We’ve had an interesting morning here at MPOW. Our fiber-optic cable was somehow broken, leaving us without the Internet and without phones, since our phones are VOIP. Wireless access is now available (and therefore I can post) but they’re still working on the rest.
Now, losing Internet access is a bit of a problem for a virtual library. At my public library, it just meant that we didn’t have the patrons at the public access computers. If the power was out, we had to check books in and out manually – but we could still do our thing.
Not really possible with a virtual collection.
It’s made me think about the ramifications of having a very small physical collection. And if we choose to increase the collection, what do we collect? We are in a physical space that prevents a large collection, as the architectural ramifications of the weight weren’t taken into consideration when constructing the space. So the collection will remain fairly small – but it could grow a bit. If you could only have 300 books in an academic library, what would you choose? Definitely food for thought.
The interesting thing about this outage, however, is that the pace of the whole place has slowed. Waaaaay down. We’re talking to each other. While we talk to each other normally, we usually do so in passing, in quick bursts. We now have the time to actually have a whole conversation. We’re reading books and magazines and newspapers and articles that we haven’t gotten to read, that have been sitting on our desks waiting for time. We’re sitting in the comfy chairs in the library, enjoying the sun and the quiet and the time.
It’s been rather delightful.
It’s gotten me thinking about how the pace of our lives has exploded in the past decade or so. I’m reading The World is Flat (See: Getting around to reading stuff, above) and Friedman talks about the events that have shaped how we’re communicating now. While all of that is magical and wonderful, it has also taken a bit of a toll.
I’m trying to figure out how we can recreate this morning without actually having to lose our access. Or maybe someone should just pull the plug every two weeks or so.
It seems we need to disconnect in order to reconnect.