Better than burning…how bout banning?

Books, that is. A high school in Houston (TX) has banned books in its library in favor of e-books and coffee. Novel (excuse the pun) concept…but what the heck?

Thanks to Amanda Emily for this link to what is either the greatest or most profoundly stupid idea yet in education.

The Lamar High School Library has been converted from a bookish enclave to a dawn to dusk coffee house and the only reading is done electronically. While I am thrilled at the expansion of technology, I am appalled at the methodology. Books were tossed out wholesale…with some teachers refusing to allow their students to “volunteer” to get rid of books “any way they can.”

I mean – come on! Wasn’t there some way to phase this in? While those who can afford e-book readers, laptops and who are lucky enough to be among the few who get in line early to check out the limited library readers, many will be left looking in from the outside. The technology limits who can access this new paradigm…and also excludes those who don’t have the bucks for the (not free) coffee and dunken donuts or wherewithall to use this marvelous new facility during the expanded hours.

So here’s the ranking:
Bright idea ahead of its time – 10 out of 10 points
Method of implementation – minus 4 out of 10 points
Overall evaluation – let’s wait and see if students actually read more and/or learn more. (BTW, is anybody keeping track?)

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