Books: A Casualty of Our 'Technopoly'

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

To the Editor:

I want to second Gaby Chapman’s plea for support of school libraries ("Proficient Readers Need Good School Libraries," Commentary, Jan. 6, 2010), but I also want to make a more general plea for the “literature-rich environment.”

Many teachers of reading at all levels will remember how we labored to create such an environment in our classrooms, and how we encouraged parents and students to surround themselves with sources of print at home. Books, magazines, newspapers, and print materials of all types are now being reduced to computer screens, whether huge plasma screens or tiny Kindles. The home library, as well as the school library, is fast becoming a relic of history.

We adult educators have aided and abetted this development, as awed as teenagers by new developments in technology. The transformation of print from its many and varied forms to its sterile electronic form is close to complete. We have robbed our children and grandchildren of the world of books, as electronic forms of print are pushed down to younger and younger children. They will know nothing else.

It is so sad, so very sad, that we have done such a poor job of controlling the trajectory we are on. To borrow Neil Postman’s term, we are in a “technopoly,” and eventually books may be another casualty.

Gillian Thorne
Storrs, Conn.

Vol. 29, Issue 19, Page 20

Published in Print: January 27, 2010, as Books: A Casualty of Our 'Technopoly'
Related Stories
Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories