Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Will E-Books Join Internet in Making Us Stupid?

In author Nancy McCormack’s recently published article published a journal article titled Are E-Books Making Us Stupid? Why Electronic Collections Mean Trouble for Libraries and Their Patrons, she questions whether this migration to digital is causing both librarians and their patrons to lose a few brain cells. 

We’ve all likely done something in the last day or weeks that made us shake our heads, such as walking upstairs to get something and having no idea what it was once the top step was cleared. Some, such as McCormack, claim this lack of focus has followed technological advances.

Google’s search capabilities has for years been assessed blame. The younger generation, accustomed to immediate answers and reactions, has little patience waiting for answers that take more than a few keystrokes. Thus, they lose interest after just a few moments of searching.  

Now, e-books are beginning to be targeted, just as Google has. As more people turn to e-books, public and academic libraries are migrating to provide those digital items. In the process, vanishing are the original print-and-paper books that once filled shelves. In an effort to deliver e-books to patrons, McCormack wonders, are libraries actually taking the next step in killing our ability to concentrated?

Printed books have for years helped people focus and think deeply, which has led to all these great advancements in technology. Could those accomplishments now be the undoing of our ability to concentrate?

To access a free copy of McCormack’s article, go to www.igi-global.com/newsroom/archive/digital-technology-new-wave-stupid/1464/.

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