New Year Letter, Part II: “Information”

A new year. No resolutions, just a wish to improve in what I already know I should be doing.

Part II

Not many years ago, it was access to information and movement that seemed our greatest luxury; nowadays it’s often freedom from information, the chance to sit still, that feels like the ultimate prize. Stillness is not just an indulgence for those with enough resources — it’s a necessity for anyone who wishes to gather less visible resources.

–Pico Iyer, writing about musician and poet Leonard Cohen. (Delancey Place, e-mail newsletter, January 5, 2015. daily@delanceyplace.com)

     Professionally, I want to rethink my attitude toward information technology and computerized library resources. Preparing for a conference presentation last fall, one of my co-presenters (who doesn’t know me well) suggested a sign imitating the notorious Ono-Lennon billboard:

PRINT
IS
OVER

(if you want it).

Aaargh. Her library director had recently decided to discard the printed books in their library and replace them with e-book versions.  I wrote a paper, revised another one in publication, gave some presentations, worked on a grant, taught people how to use a library for research, studied online tutorial possibilities. Am I banging my metaphorical head against a cultural wall?

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