Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Lamar High's Library Ousts Books, Re-Opens as Coffee Shop
By Margaret Downing
For Hairballs, a Houston Press Blog

We love the smell of burning literature in the morning.

​Just adding a coffee shop to a neighborhood library so people can feel like they're in Starbucks and ultra hip was apparently too passe a trend for Principal James McSwain of Lamar High School.

Finishing up a week ago, McSwain has thrown out nearly all the books and filled the space they were unnecessarily taking up with couches and coffee and food and told his students that they can access the exciting world of reading through e-books! And if they don't have a laptop of their own and Internet access to do so, they can use one of the laptop computers in the library coffeeshop!


  1. I can think of lots of cool things we could replace our library with, maybe a velodrome!

    (I just like saying "velodrome.")

  2. Ohhh, those kids are going to turn up in our uni library and be the ones who tell me...I'm a fourth year! I've never been to the library! Hahahahaha I hear it's really scary!

  3. I teach mostly online and I can say that students don't even use the online library that the university provides. Google takes fewer clicks, so why bother?

  4. Ugh. I read a variety (not all) of the comments over there and was a bit appalled not to see anyone suggesting a difference in the way we process information in books versus computers. I'm actually looking forward to using an e-reader of some sort, but not for all purposes on all occasions--even assuming that the e-book catalogue is as large as what's available in print. And the school appears to assume that access through any device is equivalent, and preferable to, reading on paper. I've flirted with reading longer works on my computer and simply can't do it.

  5. My partner and I were at the public library today. I needed a copy of Macbeth, but the library didn't have one (actually, they did, but it was a graphic novel), so I had to get the big Riverside Shakespeare.

    (There were about 20 different editions of Hamlet, though.)

    He asked me if I couldn't just get it through Project Gutenberg. Well, yes, there's no end of websites with the complete plays of William Shakespeare. But I don't want to read that shit off of a computer screen.


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