I was going to post about my user names that I have used throughout the interweb, but then this morning as I was checking the Boston Globe for home town news, I came across an article that made me slightly sick to my stomach.
It appears that Cushing academy, a prep school in Massachusetts, has opted to donate their collection of traditional books as they shift to an entirely digital library, complete with flat screen TVs to display the data as well as several e-readers for students. One of the things that hurts me the most is their plans to rip out the reference desk (the area that really makes it a library in my opinion, after the books) and replace it with a cafe that sells CAPPUCCINOS!!!
The other thing that makes me really depressed is that a few students were quoted in the article basically saying that it wasn’t a big loss and they were looking forward to the change. It got me wondering if these kids even knew the pleasures that books can bring… I mean we did grow up in an age where the Internet allows us to read classics that we would be unable to get a hold of. I guess that’s the point: that Cushing is hoping to get more kids to read by having more options and offering them in a medium that these kids are familiar with.
However this still sits uncomfortably with me and it seems that I am not the only one shocked/offended by this school’s move. The article currently has 321 comments, which is very high, and is also the most emailed article. From scanning the comment, a lot of people (presumably older) are lamenting the decision to go entirely digital.
I grew up with books so I can see where these commentators are coming from. I was raised by a ferocious reader and I remember going to the library weekly to get children’s books out. Once we grew into chapter books, it seems every time we went to the mall, my mother would buy us a book. (Toys were another story that were saved for birthdays and Christmas) I became so infatuated that when I had to create an email address from gmail four years ago I didn’t mind at all that I was bookworm2007. That went the same for my live-journal. Anything that I had to create a user name for got the bookworm2007 if at all possible. It made things easier for me to manage and also formed an Internet identity that was really close to my actual one. A little over two years ago I started to use a second user name that was based off of my screen name for AIM. But I continued to use the bookworm accounts and even went with it for my twitter, which I started the end of January/beginning of February.
So I bet you’re wondering why I don’t have bookworm2007 at wordpress? Well basically I decided it wasn’t “professional” enough. I want to use this blog to showcase my writings. I hope to be come a writer and refer readers to this. And for a month and a half after deciding I wanted a blog, debated a user name. I finally came up with WalshCaitlin because I’m usually Walsh,Caitlin at school.
But I do know that no matter what my current user name is on what ever website, I’ll be a bookworm at heart.