Print is Dead . . . at Newport Beach Library?

As cities struggle to balance budgets, it's not unusual to see librarians pink slipped, branch hours cut and new book orders slashed. Newport Beach is not only considering permanently closing its Balboa branch, but dumping all its contents as well.

Photo by Flickr user svenwerk
All that's missing is the tumbleweed.

All hard copies and other materials--think 35,000 books, magazines, DVDs, periodicals and other stuff you can hold in your mitts--would be ditched under the proposal.

In their place, online versions of them would be available at an "electronic library" darkening a corner of the Marina Park Community Center.

Now, we in the print industry have already blazed the trail for the Great Online Wagon Train of the Two Triple Noughts.

And book publishers and store owners know all about the growth of their products on the web versus in ink, paper and pressed-cardboard form. Those plug-and-play glow tablets are only making matters worse for hard-copy lovers.

So, Newport Beach sees a, uh, literal move online for one of its libraries as responding to modern times. And, of course, dwindling financial resources.

Anyone know the emoticon for "Shhhh!"?


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