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A Library Without Books November 20, 2009

Posted by Julie in Uncategorized.

That would never happen except in the pages of a science fiction novel, right? Well, I’ve been disturbed ever since reading the article in the Boston Globe about Cushing Academy, a prep school outside Boston, that is doing just that. According to the article, the school is getting rid of over 20,000 books, “aside from a few hundred children’s books and valuable antiquarian works.” It is interesting that the school has the same name as a famous horror film actor because the actions of school administrators seem pretty horrific, IMHO.  I admit I’m biased, not because of my profession, but because of my lifelong love of books. And not just the content but the tactile – curl up on the couch with, fall asleep with it lying on my chest, flip through to find an interesting illustration, and much more – experience of physical books.

 My profession embraces all things technology. We love offering the latest in downloadable and digital books, music, movies and more. Periodical databases are heaven compared to finding a reference in the Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature (anyone remember that?) and then hunting down the journal. Googling can give the answer, or at least a head start on finding it, from many a reliable website. And how cool is it to get information to people not only in your community but all over the world within seconds? Technology has its rightful place in libraries and all places of learning, but to believe that books no longer do seems to be a terrible disservice to those students.

 Oh, but the good news is that they are putting in a $50,000 coffee shop…where the reference desk used to be.

— Julie



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