Cushing Academy Says Bye Bye to Books

After amassing a collection of more than 20,000 books over years of proud knowledge sharing, officials at the pristine campus of Cushing Academy near Boston have decided that the 144-year-old school no longer needs a traditional library. The academy’s administrators have decided to discard all their books and have given away half of what stocked their sprawling stacks. They believe that the future is digital.

In place of their library,  nearly $500,000 us being spent to create an all digital learning center. Large flat-screen TVs that will project data from the Internet and special laptop-friendly study carrels will occupy the new space. They are also building a coffee shop on the place where the reference desk once stood.

And finally, to replace those old stuffy devices that had transmitted information, they have spent $10,000 to buy 18 electronic readers made by and Sony. The plan is to distribute the readers, which they’re stocking with digital material, to students hoping to spend more time with literature.

But the move raises at least two concerns: Many books offered on electronic readers and the Internet aren’t free, possibly making it more difficult for students to happen on books with the serendipity made possible by physical browsing. There’s also the question of the durability of electronic readers. Unsurprisingly. students at Cushing say they're looking forward to the new equipment and the brave new world they’re ushering in. Courtesy of

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