Letters to the Editor

Letter | It’s time for bookmobiles to become cybermobiles

Recently in The Sun News there was an article about a new Bookmobile that cost close to a quarter million dollars to bring books out to the public. Looking at trends and the advances in technology including the World Wide Web, once a library without books was once unthinkable.

However, given the fact that even laptops are provided to students in schools all over America, the demise of a library with racks of ink-on-paper books is inevitable. Rome once had public libraries from Spain to the Middle East but they disappeared with the decline and fall of the Roman Empire to the Visagoths and other northern warlike tribes.

It wasn't until the Middle Ages that books finally came back. Later the advent of the printing press made available cheap books to the masses. That said, the logo bookmobile to my way of thinking is not well thought out.

Already in the upper reaches of four New York State counties they have "Cybermobiles" that offer six personal computers aboard and two state-of-the-art printers. The technology platforms support CD-ROM's, flashdrives and wireless internet connectivity as a feature of these cybermobiles.

These roving wheels of cutting-edge knowledge cater to rural and low income people with limited access to the Internet or these troves of knowledge. From the advent of the first bookmobile in the 1850s in jolly old England to today the Internet gave a figure of some 7,900 bookmobiles roaming the towns of America.

That said, the path of the old must give way to the new and that is the transisition from bookmobile to cybermobile. After all, the computing capacity of the first Apollo mission was lower than any cheap laptop today by far. And no I am not of the younger generation, having gone to grad school with reel-to-reel computers that took up entire floors of a building using punch cards to run the program. Let us ditch the notion of the bookmobile" and move into the next century with the Cybermobile. The new age is upon us and it cannot wait.

The writer lives in Murrells Inlet.