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POWER Library: A shadow of its former self

The POWER Library is offered as a service of Pennsylvania’s public libraries, school libraries and the State Library.

The POWER library allows you to access thousands of full text periodical articles, newspapers, a major encyclopedia, plus photographs, pictures, charts, maps, reference materials for young people and more. You will find materials of interest in most subject areas for all age groups from young children to adults.

But not so much. Not this school year.

Like other state collections, our Pennsylvania POWER Library has gone on a diet, a serious diet.

Let me show you the before and after shots.  In the next couple of weeks, we’ll all be faced with sharing this big reveal with students and teachers.

My students and our teachers are going to be disappointed.  Students in schools throughout our state without budgets to independently fill in the database gaps are going to be even more disappointed.

While I wrote and phoned, and encouraged our community, to write and phone legislators, perhaps our voices weren’t loud enough.  And, to be fair, so many other voices likely spoke with so many other valid requests.

Perhaps the big reveal as a graphic will speak louder than our words.  We took a lot for granted.

It will likely take a librarian’s voice to explain what the omissions mean, especially as they relate to content for younger learners and for advanced researchers.

For many of us, these omissions were critical tools for delivering and supporting curriculum and for encouraging inquiry and independent learning.

Take a good look in this mirror.



The current Children’s List:

Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza

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