"Aristotle lived during the era when the written word started displacement of the oral tradition, becoming the first to explain that how we communicate alters what we communicate. That's for sure. Now we are early in an era where digital rhetoric is replacing the more traditional written word. Ir's already an open question whether constant email and multitasking leaves us overloaded humans with the capability to handle longer-form writing." (Think books)
This article in the WSJ continues, "To expect future generations to be satisfied with printed books is like expecting Blackberry users of today to communicate by writing letters, stuffing envelopes and licking stamps."
Forty years ago we were warned that electric technology is within the gates and we are numb, dumb, deaf, blind and mute about its encounter with the Gutenberg technology on and through which the American way of life was formed.
Digitized words can be spread at low cost in newly interactive ways. Amazons Kindle, now on the market can deliver 100,000 books wireless in less than a minute whether you are in the back of a taxi, at the airport, driving, or resting in bed.
The libraries being proposed for Peoria will be obsolete before they are built. Plus they will be in almost direct competition with Barnes and Noble and Borders. Barnes and Noble closed today on the NYSE at $29.87 down from $43.90 a year ago and Borders closed at $6.99 down from $24.16 a year ago. Borders is struggling so bad that the WSJ says there is dialogue between the two for Borders to be taken over by Barnes and Noble. "Barnes and Noble Studies Bid for Border" in today's WSJ.
Doesn't speak well for these tax paying multi-purpose "libraries" does it?
There will always be a need for printed media but the use of printed media is shrinking in useage. What we are planning is in direct competition of the tax-paying private sector with easy chairs, food and drink, meeting rooms, printed media, digital that will soon not need a "library" to access and unsupervised computers. Plus a few thousand linear feet of almost obsolete "reference books".
I remind you that not one high school principal, high school librarian or Mary Ward, Director of Peoria Public School Library and Technology Center, were consulted as to what they see in the way kids are using libraries now or how they might use them in the future.
How do I know this? I asked them.