Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Ban the Internet - Keep the libraries open

One of my favorite films of recent years is i, Robot. Will Smith plays a Chicago police detective named Spooner, living in a world where service robots are as common as dogs. Spurred by his distrust of the "can openers," as he calls them, he follows the trail of clues in a robot engineer's death right to the heart of the technology and information infrastructure. 

In an early scene, Spooner confronts the CEO of the robot company who easily sniffs out his "prejudice" against robots. The CEO says, "I suppose you would have banned the Internet just to keep the libraries open!"

Lucky for us, it looks like we're learning that the Internet and libraries can safely exist side-by-side. In fact, every time I hit the library (at least 3 times a week) there's not an internet computer left unoccupied - and by people of every age, gender, nationality, language. 

Oh, and there are tons of books too. 

What's all this got to do with boys' reading? Well, someone has to keep the libraries open! We have lots of people to thank for that. One of them is the American Library Association (ALA). 

Ever wonder what the ALA is and what they do? In their words“To provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.”

Take a minute and click through to their website. Dive in an bask in the information. 

Especially check out the Association for Library Service to Children. They deliver research and programs that help create excellent libraries for kids. They're also the ones who give out the Caldecott and Newbery medals (especially important to us children's/YA writers!). 

I, for one, credit pretty much all of my accomplishments to my ability to read and comprehend what's on the page. At a library, you can learn just about anything. Even boys can find interesting things to read! 

I'm glad to be a member of the ALA and hope you and your community (and your boys) find lots of support and information there. 

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