Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Prep School Library to go Bookless
USA Today reports that New England boarding school, Cushing Academy, has decided to discard most of its book collection and replace it with electronic books and databases. The library had about 20,000 volumes which is now down to half that number, in the physical sense, but pumped up into the millions of volumes in the virtual sense. The library circulates Kindles onto which the librarians will download whatever title a student needs for a course. This decision has caused a strong reaction on blogs, according to USA Today reporter Greg Toppo. A small private school library with a generous budget and a small student population to serve seems to me to be the ideal petri dish for this bookless experiment. Rather than gnashing teeth with fear and loathing over this library's plan, librarians, publishers and anyone interested in the question of how fast print will be replaced by online information should be glad that Cushing Academy is trying on the future for size.