Letter from the Flat World Library Corporation
Head for the Edge, Library Media Connection,March 2006
A couple years ago, Linda, the Left Overshoe Middle School SLMS, read Thomas Friedman’s book The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century (Farrar, 2005). She felt sorry for the legal researchers, medical technicians, and technology support personnel whose jobs were being outsourced to countries like India and China.
When Robert, the high school SLMS, learned that a local business had closed its library and contracted its research to a private research firm, he thought it made good business sense.
Louise noticed an increasingly larger percent of her elementary budget was going to electronic resources, most of which were “packages” tied to her state’s standards. Her teachers didn’t seem to need as much help finding support materials for their units. She was glad to have the extra time.
All the SLMs in the Left Overshoe schools encouraged their students to use a 24/7 electronic reference service, similar to AskUsNow <www.askusnow.info/about/> because it worked so well with the district’s one-to-one computer to student laptop initiative.
But Linda, Robert and Louise met frantically one afternoon after school at the local pub to discuss a photocopy of a letter each of them received, along with a note from the superintendent. It read:
Flat World Library Corporation
March 15, 2011
Superintendent Dennis Hookworm
Left Overshoe Public Schools
Left Overshoe, MN 56034
Dear Superintendent Hookworm:
We at the Flat World Library Corporation can offer you a complete library program 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 services – all on line.
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 constantly updated, and are available, of course, in a wide range of lexile ranges to support your differentiated instruction efforts. You can specify the level of community tolerance for issues ranging from abortion to gay rights to evolution from “university community” to “small town Kansas.”
- 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 get 24/7 service from your current library staff?)
- Allow teachers to submit student work for comment and assessment. Our staff will give each project a consistent grade, check for plagiarism, and provide a report for each child that teachers can share with parents about the research and technology skill strengths and weaknesses of every individual 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. No more lost or missing books.
- No library facilities. Turn that old library space into those badly needed special education classrooms.
- No more pesky librarians who want more money for materials, support staff, and staff development. Our highly skilled Indian librarians are happy to have their $5 per hour jobs!
- A single, semi-competent technician in your district can maintain your entire library program.
- You can justify your district’s expensive 1:1 computer/student initiative.
- No more contentious book or curriculum “challenges.”
Please read the attached study (scientifically-based and conducted by FWLC’s very own research department) that empirically demonstrates that this product can dramatically improve student performance where it counts - on high stakes tests. (FWLC has been approved by for Federal Title and grant funding – unlike traditional library materials and librarians.)
Coming soon – special pricing for regional and statewide purchases.
Bill Baudrate, CEO
Flat World Library Corporation
300 Gates Drive
The penciled note at the bottom from the superintendent read simply: “Why should I not buy this product?”