With them, we are amazing!
Without them, we humons are limited.
I can only speak for myself–I do not want to be limited. I am a library champion. (A library champion is someone who fosters public awareness on the extensive range of resources and services available at public, school, academic and special libraries nationwide.)
If you were to see my professional library, perhaps you would understand. (It looks like the photo above, only the shelves are white; I have four bookcases with extensions. The shelves are full.)
If you were to see my personal library, you would understand. Most of it is still in boxes.
Because I believe that literacy is important, When they were young and beginning to read, I gave four of my bookshelves to my daughters (who are now grown, although their bookshelves are still full, mostly, of books). One each is in their room; two are now in the quest room. Hence, my library is mostly still in boxes.
I’ve stopped buying books for personal use (I still get professional ones). I use the library to get hard copy. I have 13 books at home plus two book club books. I have 11 books on hold.
I have an iPad on which I have at least four books and an equal number on hold. (I read a lot.)
But libraries do so much more than provide us with books (still their most important function). They move information in new directions! And they have magic fingers on the keyboard. I would be lost without libraries.
The information to which they have access is astounding.
Libraries and evaluation.
I want to discuss my professional library. I have one whole bookcase (of seven plus shelves) which is filled with books relating to evaluation. Some books are in many editions. And that doesn’t include statistics books or measurement books or the hard-copy journals that have come over the years.
“Why?” you ask, do I have multiple versions of the same (well, almost) book, different editions? Ah. Perhaps one edition will provide the answer (to the puzzle) and the others do not. Does that mean that the answer is not relevant? No. Does that mean that the information is passe? Maybe. Maybe not. The book may be the seminal reference and needs to be sited. It may give a history that isn’t found any place else. It is important to see how the volume changes with each edition. Having multiple volumes adds value. (And the root of evaluation is value.)
Do I need all this? Probably not, especially in the age of the internet and access to all that it provides. Yet, there is something about hard copy; you know a book (whether a paperback or not), with its binding, its smell, its feel, that cannot be duplicated on-line. Something that cannot be diminished. Something that definitely adds value, merit and worth.
“To live in the world without becoming aware of the meaning of the world is like wandering in a great library without touching the books.” ~~Manly P. Hall
My feeling exactly.