From August 15 -20, a group of eight American and Canadian School Librarians took part in a study tour to Germany.
On Monday, August 15, the group visited the German publishing house “Corneslsen, one of the largest educational publisher in Germany:.
Debra Randorf works at the George Westinghouse High School in Brooklyn and describes her impressions:
After some initial sight seeing on Sunday, our first appointment Monday morning was at the Cornelsen Verlag publishing house on Mecklenburgische Strasse in Berlin. Cornelsen, established in 1946, is one of the largest publishers of educational materials in Germany.
Martin Fielko, of the Licensing and International Cooperation section, shared some of the history of Cornelsen as well as some of the textbooks and reference books of interest to schools with German language programs.
Many of the librarians were interested in the e-books or other online offerings from Cornelsen to support German language learning. Most of our school libraries, especially those that are better funded, want to move to the e-format for accessibility and currency. It was interesting to discover that Cornelsen had no e-book platform at this time for their language materials. Fielko did note that they are working on offering their content via Moodle, a free online learning platform that serves the educational community.
I found this a little perplexing. Although the library world does grapple with perennial question of which device to invest in or with content compatibility when it comes to e-books, it seemed odd that the publisher had nothing to offer at this time. Likewise, our students and teachers are used to accessing specific databases online, so adding a German language website would be ideal. While Moodle is free, it is a online learning platform that is not currently used in my school, and would be one more site that needed to be mastered by the teacher prior to use.
Ideally, I would simply like an online site that my school could subscribe to each year. Other librarians were also very interested in e-books, but I currently do not have any in my library due to both budget limitations and lack of demand by students and staff. And there are always those words that my tech guy keeps telling me, “I’ll try to get Ipads, but there is no way I’m buying Nooks or Kindles.” I guess Cornelsen is right, there is no big hurry...