M-libraries and Cormac McCarthy

I’ve just been reviewing a book  M-libraries: libraries on the move to provide virtual access  which provides a range of example projects where mainly academic and public libraries have sought to make their services and collections available to users of mobile technologies such as mobile (cell) phones, PDAs, palm-top computers and smart phones. There are some interesting chapters in the book – about net generation users of libraries, about how our society is increasingly connected and about how many of today’s library users view their mobile technology as a tool for both education and leisure and sometimes both at the same time. So what about school libraries and mobile technologies? At the moment, some students will be able to access the school/school library website on their internet phones but it may not be suitable for them as i-phone users. Some academic libraries have cut down versions of their websites for mobile access. Some schools have tried experiments with students texting in queries to the teacher librarian. The future will depend on how schools adapt to these technologies.

My brother-in-law Tom recently sent me Cormac McCarthy’s  1973 book Child of God as I had not read this book by one of my favourite authors. It’s a fairly brutal read in parts but McCarthy has the enviable talent of being able to write sentences for which you would gladly cut off an arm if you could claim it as your own. This book begins “They came like a caravan of carnival folk up through the swales of broomstraw and across the hill in the morning sun, the truck rocking and pitching in the ruts and musicians on chairs in the truckbed teetering and tuning their instruments, the fat man with the guitar grinning and gesturing to others in a car behind and bending to give a note to the fiddler who turned a fiddlepeg and listened with a wrinkled face“.  The only problem with Cormac McCarthy is that he does not write enough for his fans like me but what he does write, well …

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