Things of Goodly Report

at 12:35 AM

My high school is getting a new library -- or, rather, a new student center. I'm sure it will be great once it's finished. I just don't understand it. Since I've graduated, I will probably never even see it.

Among the student center's espoused features are a Starbucks, a Subway Café and a student lounge. While these amenities are impressive, I ask simply one question, "Why?"

Why would a so-called library need a Starbucks to be attractive? Students have become so caught up in staying up late, drinking coffee to learn the following day, and have forgotten what it is that a student is actually supposed to do.

A man at church once asked what the universal trait of an educated student is. He said it was a desire to learn. Students should worry less about their grades or graduation tracks, but more on learning the material needed to live in the world.  Yes, this does include "The Great Gatsby."

Our new library reflects just this. Rather than exhibiting state-of-the-art technology and some sort of design for shelving books, its main features will be coffee, processed food and an area to drink your expensive coffee and eat your processed food.

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Maybe I've just been schooled in the old-fashioned way and look backwards to better days. But have we lost the former function of a library, or is it simply changing? I am reminded of Orwell's "1984" where Doublespeak replaces words -- like "toothpick" -- with words of a slightly different meaning, like "wooden interdental stimulator." Now we call a "library" a "student center."

When it comes to social staples such as libraries, booksellers and greeting card stores, we must hang onto these relics. Instead of embracing change because it's change, we should seek out all things of goodly report and hang onto their espoused establishments -- even if they are libraries from the 1960s.

With a Perspective, I'm Randell Hoffman.

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Randell Hoffman just graduated from Monte Vista High School in Danville and will attend Brigham Young University.

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