Friday, October 16, 2009

Latest idiot news

A prep school destroys its library.

"James Tracy, the current headmaster, finds the whole idea of a library, and the objects they traditionally contain, positively quaint. Speaking to The Boston Globe, he actually said, apparently without embarrassment, “When I look at books, I see an outdated technology, like scrolls before books.”"

They really did it:

"Cushing is disburdening itself of its library’s 20,000 books and spending $500,000 to establish a “learning center” — the name, the Globe reports, is tentative, but whatever they settle on you can be sure the scare quotes will be appropriate. Of course, once you dump a library’s books, you have a lot of extra space to fill, so Cushing . . . will be spending $42,000 for some large flat-screen monitors to display data from the Internet as well as $20,000 for “laptop-friendly” study carrels. In place of the reference desk, the Globe reports, Cushing is building “a $50,000 coffee shop that will include a $12,000 cappuccino machine.”

Meanwhile, in England, boy scouts can no longer use penknives. HT Tom Mcintyre.

John Derbyshire is right. We are DOOMED!


Nagrom said...

I've been blogging about the emerging/recently emerged move towards a digital reading landscape (mainly in literature/creative writing, but its coming across the board) - It's pretty exciting and with only a few reservations, I do think its good thing.
However... this is madness. Utter and complete madness.

Why can't they keep the library and just add the coffee shop? Sounds perfect to me.

Steve Bodio said...

Agree--lots of good literature, short stories etc coming, including your stuff-- though I think it is harder for longer forms. But it has never been a books vs the Web issue for me-- why not have BOTH? I find my appetite for longer stuff does not diminish vs time spent on the box.

JohnB said...

Hey there, Steve. Been reading your blog for awhile now, but had to comment on this one.
The idea of a "learning center" in itself, made all "laptop-friendly and all, doesn't irritate me so much as the idea expressed by this headmaster that books are an outdated technology. I can think of few things that give me as much pleasure as walking into a space filled with books, real honest to god paper and leather and buckram books, which excite in me something hard to describe. Maybe because I grew up coveting them like the treasures they were (and still are) to me, not just for the words and ideas and adventures they contained, but as tactile objects. I can only feel pity for this James Tracy, who doesn't seem to have the imagination and sense to be able to embrace the old with the new.
Ok, I do like the idea of that schmancy cappuccino machine...
John Baumlin

Steve Bodio said...

Thanks for checking in, John-- glad you are a fan. Sorry this took so long-- computer down for over a week. Do you have a website?