It all started here

I am visiting my childhood home. While my parents dote on my kids, I have some time to visit the haunts of yesteryear. While the physical landscape is radically altered with new buildings and major urban renewal, there are some places that seem to hardly have changed. The public library at the top of the street is one of those places, and it was one of the major contributors to who I am today.

Back then, mastering the card catalog and the microfiche machine were important academic skills. They created habits of mind around information organization and retrieval that later supported the same concepts in the digital world. It is amazing to visit the library and see the same tables and benches in the kids’ section that I sat on decades ago. On these benches, new generations of children are learning to love text, to identify information they need, and to utilize many different media to accomplish their goals. In the place where the massive card catalog stood, there are desks with computers, and this is one of the changes that doesn’t bother me. It doesn’t even seem out of place.

Now, the old hardware store with its bins of grass seed and smell of oil being torn down and replaced by a Verizon store–that is sacrilege.

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