Severe Weather and 10 Sacred Cows
Well, I had planned to write my next post about our school’s experiment with a Tech-Free Day this week; a day, our Headmaster explained, to “examine both the benefits and costs of technology in education and daily life.” But since the weather-people chose that day to predict a possible reenactment of Twister in our area, we postponed the experiment (because we needed our technology to communicate in case of severe weather dangers; point taken, Mother Nature). But thinking about our (already, in less than a generation) certainty that we *must* have our technology available all the time, and the accompanying belief that high-tech is always better than low-tech (more on that next time), also made me wonder about other assumptions we adhere to rather blindly.
Below are the top-10 sacred cows (mine and others’) I am challenging in my library between the end of this year and the beginning of the next. What are yours? And might you ultimately agree with the idea (falsely attributed to Mark Twain*) that “sacred cows make the best hamburgers”?
Library Sacred Cows (in ascending order of aghast-ability [I made that word up]):
9) Stamping every book inside front & back covers and on page 51 (?!) with School/Library name
8) Keeping old prize-winners just because they are prize-winners
7) Print encyclopedias
6) Security tags in books and beeping gates at the doors
5) Drink (and Food!) in the Library
4) The concept that audio books don’t count as “real” books
3) The concept that graphic novels don’t count as “real” books
2) Setting limits on the number of books children can check out
and–drumroll please–here’s the hamburger I’d like to serve up first:
#1) Fines for overdue books
You will notice that I did not include the Dewey Decimal system in my bovine lineup. I still like my sacred cows grouped by subject classification (but that is a topic for another day).
*Thank you, Garson O’Toole. You may have heard about his site on NPR this week. Quote Investigator (http://quoteinvestigator.com/) is devoted to tracking down the real people behind mis-attributed well-known quotes. He has a new book out as well: Hemingway Didn’t Say That: The Truth Behind Familiar Quotations.