Library@Kendriya Vidyalaya Pattom

Where Minds meet and Ideas pop up !

In A Library. A poem by Emily Dickinson.

A precious, mouldering pleasure ‘t is

To meet an antique book,

In just the dress his century wore;

A privilege, I think,

His venerable hand to take,

And warming in our own,

A passage back, or two, to make

To times when he was young.

His quaint opinions to inspect,

His knowledge to unfold

On what concerns our mutual mind,

The literature of old;

What interested scholars most,

What competitions ran

When Plato was a certainty.

And Sophocles a man;

When Sappho was a living girl,

And Beatrice wore

The gown that Dante deified.

Facts, centuries before,

He traverses familiar,

As one should come to town

And tell you all your dreams were true;

He lived where dreams were sown.

His presence is enchantment,

You beg him not to go;

Old volumes shake their vellum heads

And tantalize, just so.


Emily Dickinson

Filed under: Snippets, ,

5 Ways That Paper Books Are Better Than eBooks

By Richard MacManus

Note: this isn’t an ‘either/or’ argument, my main point in these posts is that each format (paper / electronic) has its strengths and weaknesses. Having said that, it may not be too far into the future when we begin to think of this as an either/or proposition. Remember that the future of paper newspapers is now seriously in question, so it may not be long before the same happens to paper books.

1. Feel

Paper books just feel good in your hands – even the best designed eReader is a cold, lifeless steely contraption by comparison. Paper books are also seen as "more personal," which was a comment that a number of people made on the previous post. You can become attached to a copy of your favorite novel, or a well thumbed book of poetry. I own a worn copy of the novel ‘Catch-22,’ which I have read a number of times since my University days – and no eBook could ever replace the memories it evokes whenever I pick that book up.

How can eBooks match this in the future? They may never do, but perhaps we will find that the features I listed in my previous post assume greater nostalgic significance instead: highlighted text, notes that you made back in your University days, and the ability to search and find all of this very easily.

You know it's a good bookstore when...

2. Packaging

I bought a poetry book for Kindle on iPad last week, but it turned out that the eBook was missing half of the image of an obscure painting that adorned the front and back covers of the paper edition. The eBook just had the front cover art, not the back cover art. This is one small example of how paper books can have a more beautiful package than eBooks.

Best cover in my LibraryWe could similarly point to book binding and typeface, both often carefully selected by publishing companies for their paper editions. It can make a big difference to one’s reading experience.

If eBooks are to challenge this feature, it will need to be with something unique and native to the electronic format. For inspiration, we can look to what Arcade Fire did with the electronic release of its latest album. As a way to try and match the album art and booklet available on CD, Arcade Fire came up with an artistic package it called "synchronised artwork." This enabled listeners to access imagery, lyrics and links on their iPod or iPhone while listening to the album. Some might say that it still isn’t as good as a CD package, but this is the challenge for electronic mediums – to come up with alternatives that offer something equally compelling, perhaps even more so.

Skip Knox summed it up well in a comment: "We need a new generation of authors and publishers who will create new art forms around the technology. We’re still at the point analogous to the early years of movies, when all they could think to do was essentially film a stage play."

3. Sharing

I noted in the last post that receiving marked up books from a friend is something that can’t be duplicated by eBooks – yet. Also, you can’t lend a copy of an eBook to someone else. DRM (Digital Rights Management) or incompatible eBook formats prevent that. DRMHowever, I have to think that both of those features – personal notes and sharing eBooks – will get figured out by eReader manufacturers sooner or later. There is no technological reason it can’t be done, it’s more a matter of navigating the always murky DRM waters and people getting used to new kinds of ‘reading’ functionality. Just as we DM people on Twitter or send email, sending messages or notes to another person via an eBook is a feature that would be useful and eventually well used.

4. Keeping

On the topics of DRM and eBook formats, not only is this an issue for sharing – but for your own future accessibility of books. As Adrian Lafond eloquently noted, "If I "buy" an e-book, read it, put it in storage, and try to re-read it in 10 years (since I "own" it) it’s anybody’s guess whether there will exist a platform or device on which that will be possible for that particular e-book format and DRM scheme."

Gwyn Headley added, a little cynically, that eBooks are great for books "you know you will never want to read again."

To be frank, I think the same risks apply to paper books too. I have misplaced favorite books over the years or lent them to people and not had them returned. However, eBook and eReader manufacturers certainly need to address this issue before consumers are truly comfortable buying them over paper books.

5. Second-hand books

Booktree & Biography CornerA few people noted that eBooks are still too expensive and that you can’t get cheap second-hand copies. Or for that matter, expensive first edition copies.

Similar to previous points, eBooks won’t necessarily be able to match this ‘feature’ of paper books. However, the price of eBooks will likely drop over time and become more flexible. Indeed, I picked up a copy of the full works of Emerson and Thoreau this week for a few dollars – cheaper (and much lighter) than I could’ve gotten anywhere else for a paper copy. We’ll see more of this type of pricing as the eBook market ramps up.

In summary, there are pros and cons for both paper books and eBooks. The eBook market is ripe for innovation and breakthroughs in how we read, so eBooks will only improve over the coming years.

In the final analysis though, the real value of any book – whether read via paper or electronically – is in the words.



Filed under: Reading Tips, , ,

A Library for Every School: A Proclamation

It is with great pleasure we hereby present this document.                                      It is called A LIBRARY FOR EVERY SCHOOL: A Proclamation.

The proclamation can be used by individuals as well as organisations. We kindly suggest to translate the document in your national or even regional language and send it to as many school leaders, administrators, politicians and decision makers as possible. Mount it on your website, post in your blog, use twitter, list serves and social networks to disseminate the document and make it work!

The document is available in two formats:
1) The official proclamation in English, signed and distributed by Stichting ENSIL and co-signed by IASL, IASL Europe and IFLA School Libraries and Resource Centres
2) A Word version of the proclamation in English; for you to sign on the first page; add your (organisation’s) name in the footer, and (optional) the logo in the header.


A Proclamation

Whereas viewing information as a strategic national, organisational and personal resource for the 21st Century can be considered as analogous to considering the discovery of the vast and valuable reservoirs of North Sea oil as the strategic national, organisational and personal resource of the 20th Century, and
Whereas reading, writing, communicating and understanding information, in all of its audio and video forms ‐ ‐ texts, images, pictures, voices, music and other mediums ‐ ‐ can have, and are increasingly having enormous beneficial economical and social impacts, but ensuring that there is a library in every school is not high on the political agenda of countries, and
Whereas both elected national level politicians and appointed government policy‐makers, as well as individual school officials, are under the misguided assumption that establishing and operating a library in every school should be entirely under the authority and responsibility of local governments and local school officials instead of being considered a matter of national policy.
Therefore, this Proclamation has been prepared by both international and major regional expert professional societies concerned with the role of libraries in society, and contains a set of key research findings, generally accepted principles being practiced by the library profession, and useful policy guidelines, which the signatories urge governments, the education sector, the media, and other elements of a society, to advocate, adopt and apply in appropriate ways in the context of their policies, programs, projects and public events, such as conferences and statements to the media.

1. School Libraries Boost Student Achievement.
This is not just a sound bite. There is irrefutable evidence to support the assertion. A 21st century school library is more than just a room filled with books. A state‐of‐the‐art school library has a critical function in every school ‐ ‐ to support, engage and stimulate learning and development in this Second Millennium digital era in which we live, learn and work, and which many call the Global Information Society.

2. Benefits and Values of School Libraries are Universal. Many studies have been undertaken by various institutions and organisations in all geographic regions of the world, but using admittedly different words, different points of emphasis and the research conducted in somewhat different contexts, nevertheless they all have, collectively, underscored the universality and commonality of the findings, conclusions and recommendations contained herein.

3. Challenges of the Information Age
. The 21st century is often characterised by experts and respected independent thinkers by advocating the efficacies of lifelong learning, distance education, and the incredible proliferation of digital mobile and hand‐held media. But at the same time these experts and informed observers call attention to the challenge of coping with an Internet information tsunami that is gradually, but inexorably, drowning out even the best efforts of Google’s search engines, and emphasising the need for professional libraries and information specialists (librarians) in schools to cope with these challenges.

4. How School Libraries Help Learning. There is an inter‐dependent relationship between information and communications literacy on the one hand (how to articulate information needs, search for it and retrieve it efficiently, understand and evaluate its authenticity and reliability, communicate it, and then use it to make decisions and solve problems) and school libraries on the other hand. They are inextricably intertwined, and school librarians around the world play a key partnership role with teachers and pedagogy experts enabling the
integration of information and communication literacy into the school curriculum.

5. The Digital Divide and the Haves and Have Nots. The so‐called “Digital Divide,” and “the division of societies and social classes into haves and have nots,” both of which are by now clichés, are directly linked and rooted in the failure of governments to statutorily prescribe the need for a library in every school.

6. Partnerships and Alliances. Information itself is becoming the strategic resource of the Information Age, and information resources ‐ ‐ their collection, their organisation, their cataloging, their indexing, their dissemination, their communication, and most importantly their use ‐ ‐ have long been considered to be in the specialised domain of librarians, libraries and librarianship but librarians alone cannot do the job. Nor can teachers alone do the job. Nor can pedagogy specialists alone do the job. They all three must partner and form a “learning triumvirate alliance” within the context of knowing how to use libraries and information resources as integral parts of the learning process, including the use of social media networking approaches and tools.

7. Budgetary Options is an Outmoded and Misguided Policy
. It is not enough to simply allow national and local governments, school principals and school boards, in the name of “budgetary flexibility,” to establish school libraries “at their discretion.” That strategy and that policy, which arguably may have been effective and appropriate given the political, economic and social circumstances of the 20th century and before, is simply grossly inadequate and in the view of the signatories, is a very dangerous strategy and policy for
countries to follow now.

In Conclusion, the role of a school librarian, operating in a modern multi‐media library resource centre, and equipped with the technical and professional skills acquired in an accredited librarianship education programme, is absolutely crucial to the economic and social progress of every country. The need for a library, staffed by a full‐time, professionally trained, educational information specialist (librarian), in every primary and secondary school (not just at the university level) is an absolute “must” if countries are to survive, prosper and compete successfully in the 21st century, in the context of the Global Information Society.

Filed under: Article of the Week, ,

Library Bulletin, Vol.2, Issue 1, January 2009 released

The Library Bulletin for the month of January 2009 released.



Page 1

  • Popular Books of 2008
  • Fresh Picks!
  • Do You Know

Page 2

  • Book Review: White Tiger( Aravind Adiga) by Amrita G. Nair
  • Exhibitions & Displays
  • Billion Beats-E paper
  • Tips for an expert web search
  • Suggest A Book
  • Site Watch
  • Attention
  • Library Statistics



Filed under: Library Bulletin, , , ,


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