Awhile ago I signed up my kids for a class to learn how to use the library.
I was impressed by the librarian's enthusiasm about books and the library. She divided the group into pairs, and each pair worked at a computer using both the internet and the library's online catalog.
While the kids painstakingly typed in topics using the website's search function, I sat in the back of the room and remembered I wanted to get a book of plays for my daughter to read. I walked to the chart of the Dewey Decimal System posted on the library wall and found the subject number for plays.
I was back in my seat with two books I found on the shelf in less than 90 seconds. A few minutes later, I couldn't resist peeking at the 973 section, where I've been spending quite a bit of time lately.
By the end of the class, the kids were wow'd by the websites they used, but still couldn't find a book on a shelf in the library. I guess learning to read a poster isn't that thrilling, but it's easy and fast. Isn't high-tech supposed to be easy and fast?
I certainly love my laptop and I'm not about to give up internet access, but I wonder how much time and effort high-tech gadgets really save me. And what's so bad about spending time and effort on something anyway?