The difference…

There is a clear difference between schools and libraries. This difference is obvious and real across private-public boundaries, across age groups, across time and across space…

This guy is onto something specific and real.  There is a real agenda in schools, I think, and I wonder how to make schools more like libraries.  One thing, I think, is that there needs to be more access to real books.  Hmm.

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5 comments

  1. […] The Difference Between Libraries and Schools: Long-time readers of this blog know that I worry about the nature of curriculums and school habits to create artificial divisions in knowledge.  This video is a reminder of the problem — real books and real libraries, vs. institutional academic libraries that not only divvy up knowledge by subject area, but also between kid and adult books.  Hmmm. […]

  2. I like what this kid says. I will say that there are “bad kids” who come to the library, and I’ve heard stories of kids using drugs or having sex in the bathrooms of public libraries…but on the whole I think he’s on to something. I work at both a public and academic library so I find what this guy says very interesting.
    I’ll say this, we do separate books into childrens, young adult and adult; but if a patron picks from all of them it really is no big deal. At the public library patrons are free to check out what they want. It’s up to parents to supervise if these are “good” or “bad” decisions.

    And, yes. This guy is spot on about real books.

  3. I like what this kid says. I will say that there are “bad kids” who come to the library, and I’ve heard stories of kids using drugs or having sex in the bathrooms of public libraries…but on the whole I think he’s on to something. I work at both a public and academic library so I find what this guy says very interesting.
    I’ll say this, we do separate books into childrens, young adult and adult; but if a patron picks from all of them it really is no big deal. At the public library patrons are free to check out what they want. It’s up to parents to supervise if these are “good” or “bad” decisions.

    And, yes. This guy is spot on about real books.

  4. >I think the “real book” idea in the concrete is almost a distraction. The “real book” as a source of inspiration, as a grounding of experience? Absolutely. More and more text, good, bad, and indifferent, is being moved online. Give everyone a laptop with the entire
    >Baen free library > and all of
    > >Project Gutenberg > > on it and you’ve just done every student so magnificent a favour that there’s no comparison. Give every one a laptop with the last ten years of textbooks from first grade through college from every school in the Union, and you’ve given them a hard drive that’s better wiped to play >World of Warcraft >.
    > >But more important, as I see it, is the basic offering of respect in the library. Teachers “schooling” from a textbook are feeding students the fast food of education; bland, processed, tasteless pap designed to offend as few people as possible while still meeting basic government guidelines. You don’t feed that crap to people you respect. You feed it to the incarcerated. Teachers, by and large, don’t respect students … and it’s not because they don’t >want > to, it’s because to do their job >they can’t, > any more than an ER doctor can afford to really engage with their patients. To get the job done, as defined by necessity, they have to remain distant, do the job, run the process, and get out. > >And let’s not forget something equally important but that seldom gets brought up. Sometimes, Johnny is just a stupid schmuck. Johnny can’t read because he doesn’t want to. Johnny’s a bad kid because he has no interest in what’s put in front of him 6 hours a day. Maybe he’d be more interested in getting dirty fixing cars (or, Hell, building robots) if he was doing it. Maybe he’s just a dumb slack who really doesn’t care he won’t get higher than McDonald’s middle management. You know what? >That’s OK. > That’s freedom. Someone has to do it. One of the cruelest things “modern schooling” (I can’t bring myself to call it education) has wrought is unless you’re college-bound A-grade driven, you’re expected to be >miserable. > And if you’re not, it’ll be drilled into you that you should be until you are. Johnny might simply not give a shit about the library, either, but at least no one there’s likely to give him shit about reading car magazines and comic books all day. He gets to be happy. > >Too much of modern society in general is about making everyone equally miserable, guilty, and burdened. I wonder how much of that started in the age of industrial schooling. >

  5. I think the “real book” idea in the concrete is almost a distraction. The “real book” as a source of inspiration, as a grounding of experience? Absolutely. More and more text, good, bad, and indifferent, is being moved online. Give everyone a laptop with the entire Baen free libraryand all of Project Gutenberg on it and you’ve just done every student so magnificent a favour that there’s no comparison. Give every one a laptop with the last ten years of textbooks from first grade through college from every school in the Union, and you’ve given them a hard drive that’s better wiped to play World of Warcraft.

    But more important, as I see it, is the basic offering of respect in the library. Teachers offering “schooling” from a textbook are feeding students the fast food of education; bland, processed, tasteless pap designed to offend as few people as possible while still meeting basic government guidelines. You don’t feed that crap to people you respect. You feed it to the incarcerated. Teachers, by and large, don’t respect students — and it’s not because they don’t want to, it’s because to do their job, they can’t, any more than an ER doctor can afford to really engage with their patients. To get the job done, as defined by necessity, they have to remain distant, do the job, run the process, and get out.

    And let’s not forget something equally important but that seldom gets brought up. Sometimes, Johnny is just a stupid schmuck. Johnny can’t read because he doesn’t want to. Johnny’s a bad kid because he has no interest in what’s put in front of him 6 hours a day. Maybe he’d be more interested in getting dirty fixing cars (or, Hell, building robots) if he was doing it. Maybe he&’s just a dumb slack who really doesn’t care he won&’t get higher than McDonald’s middle management. You know what? That’s OK.

    That’s freedom. Someone has to do it. One of the cruelest things “modern schooling” (I can’t bring myself to call it education) has wrought is unless you’re college-bound A-grade driven, you’re expected to be miserable.

    And if you’re not, it’ll be drilled into you that you should be until you are. Johnny might simply not give a shit about the library, either, but at least no one there’s likely to give him shit about reading car magazines and comic books all day. He gets to be happy.

    Too much of modern society in general is about making everyone equally miserable, guilty, and burdened. I wonder how much of that started in the age of industrial schooling.

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