Thursday, July 19, 2007

How Did I Miss This One?

Hat Tip has to go to Virtucon for this one. It would seem that the Fairfax County Library system has decided it is time to overhaul the stacks and shelves in each library to help make room for new books. As a person who worked in a library for four years, I know for a fact that trying to get more room for new books is a tricky thing to do, especially when the walls for a room are set and only a certain number of shelves can exist is a degree of space.

As a result, some books have to be pulled in order to help make room. It would seem though that libraries have decided that the opinion of Oprah Winfrey and her book club is more important than having such titles as The Aeneid, Jane Eyre, The Sound and the Fury, and For Whom the Bell Tolls.

While not every book is going to necessarily be read, there are occassions where one may need an old title from a library. According to some folks, patrons of a library can do an ILL (Inter Library Loan) and the title they want can be found within a week. Problem with a county ILL is that if the entire county gets rid of a book, then you got to go elsewhere in the state, then surrounding states, and then the country.

There is always the option of buying a book, but students are not going to go out of their way to buy a book they are suppossed to read. They would sooner spend their money on Cliffnotes and "read" their books that way.

I think the real problem we are facing now with a situation like this is that a generation of lazy students, who in turn into a generation of lazy adults, is beyond the beginning stages and moving into full fledge motion. Sources like the internet, and especially Wikipedia, have made some people believe that if you cannot find the information online, then it must not exist.

There is something to be said about the old, look it up, mentality. If you research a project by doing the investigation and reading a book, you discover there is more than meets the eye. A research paper can take on a new direction simply by reading an extra paragraph or two in a book.

So how do we save classic books fro disappearing and other books which have social relavance from going to the wind? I for one think it is high time libraries be used for the purpose of education once agian and rid themselves of books which can otherwise be found at a local bookstore.

1 comment:

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