The post below was written nearly 10 years ago. After spending the morning with a vendor yesterday offering a large collection of e-books, reading metrics, teaching materials, etc., my concern was rekindled that "packaged" libraries will be a temptation for many schools looking for bargains, rather than as supplements to good in-house library programs....
October 7, 2007
Superintendent Dennis Wormwood
Left Overshoe Public Schools
Left Overshoe, MN 56034
Dear Superintendent Wormwood:
We at the Flat World Library Corporation can offer you a complete library services at a very attractive price.
For considerably less than you currently pay for your K-12 library program, we can provide a full range of library resources AND library expertise – all online.
For only pennies a day per student, FWLC will:
- Provide a full range of reading materials (periodicals, picture books, fiction and non-fiction titles), videos, and reference sources that are tailored to your state standards, your district’s curriculum, and your digital textbook series. These resources are being continuously updated, and are available, of course, in a wide range of lexiles to support your differentiated instruction efforts. Our filters allow you to specify access only to the materials supporting your community’s views on issues ranging from abortion to gay rights to evolution. Select from “university community” to “small town Kansas” in your settings.
- Provide ready reference services, student research help, readers’ advisory service, and curricular planning advice through our real-time connections (video, chat, or e-mail) to our experts in Bangalore, India. These highly-qualified MLS certified professionals will be available 24/7 to both your staff and students from school or home. (Do you currently get service from your library staff outside of school hours, in the summer, or on weekends?)
- Allow teachers to submit student work for comment and assessment. Our staff will give each project a grade, check for plagiarism, and provide a report for each child to share with parents about the technology skill level of that student. We can even help your teachers design assignments and assessments so they are free to lecture.
Just think of the advantages:
- No musty books from the 1950’s cluttering your library shelves, driving up your insurance rates. No more lost or missing books. No gum under library desks.
- No library facilities. Turn that old library space into those badly needed special education classrooms.
- No annoying librarians who want more money for materials, support staff, and staff development (or a living wage and health insurance). Our highly-skilled Indian workers are delighted with their $5 per hour jobs!
- Your entire library program can be maintained by a single, semi-competent technician in your district.
- You can justify your district’s expensive, unpopular 1:1 computer/student initiative.
- No ugly book “challenges” since all materials have been “tailored” to your parents’ religious views.
Please read the attached study (scientifically-based research conducted by FWLC’s very own research department) that empirically demonstrates that the FWLC product can dramatically improve student performance where it counts - on high stakes tests. (FWLC has been approved by the DOE for Title II, III, IV, and IX funding – unlike traditional library materials and librarians.)
AND take advantage of our offer by December 31, and we will throw in absolutely free, 50 of MIT’s $100 laptops for families in your district that qualify for FRP meals! Act today!
President and CEO
Flat World Library Corporation
300 Gates Drive
Will you, as a librarian, be prepared when this letter appears in YOUR superintendent’s mailbox in the next couple years?
Oh, and please don’t kill the messenger!