16 October 2013

Will... to live... fading...

This is the world in which I live:

Yesterday was working the information desk at the university bookstore where I work. A student approaches me looking for a book. (the book was a modern play about Antigone, which he pronounced "Auntie gone") Said book is coming in from the States and has been held up at the border. "Oh no," he wailed. "I needed to have that book read two weeks ago. What should I do now?"

"Have you tried the library?" I asked.

"This place has a library?" he asked.

(Wait, don't stop. There was more.)

"Do I have to pay money to borrow the books?" he asked.

"Ummm..." (as in: did he just say what I think he said?)"No."

"But if I return the book late, then I have to pay, right?"

"Ummm... yes."

"But if I bring it back on time, I don't have to pay anything, right?"

"Ummm... yes."

"So I do have to pay?"

"Ummmm... no. I mean yes, you're correct, you won't have to pay if you bring it back on time."

A. University. Student.


Patience said...

Oh well. At least our kids won't have this problem as I'm sure yours are as familiar with libraries as mine are. (plus any university or college libraries as I always point them out if we're going by one)

Bear said...

It's the new world in which we find ourselves living, Patience. When it comes to getting information fast, the internet beats even the best library, no competition. zThey get their information in tweet sized bites. The idea of sitting down to a tome must seem crazy to them. They don't know what a library is, and frankly, they don't miss it.

We are now getting a generation that has always had the internet, who are it's true natives and its language is their mother tongue. They don't write any more, they cut and paste. What they know is not as important as what they can look up.

Speaking to this guy, it was clear to me that he had heard of libraries, but had never been in one. He was asking me to confirm the stories he had heard. I doubt very much, nay, I am certain that he is not alone.