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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Y'all know that I love technology, but this is heart-breakingingly...

...dumb. And sad.

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2009/09/04/a_library_without_the_books/

James Tracy, Headmaster of Cushing Academy says, “When I look at books, I see an outdated technology, like scrolls before books,’’ and has successfully pushed for a book-less library. *sigh*

And one more quote from the article--this time one I agree with:
"William Powers, author of a forthcoming book based on a paper he published at Harvard called Hamlet’s Blackberry: Why Paper is Eternal, called the changes at Cushing 'radical' and 'a tremendous loss for students.'

'There are modes of learning and thinking that at the moment are only available from actual books,’ he said. 'There is a kind of deep-dive, meditative reading that’s almost impossible to do on a screen. Without books, students are more likely to do the grazing or quick reading that screens enable, rather than be by themselves with the author’s ideas.'"


And what about the simple arithmetic of constantly changing technology? With a library with books, once a book is bought it can be used until the contents are no longer relevant; that's a pretty long shelf-life! With a room full of kindles and laptops (which are perfectly wonderful tools in addition to books) what happens when these machines are no longer a supported format and the library cannot afford to purchase another $15,000 to $50,000 worth of new hardware?

Well, it's a first--I'll give Cushing that.

2 comments:

Mark said...

Get with it daddio! Libraries without books are the future!

And when I said as much in front of a room full of PG Dip students a while back, they looked at me as if I had two heads.

Trevor said...

haha! I bet if you had texted them the same message simultaneously, it would have gone over far better...