matter, and it impacts how we think about things. I read much better on my Kindle (eInk) than on my iPad or Nexus, simply because when I'm holding it, I have no established brain patterns about what other things I can be doing with it. It's like watching a sermon on television vs sitting in the pew; the message is the same, but just the possibility of changing the channel and no one will know impacts the experience.
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Old 03-27-2013, 08:10 AM   #8
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I find modern libraries confusing at best. In some respects these changes are good things: libraries are adapting to an increasingly technological world and provide a hub in the community. The technology is also invaluable for the traditional purposes of a library, such as reading and research.

On the other hand, libraries seem to be becoming places that focus upon entertainment rather than information and story telling. The second that children leave those interactive books to access other media, you run the risk of making the jump into pure entertainment. I don't know if this is possible with their setup, but some kids can be creative about circumventing poorly implemented restrictions. Then again, libraries lend out video games these days ...
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Old 03-27-2013, 08:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BWinmill View Post
On the other hand, libraries seem to be becoming places that focus upon entertainment rather than information and story telling.
I was under the impression that storytelling and entertainment were supposed to be exclusive in litfic. Did I miss a frago or something?
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Old 03-27-2013, 02:05 PM   #10
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Link?
I would think they get pricing similar to schools:

http://www.apple.com/education/pricelists/
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Old 03-27-2013, 02:15 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by pidgeon92 View Post
I would think they get pricing similar to schools:

http://www.apple.com/education/pricelists/
Which amounts to a $20 discount per iPad when purchased in bundles of 10.

Apple sure is generous
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Old 03-27-2013, 02:24 PM   #12
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You can't turn back the clock. As others have mentioned it is the 21st century and ebook technology is apparently here to stay. Libraries have to provide services to their patrons that the patrons want in order to keep people coming in the doors. If I ran a movie rental business and all my movies were on VHS I wouldn't be in business for very long since most people want DVD or Blu-ray movies now days. And the same goes for options for reading books. The libraries have to provide what the people who use them want or their doors will close. In the end you can't please everyone. I note that the header reads some parents annoyed not all parents annoyed. So there must be at least an equal amount of patrons who do like the Ipads being available. My public library offers ereaders, ebooks and audio books in addition to movies and of course pbooks for checkout. They also offer CD's and when I was growing up my local library had old style movie reels and LP records to borrow. Libraries have to keep pace with the times.
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Old 03-27-2013, 03:30 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Sregener View Post
As a parent, I have to say that I agree with the general idea that libraries seem to moving away from being about being literate.
I think it's more about a change in the concept of literacy. Some may look at iPads in libraries and see "gadgets" but I see something else.

While reading and comprehension were once seen as the minimum requirement for maximizing opportunity, technological literacy is now required as well for the same opportunity potential. Not just being able to use computers and devices on a basic level, but to understand how to use them to access resources and accomplish a variety of tasks beyond rote process memorization.

The content available through both traditional books and technology provides cultural literacy. (Whether or not the collection available at any given library actually provides a foundation for cultural literacy will vary, and I'm not arguing that they all do.)

We need more of all three, I think, and it's up to the individual or parent to make use of the available resources, whether at the library or elsewhere, to nurture them.
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Old 03-27-2013, 03:40 PM   #14
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Here's a link to the entire article that the blog post linked above is clipped from...
http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/2013...#ixzz2OdzPNRid
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Old 03-27-2013, 03:41 PM   #15
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Why didn't the library just buy a bunch of Kindles rather than iPads? All of the reading without the distractions.
Because the iPad is a better overall device for a library then any eInk Reader.

Last edited by JSWolf; 03-27-2013 at 03:45 PM.
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