Friday, September 04, 2009

out with the old, in with the partially illiterate

call me old fashioned, but i'm a big fan of books. i love the way they smell, i love the way they feel in my bag, the weight of them, i love to sit on the couch and flip the pages...i'm a bit of a bibliofile. which is why, it made me sad, almost sick to my stomach when i read this article:
Say Goodbye to the Books, Cushing Academy removes all books and library to be replaced with internet 'Learning Center'

granted, i've read lots of sad articles lately, what with the state of the american health care system, so many things are coming to the forefront that my brain is overrun with anger and sadness on a daily basis. but, this article, this one just made me sad for the state of our human condition. i love technology. i really do. i'm involved in all of the social networks (with the exception of twitter, and i'm sure it's just a matter of time). if it weren't for the internet, i would have been to the doctor every other day when harlan was first born...if it weren't for the internet, i would be so out of the loop when it comes to new music that used to take me hours of record store shopping, and rooting out the good from the bad (which i just don't have time for anymore, although i still enjoy doing it).
there are many many reasons why the internet and forward thinking technology is a good thing.
that being said, to have a prep school to get rid of it's library, is, i think the beginning of the end for our literary future as a whole. electronic books haven't been able to fully get off the ground for years now...people just don't want to read a book from a screen, big or small. a prep school is supposedly the place in our nation that houses the best and brightest of our youth, and they are teaching the next generation that books in paper form are a outdated and obsolete?
what will happen, unfortunately, is that kids will just stop reading. teachers will stop assigning books to be read. we will become a society of synopsis and wiki literature.
i know, i know, everything in this post makes 'me' sound outdated and obsolete. but, seriously, we've given up so much for technology, can't we just allow ourselves this one caveat? books. literature.
quote from the article:
“Books are not a waste of space, and they won’t be until a digital book can tolerate as much sand, survive a coffee spill, and have unlimited power. When that happens, there will be next to no difference between that and a book.’’
here, here!
in with the new, yes. but, out with the old? please no.

*a letter from the headmaster at cushing academy regarding the library
*also an interview with him on NPR was really interesting and his reasons for making this decision made perfect sense (even if i'm still not in total agreement with him) on "technology in the classroom"

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