Books are Outdated
All right, I’ll admit the title was designed to get your attention—and maybe even get your ire up a bit.
However, the title accurately reflects the opinion of the Headmaster of a New England Prep School that recently did away with all the books in it’s library.
Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, Connecticut is doing away with it’s 20,000 books. Instead they are spending $500,000 on a digital “learning center” consisting of flat-screen TVs for surfing the net and cubbies for using laptops.
I’m a lover of digital technology AND paper books. I write on my notebook computer AND in my notebook. I appreciate both technologies…And this seems like a radical, and poorly thought out move. Perhaps, a move made for the publicity it might attract, more than for the real benefit of the students. Perhaps the biggest indication that this is a rash move is that the makeover includes a $12,000 cappuccino machine.
Are children really being prepared for a successful career when they won’t be taught how to use—and how to enjoy—books? Will student learn Shakespeare as well when instead of reading Act II to answer their teacher’s question they will learn only to use Ctrl-F to access the search feature?
Do you get the same experience reading a paper book versus reading an e-book? Do you learn the same way with a paper textbook versus a CD-based book?
A media library may be the wave of the future, but we’re not yet to the point of books being outdated. Thank heaven.