The More Things Change…

The archival collection I’m currently processing consists of the papers of the treasurer of a now-defunct library association. In it I found a clipping from the New York Times, dated October of 1974. The article describes a shift in the focus of libraries, away from books and towards multimedia resources. What cracked me up was the note written in pen in the margin: “Are there any books in this library?” The conversation about the “future” of libraries in the age of the electronic resource has been going on now for thirty-six years.

This reminded me of my boyfriend, who fumed for weeks about the overhaul of the New York Times Magazine…until he discovered this letter to the editor, printed in 1993 following a redesign:

“Now you’ve done it. You have blown away the last vestiges of familiarity in this unstable world by changing the format of the Magazine.” – Patricia Escobar, Los Angeles

As long as there have been times, they have been a-changing. But by all means, go on lamenting.

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