Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A library moment in a small town

I stumbled upon this Oklahoma blog, Yet Another Small Town Moment, recently. OkDad seems to be a pretty avid library user, which a good thing regardless of town size. He seems a little disappointed that his public library isn't wireless -- yet. I have insider information that an important state library body is working on wireless access for all public libraries in Oklahoma! He also seems impressed with what his little public library has...well to some extent. :)
Friday is movie day at our local library. The sign up sheet fills up fast, so you gotta get to the library early on Monday to ensure your seats for the upcoming showing at weeks end.

Last Friday's movie was Stuart Little 3.

Our small town library actually has one of the nicest, flat-wide-large-highdef-wallmounted tv's in the city courtesy of a generous donation from the Friends of the Library group. Deep pockets, this group. Good taste in gifts too.

So, we arrived early to get good seats for the girls. They got their cup of microwave popped corn and room temperature cherry flavored juice boxes, settled into their chairs and were ready for the show.

I took my laptop and found a quiet spot in the corner of the geneology section.

No wireless access at our local library, but I was confident that I could go a few hours without checking my email, and that if I needed access to any information that my research required, I was, after all, in a library.

Sooner than expected, I found myself needing to check out a few quick facts to support the piece I was writing.

"Flashback," I thought, as I had to physically get out of my seat, access the libraries materials database via a smart terminal, find the referenced book, take said book back to my table, only to spend the next hour searching for the particular piece of information I needed.

I faced down this archaic information storage device (book) with grit and gusto. No wikipedia. No google. No "find" function. No "search" capability. I turned page after page after page.

I had to use my eyes, my brain, my fingers even, to actually READ, SCAN, and SEARCH for a single particular passage in this hard bound collection of letters, words, sentences, paragraphs, and pages.


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