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January 2, 2011 / Brent Sears

Portable Libraries – An App for That

We have not yet realized the full capabilities the Internet provides.  How many industries, people groups, and segments are doing the exact same functions they preformed ten years ago, despite the fact that they possess much better technological tools?

Ask a college student about doing research.  I bet they never consider using a card catalog.  Which also means they never had to look for all the books based on the few titles available, hope they found the right information, and then actually found something worth siting in a paper.  And, what if there weren’t enough books at the library on the subject?  Time to pick a new topic.

Want to do research now?  Have you seen the new Kindle App?  The webpage boast, Read Anywhere with Our Free Reading App. So, I can be sitting in the living room at my parent’s house on Christmas day looking up books on study abroad, scholarships, and gap year?  Oh wait, that is exactly what I did.

I found about fifteen separate books on a day when every library in the USA was completely closed.  I downloaded a free sample of each book and in less than an hour I had more than enough sources to start an awesome project for the new year.  There were a few titles that looked really promising so I went one step further.  I looked on the author’s website for contact information.  Some had emails and others had blogs.

So much for scarcity in information.  So much for difficulty in researching a topic.  So much for not being able to break in and start a conversation in an industry.  It is now at our fingertips…so easy a caveman could do it, if he had the Internet, a computer, and enough knowledge to download the right App.

What does this mean for places that were built around libraries?  What happens when college students figure out that they can learn, as the ad said, ANYWHERE!?  It will mean that students (no matter what their age) will choose not only the location of their learning, but also who they learn from.  It will not be centered on physical location…so go find a cool place to learn, and get to work.  Those who can are going to be ready for where the world is going.  Unless I am wrong and the card catalog is poised for a comeback!



Leave a Comment
  1. Kat / Jan 4 2011 22:25

    I cannot believe that you spent your Christmas looking up book!! Your are the silliest man i have ever meet! Seriously….. i have never meet someone as silly as Brent Sears…. hope i don’t either! Well then it would seem that you had a wonderful Christmas. =) About your post, it is truly amazing what the techno world has done with in the last 5 years!! Love that i can at any point find something that i need and even connect with old friends that i haven’t seen in years. Yeah for us!!!! LOL!!!!

    • brentsears / Jan 5 2011 00:01

      Connection is part of it. A lot of times it gets overwhelming the number of ways to connect. Gone are the days of not being found. I was looking up books on my Mac with the Kindle App. It was a lot of fun, and my 10 year old brother was finding books he thought he wanted to read and downloading the samples. Better than playing Madden 2011!

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