library update from the “bookless” library

Cushing Academy headmaster James Tracy explains the bookless library idea a little further in this recent update. A few bullet pointed notes

– this “transformation is happening over two years”
– many books removed from the library are going to departmental offices
– they are adding librarians to staff

I remain skeptical and note the absence of the library director’s statement in any of this. This page is just a restatement of Tracy’s note. Where is the library’s voice? Why does the library’s homepage link to a Teaching & Learning With Technology newsletter that hasn’t been updated in four years?

6 comments for “library update from the “bookless” library

  1. 24Sep09 at 4:32

    i think you might have unwittingly directed too much traffic towards their website. i tried clicking on the links but their server isn’t responding. wonder if they realized so many people would pay so much attention to their decision?

  2. Ashford Ochs
    24Sep09 at 5:42

    I listened to Tracy’s interview on NPR on Tuesday (Here and Now/WBUR) which pretty much echoed his letter of 10 September. Personally, I find little to quibble with in terms of most of what he says or with the initiatives that Cushing is undertaking to radically expand available 21st century electronic resources and learning tools… EXCEPT for the part about getting rid of the books. I think Tracy does not understand the difference between reading for a purpose (research, fact-finding, data-acquisition, etc) for which ebooks and databases shine, and reading for enrichment (deep, long-form reading) for which ebooks and databases–pardon me–suck. Clearly deep, long-form reading is not valued or encouraged at Cushing (fewer than 50 books checked out of the old library at any given time!)…and to me this represents not only a serious flaw in the rationale behind this decision but a flawed approach to academic achievement as well.

  3. Meg
    25Sep09 at 9:43

    I wonder if they’re hiring more library staff to replace old staff that left?

    I’m a newbie, but I’m very curious as to how well Cushing’s library works for them. If it’s going to work anywhere, a private school where everyone has a laptop and the students are young enough to have grown up comfortably with technology is it. I don’t think it’s by any means practical for other libraries… I just want to know how it turns out.

  4. thorn
    25Sep09 at 2:25

    All I care about, is whether reading, and thinking about that which has been read, happens. If more is the result, then ‘yay’. From what I’ve heard about the use of their print collection, they pretty much had nothin’ to lose.

  5. BC
    29Sep09 at 1:38

    Did you notice that Cushing is advertising for someone to head up their library?
    It is sad to me that the decision about what the library would look like was made and implemeted before they hired a Professional. What a great strategic initiative that would have been for a newly hired Librarian!
    ***************excerpt begins here ****************
    Job Description: Director of Media/Academic Technology Integration

    Cushing seeks a Director of Media/Academic Technology Integration to design, implement, and oversee the Academy library’s transition to a modern interactive media center, and to educate and provide ongoing support to the community in the use of current technology available for classroom use. The successful candidate will have innovative solutions for libraries in the 21st Century: new technologies, electronic resources, cutting-edge hardware and software, as well as an understanding of creative, collaborative workspaces for a forward-thinking secondary school. Masters Degree in Library Science preferred, with an emphasis on emerging trends in elibraries required.
    ***************end of excerpt********************

  6. 08Oct09 at 5:31

    No matter how large your monitor is there are also so many titles you can browse at once. I go through a sense of discovery in a printed real library. My view is 360 degrees filled with choices and possibilities.
    I would not want that taken away from me. Its lifestyle choice.

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