LETRSLanguage Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (Frederick, CO)
LETRSLibrary Electronic Text Resources Service
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LETRS consists of a small comfortably furnished space surrounded by office-divider walls and located on the first floor of the main library at Indiana University (Bloomington campus), between the reference desk and circulation desk.
The study of LETRS was carried out over a period of several weeks in Fall 1994 using methods of participant-observation borrowed from ethnographic field work.
There was no attempt made to achieve a random sampling of the large number of people who used LETRS or the even larger number of humanists in the university who were potential users.
In the interviews, the goal was simply to get informants talking about LETRS and the electronic texts and services provided there.
The profusion of metaphors that occurred in the conversations with LETRS staff and patrons was amazing in its richness and variety.
The most pervasive metaphor in the conversations was one that described LETRS as a library: "Despite what it looks like, this is a library facility, not a computing facility." One of the co-directors described it as "a small enough library that it works like your library at home." According to this metaphor, the staff and users of LETRS were analogous to librarians and scholars in an academic library (like the academic library that housed the facility), and the contents of LETRS were analogous to traditional library books: "Basically the collection is no different from a library collection."
In Knoxville, Tennessee, teachers went through a course based on LETRS. There is also a program of instruction for adolescent poor readers that incorporates systematic development of language skills related to reading, spelling and writing.