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[Susan notes: We should be grateful that Stephen Krashen keeps making the case for libraries.]

Submitted to Los Angeles Times but not published

To the editor

Those who think school libraries are obsolete might consider the

results of a Scholastic-Gates Foundation poll, given to 40,000

teachers, published in March, 2010. One question was: Where do your

students get books for their independent reading most often? Select

all that apply.

The winner: School libraries. Teachers reported that 80% of high

school students, the group least dependent on school libraries, get

reading material from school libraries. In contrast, 35% get books

from retailers and 46% from public libraries.

Will e-books take over? To compete with the library as a source of

books, e-book readers and e-books need to get cheap enough for

everyone to be able to buy, use, and replace. Kindles now cost over

$100, e-books about $10, and there are restrictions on sharing. Little

wonder that only 7% of adults read e-books (NY Times, 10/14/10) and

they are an affluent group (Mediamark, 12/1/2009).

Stephen Krashen

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