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Rethinking Our Public Libraries

July 09, 1988

I felt sad and shocked after reading Carol Aronoff's column "Is the Time Past for Public Libraries? Rethinking a California Institution" (Opinion, June 26). Illiterates and dropouts are a product of the current antiquated educational system, which has one style of teaching for all students, regardless of their varying learning speeds, individual needs, motivation and attention spans. I was shocked to read that Aronoff thinks that videotapes and cassettes could magically capture students' attention (especially the illiterates)! Does she think a cassette recorder can perform better than a teacher? Does she think that a videotape recorder can make the grade where a teacher failed?

And it is sad that Aronoff addressed tools that ignore the two basic aspects of teaching--namely, students' attention and motivation. This article illustrates both a stunning ignorance of illiterates' educational needs and the deliberate exclusion of illiterates from the "people's university." Illiterates are people, too.

MAHMOUD ELSAYESS

Westminster

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