I am having a very negative reaction to Travis Jonker's article "Fine. I Got an Ereader. Now What?: A newbie to digital reading gets his first Kindle" that appears in this month's School Library Journal.
While the personal narrative is cleverly written and certainly expresses the doubts, fears, and experiences many librarians have encountered in the move to e-books, I wonder why it has taken so long for Mr. Jonker to finally experience the e-reading experience. Why is SLJ making a cause celebre out of being a reactionary instead of being a leader in what may be the transition that either saves or eliminates school libraries?
Illustration removed at the request of Phyllis Mandell at SLJ. SLJ must be a little thin-skinned. 1-31-12
E-books have been in the professional conscious now for at least 15 years. The Kindle was first released in 2007 and there were e-readers pre-dating it. Heck, I even published an article in SLJ about e-books and their impact on libraries in 2004 and a column on the topic in 1995.
So yeah, I'm probably over-reacting and I'd be laughing hysterically had the subject been how a librarian has just now tried a new hairstyle that is not a bun. Had Mr. Jonker published this bit of nonsense in his personal journal, I'd a given it a polite smile, shook my head, and quietly thanked some higher power he is not my own grandchildren's librarian.
But SLJ owes it to its readers and our precarious profession to celebrate librarians who move us into the future in practical and positive ways. Do we really need our professional journals re-enforcing this stereotype of Luddite librarians. Seems others do that quite well for us already. New editor Miller, I hope this story was already in the pipeline before you took the helm.
Reactionary librarians aren't cute - and they are positively dangerous.