An all-digital public library is opening today, as officials in Bexar County, Texas, celebrate the opening of the BiblioTech library. The facility offers about 10,000 free e-books for the 1.7 million residents of the county, which includes San Antonio.
The report, entitledIs Children’s Reading a Casualty of Modern Life?, also found that 82% of teachers blame the government’s “target-driven” education policies for the fact that fewer children are reading for pleasure.
They believe that a “straitjacket” of regimented schooling is squeezing young people’s ability to read more widely. Two-thirds of teachers polled said they lacked time in the school day to introduce a variety of books and that this was a “major barrier to being able to develop a level of reading”.
Teachers also cited as contributory factors the reduction in the number of school librarians, who could put interesting books before children, and the rise in “screen time”, diverting children from reading to playing games.
Librarians, in case you hadn’t heard, are essential members of society — likely to expand minds wherever they go — and, as such, are fully worthy of hero worship (whether they’re among the coolest librarians alive or just pretty cool). That’s at least part of the impetus behind My Daguerreotype Librarian, ”[a] tumblr dedicated to literally or figuratively hunky and babely librarians from the past.” Inspired by the website, here’s a little extra literary goodness: 25 awesome vintage photos of librarians from ages past.
Gone are the library’s revolving doors and those original Winnie-the-Pooh dolls, sitting behind glass in the Children’s Reading Room. It may not even be called the Donnell anymore.
The Donnell Library Center’s replacement, which the New York Public Library is to unveil officially on Tuesday, has been reconceived to fit at the base of a high-rise hotel and two of the new library’s three floors will be underground.