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Readin', wRitin', and Radio

This post appeared yesterday on SHARP's list. I received Gordon Thomasson's
permission to post to B_A-L.
>MIME-version: 1.0
>Date:         Mon, 19 May 1997 20:13:31 -0500
>Reply-To: "SHARP-L Society for the History of Authorship,
>              Reading & Publishing" <SHARP-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>Sender: "SHARP-L Society for the History of Authorship,
>              Reading & Publishing" <SHARP-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>From: "Gordon C. Thomasson" <THOMASSON_G@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>Subject:      Book/Library history
>To: SHARP-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>What with classes being ended, I was on the road and listening to the radio
>at an unaccustomed time and happened across Sally Plaxon (sp?) and her MLA
>sponsored "What's the Word?" on (U.S.) National Public Radio.  Today's
>broadcast (5/19/1997) was on "The Preservation of Books and the Public
>Library" and it was both a delight and quite depressing.  Everyone from Ray
>Bradbury on weighed in with quite interesting comments.  But the combined
>cancers of acid paper and slashed budgets were more than a little
>My own reaction to the program, having used text-crunching software in my
>research since the mid-1980s, concerns those who see substituting digitized
>texts for not just the works that are self-destructing, but for books in
>        If you claim books can be replaced by electronic or digitized texts,
>        how many serious works of scholarship/research great literature or
>        historical importance  have you EVER read entirely from a terminal?
>        If you (or some $-"saving" techno-vendor, administrator, or
>        "consultant") can honestly answer even one, how often would you
>        want to repeat that experience?
>Mention was made on the broadcast of the San Francisco Public Library
>"weeding" 200,000 volumes from their collection into a landfill because
>(among other things) the new main library had less space for books than
>the structure it replaced.  Isn't it time we more vocally challenge those
>claim future libraries only need to be "on-line"?
>Gordon C. Thomasson
>World History Faculty

Nicholas G. Yeager  Artifex Librorum  51 Warren St. #2  New York, NY 10007
212.346.9609 email:artifex@xxxxxxxxxxxx

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