Friday Brain Teaser

One of the hardest parts about keeping a 170+ year-old library going strong is knowing what items and processes should be kept old-timey, and what should be made… uh… new-timey. For instance, once upon a time important folks used to preserve their likenesses for posterity in the form of a marble or plaster bust (old timey), while these days it’s much more common for a Person of Import to have their portrait painted using oil based paints (new timey) (sort of). Yet, I bet there would be a general outcry if the Library decided to get rid of our collection of busts.

At the same time, progress hurtles inexorably forward, careening into the future at the speed of time, and we, as custodians of knowledge, must at least create the impression that we are sort of nearly coming close to almost kind of keeping abreast. When we need a document duplicated we use a copier machine. We don’t hire a monk.

As you can see, there is a metaphoric tight-walk to be walked here. It’s tricky. Which brings me to this week’s brain teaser:

Which of the following time honored library institutions should we keep, and which should sadly go the way of the mimeograph machine?

A. Our old timey globe, which features such geographic non-entities as “U.S.S.R.,” “Yugoslavia,” and “Here there be sea-monsters”

B. Aggressively tugging on our forelocks and doffing our caps in the presence of those who outrank us socially

C. The use of “books,” which are old-timey artifacts similar to a series of connected webpages, printed out and bound together

D. Our mimeograph machine

-Norm De Plume

You can find more Friday Brain Teasers HERE.

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Published in: on November 17, 2006 at 5:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

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