by Lindsay Vidrine
In this electronic information
age of text messages and *ehem* blogs, it seems like the written word
is dying, or at least getting reduced to short-hand-friendly acronyms.
I see this slow progression in ways large and small every day. Traditional outlets for the written word -- like newspapers and books -- are moving online, while at the same time hand-written notes or letters have been replaced by e-mails and texts.
The shift isn’t always a bad thing, just look at this Fresh Greens blog. It provides an informative forum for idea sharing and issue awareness that brings me together with people I may not have otherwise known. I can even understand the environmental advantages of saving paper and ink by publishing an online newspaper instead of a disposable hard copy.
All that said, I couldn’t
help but feel a personal loss recently when I asked my intern to write
a letter for me, and she formatted it like an email. I went back and
explained how the date, address, structure and tone should be, but in
turn received a look like I was a fossil that belonged in a museum.
When I later mentioned my evening
plans included a book club discussion, I solidified my status as a relic
in her eyes. While I may have evoked the pity of youth, I couldn’t
help but reciprocate the same emotion. If this loss is being felt in my journalism-based
field, imagine the erosion other academic departments are facing.
This sad realization led me to seek refuge in the one place that my hope for the written word is consistently restored -- the public library. My love for the library started early when my mom used to take my sisters and I to go pick out books as a treat when we were looking for summer entertainment. We spent hours there, carefully making our selections and checking out the maximum number of books allowed.
I now live near another very
busy library and gain great personal joy in seeing how well-used the
facility, books and programs are by the community. It attracts all ages
and demographics, which makes the people watching and the potential
for community interaction unparalleled. The library system is a tried-and-true
example of how recycling can be a symbiotic relationship and never
ceases to remind me how connected people are to the written word.
If you share the same sentiment for the library but find yourself wanting to purchase gardening, cooking or other books as reference, you may want to check out the Friends of the Library sale on February 21-22 at the state fairgrounds. It’s the perfect place to purchase must-have books for your personal library, plus music, movies and even gifts for others. In true symbiotic fashion, the gently used items are cheap and proceeds benefit the Metropolitan Library System.