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eBooks Smash Paper

One of the harbingers of how fruitful the continued marriage of technology and research can better serve the future is found in the status of the New York Public Library’s position on electronically borrowing books. One can head off to the NYPL eBooks online library and actually check out books by downloading them to your home computer.

These downloaded books are “time bombed” to expire at the end of three weeks so instead of taking the book back to the library you just let the book expire on your hard drive. There are certainly sticky copyright issues that must continue to be dealt with in the internet “borrow but don’t return” lending scheme for libraries; but for those who understand eBooks are good for authors and publishers and libraries the concern over digital rights borrowing can be resolved in the greater favor of the consumer.

Publishers will rent individual licenses for their books that will expire the same way a parking space expires after you purchase its limited use for a quarter. eBooks, for libraries everywhere, means they can finally sustain a relationship with their patrons beyond the walls of their libraries.

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Buy The Slice

I grew up in Council Bluffs, Iowa where most everyone can read and speak English. Little did I know that moving to New York City would not only be a culture shock to my system, but it was a language shock as well.

Written Word
A little background — I was born Deaf and I communicate in Sign Language. If I need to communicate with a Hearing person who does not use Sign, I prefer to use a pad and pencil to write my words. The written word levels the playing field of communication between Deaf and Hearing because each side must make an equal effort to get their point across.

Columbia
When my husband and I first moved to New York, we were in graduate student housing at Columbia University. We lived a block away from the cathedral of St. John the Divine and right across the street from Tom’s Restaurant (made famous in a Suzanne Vega song of the same name and made even more famous as the coffee shop on NBC’s Seinfeld comedy series).

College Pizza
There’s a place just down the street from Tom’s called College Pizza. Their food is excellent and many Columbia students eat pizza there daily. On one of our first nights in New York, I went into College Pizza alone and I had my pad and pencil in hand to place my order. I wrote down on my pad: “Two pieces of pizza, please” and the guy behind the counter nodded.

I waited and waited. Everyone ahead of me got their pieces of pizza. New people came in and got their pieces of pizza. I waited some more.

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