Libraries Are Essential...

Libraries are an essential service, too | csmonitor.comWilliam Ecenbarger writes in The Christian Science Monitor about libraries and their essential place in our society.

But in fact, libraries are essential. Reading is still the most basic survival skill in today's information-driven society. Moreover, the gap between rich and poor is widening, and the libraries level the playing field.

Portland is very fortunate to have the Multnomah County Library as a resource for our families and students. They offer a wide variety of online and face to face services including book groups, story times, access to periodicals and encyclopedias, and homework help.

At Lewis Elementary we have shared with our families resources such as Jon Udell’s Library Lookup Tool. The Lookup Tool is a bookmarklet written in JavaScript code that extracts the ISBN number from the URL on a bookseller's page, then goes to a library catalog (in our case, the Multnomah County Library) and searches by ISBN. If the library owns the book, the record pops up. It allows our staff to point parents to our local library to find copies of popular books that are being shared in class.