07 October 2010

The Magic of Harold

Today, Harold, otherwise known as the Harold B. Lee Library, reintroduced me to the physical world. It is a wonderful place!

Here's the story. First, check out Harold's commercial, if you haven't already.

I use Harold primarily as a study spot. I can always find a computer or a desk in a quiet place. Most BYU students, according to my ongoing scientific study--which consists of studying in the library and, occasionally, looking around--don't browse the books. Most use only computers and desks like I do.

So today I was sitting at a computer in the library, as usual. I got on to the library website and searched for Paul Levinson's New New Media, which I decided I want to read again. After searching the catalogs and finding that Harold has let me down, I requested the book through inter-library loan.

Now the good part! As I was searching for Levinson in the catalog, I found three more of his books that looked interesting: Digital McLuhan: A Guide to the Information Millennium, Cellphone: The Story of the World's Most Mobile Medium and how it has Transformed Everything!, and The Soft Edge: A Natural History and Future of the Information Revolution.

Then! I decided to get physical copies of all three books, even though two are available online! I remembered that I get headaches from looking too long at a screen of light. So there I was, browsing the bookshelves, when I found two of the books! The third was a bit more tricky. I had looked up the library floor maps online, but I'd forgotten where on the fifth floor my book should be. Annoyed, I started to walk over to the computers so I could look up the floor maps again.

On my way to the computers, I stumbled upon a huge physical floor map! Hey, that's right! They have several of those things on every floor! I looked up section P, found my book, and danced off to check out my new finds.

Here are some of the chapters I'm most excited about:

  • The Mind Behind the Screen
  • Way Cool Text: Cultural consequences
  • Television as art in the Digital Age
  • The Drawbacks of Always Being in Touch
  • The Chinese invention of modern Europe
  • New online faces--inter, smiley, and more
  • A short history of intellectual property
  • Information may want to be free--but creators in information still need to eat

Maybe these books will be helpful for the ORCA grant that I'm writing, or maybe they'll just be interesting! In any case, I'm glad Harold brought me offline and showed me some of his magic.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for narrating your process of discovery with books in a non-digital setting. Those do look like great books from an author you know is already helpful. I look forward to hearing your reports on the chapters or content that you look at. Good job!