Advertisements in schools? My personal opinion is that this type of corporate involvement is inappropriate, exactly because it exploits students. I would add that at the very least, it is the schools’ and librarians’ role and responsibility to inform families about this type of arrangement. Perhaps if this scenario were in a public library setting, it would be different given the mission and funding sources for public libraries. But my gut still says it is overstepping.
I am not sure if this situation could be used as a tool for teaching students to evaluate material on the internet. It might be interesting to pose these very questions to high school or junior high students. I’m not sure if junior high is too young for that type of discussion or not. More to learn I suppose. And again, how am I able to ensure that my own bias isn’t entering the equation if I try to counteract it? I tend to get too personal, moral , philosophical (whatever) with this issue because I am extremely sensitive to the effect media is having, has had, and continues to have increasingly have on the shaping of our society, culture and generations — ESPECIALLY young adults. All the while the media claims it is only mirroring society. What I haven’t figured out (among other things) is whether this all flushes out over time. When the young adults are my age, are they going to be as impassioned about the issues facing the youth of their day?
Another thing to consider when accepting corporate support (and when we begin discussing this in class) is the problem of support becoming dependence. For example, issues of maintenance, upgrades to computers, issues of ethics concerning the company offering the support. Careful consideration and proactive planning is require in these times of rapid change, especially in the of technology and information format. This is something libraries and schools are all kind of just getting their feet wet with. I know for sure that I am not ready to make a prudent call on the matter yet.