Will online classes sound the death knell for campus libraries and textbooks?The pandemic suddenly created a major upheaval in many aspects of our life, one of which is education. Online classes came front and center and hot debates and discussions ensued about their benefits and downsides.
Perhaps one downside was overlooked - what will happen to campus libraries and textbooks? In school years, we had a reading period when we headed to the spacious reading room adjacent to the library and could choose something to read. We were also allowed to take a book home, that was issued with our library card. During college days, I remember enjoying spending time in the library, looking for the card in the neat library catalogue, heading to the cupboard and finding the book I wanted. Sometimes I would be disappointed if the book I wanted had already been issued out to somebody and would have to wait till it was returned. It was nice to sit at a table and jot down notes or simply browse through a magazine or journal. It was also a joy to attend the weekly fiction-issuing session and be able to find a novel to take home to read. My library ID card was the most used and worn out thing I possessed in those days!
Then there were textbooks. When a new academic year started at school, wasn't it exciting to get a set of textbooks (and notebooks as well)? There was that lovely smell of a brand new book, then carefully putting the cover of it in brown paper and neatly sticking on a label with our name and Class on it. At college, we had a textbook only for one or two subjects, and I recall having them for French and Psychology, and those, too, were interesting to purchase and check out before the start of the semester.
As it is I feel today's generation of students are not that keen on heading to a library or bothering too much about textbooks when information is so easily available online. Now, with online classes becoming part and parcel of the academic year currently, it is hoped that the dependency on them does not make the death knell sound louder for campus libraries and textbooks.
[First entry for the thread-a-day challenge ]