Recently I read an article at Economist.com called "Why Cowboys Read" that was complimentary to libraries in this internet era, but one of the things that surprised me in the article was the fact that Wyoming residents checked out nine books in 2005-2006 compared with an average of five in California and two in Washington, D.C. I wondered how Kentucky measured up to these numbers. After doing a google search and coming across the National Center for Education Statistics, I found out that Kentucky ties with California (not as good as Wyoming, but not as poor as Washington, D.C. either). For years I have kept a list of the number of books I have read in a year. During good years, I have read as many as 51, and in poor years I have read as little as 15. That's probably better than some and a whole lot worse than others. But I would certainly be more comfortable in my profession and also with the country in general if these statistics were at least in the double digits for a year's time.
Another interesting thing I came across lately was an article at the Atlantic.com called "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" This one made me really stop and think, because as a Librarian I use Google a lot (just like I'm sure the average internet user does). No wonder we all love Google. It gives us what we really want: an end to our search, our questions answered, instant knowledge. It gives us the instant gratification we all crave. But Nicholas Carr says it exacts a price, and I think he makes a lot of valid points. See what you think.