Friday, June 19, 2015

Case Study No. 2036: Staff of the Redwood Library and Athenaeum

Gene Around Town: Britannica Goes Digital Only
The Encyclopaedia Britannica publishes its last bound edition. LIbrarians mourn.
Tags: Digital Encyclopedia library education
Added: 3 years ago
From: WJAR10
Views: 49

[scene opens with two reporters sitting at the anchor desk]
ALISON BOLOGNA: Well, what a week it's been, right Gene? Yesterday we learned that the polar bears won't be coming back to the zoo, and now ...
ALISON BOLOGNA: They're not gonna print the Encyclopedia Britannica! At least, not anymore, right?
GENE VALICENTI: Shocking, Alison.
[she laughs]
GENE VALICENTI: No more showpiece for your rumpus room!
[she laughs]
GENE VALICENTI: What's a rumpus room? Look it up.
[cut to Gene walking up the steps of the Redwood Library and Athenaeum, as "Newport" appears on screen]
GENE VALICENTI: [in voice over] Maria, are you sad today?
MARIA BERNIER: [in voice over] Sad, Gene. It's the end of an era.
[cut to an exterior shot of the building]
GENE VALICENTI: [in voice over] And so we lament the loss and share our surprise.
[cut to an older female librarian (white hair, red dress, blue sweater) flipping through the pages of an old edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, as "Britannica Ends Print Edition" appears on screen]
GENE VALICENTI: [in voice over] Maybe more resignation, with librarians everywhere, who saw it coming. Like Maria, at Newport's Redwood Athenaeum, where they last bought a set back in Two Thousand and Two.
[cut to Gene and another female librarian (long brown hair, floral pattern dress) sitting at a table]
GENE VALICENTI: Did it flash out on the librarians' internet page?
[she laughs]
[they both laugh]
GENE VALICENTI: "Encyclopedia will no longer be printed" ...
MARIA BERNIER: This is big news in the library field.
[cut to various shots of encylopedia volumes sitting on the shelf]
GENE VALICENTI: [in voice over] Britannica won't be printed anymore. The Twenty Ten edition is the last one for sale. Though it will still publish online, and still it's not the same.
[cut back to Gene and the librarian ("Maria Bernier, Assistant Director Redwood Athenaeum") sitting together]
GENE VALICENTI: I remember going to the library, y'know, I had a seventh grade term paper due.
GENE VALICENTI: And pull this right out, and look up the subject.
[he leafs through the pages of the volume sitting on the table]
MARIA BERNIER: Yeah, the Encyclopedia Britannica for a long time was the resource--
MARIA BERNIER: For that kind of research.
[cut to another shot of the two talking]
GENE VALICENTI: Y'know, I don't know much about ... printing, but I could see that this is quality.
GENE VALICENTI: The way they print it, it's very impressive, isn't it?
MARIA BERNIER: Yeah. Nice paper, good full-color photographs.
GENE VALICENTI: Yeah. And I remember as a kid, if you have a subject to do or you're working on an assignment, sometimes you get distracted.
[he flips another page]
GENE VALICENTI: Well, this is ... If I'm doing insects, uh, I'm naturally gonna flip through and just--
[he flips through some more pages]
GENE VALICENTI: I'm probably gonna stumble on something else.
[he looks at one of the pages]
GENE VALICENTI: "Industries, extraction and processing."
[he smiles at her]
GENE VALICENTI: Do you remember doing that?
MARIA BERNIER: Absolutely! Once you're in there, and maybe that's how I ended up being a librarian.
[cut to another shot of the two talking]
GENE VALICENTI: When a kid is flipping through the encyclopedia, um, it's sort of safe.
GENE VALICENTI: Because if they're flipping through the internet, they're not--
[he laughs]
GENE VALICENTI: They're gonna be where they're not supposed to be, right?
[she laughs]
GENE VALICENTI: Right? It's different!
MARIA BERNIER: It depends. If you're doing a Google search, you will end up with things that you ... uh, hadn't expected!
[cut to another shot of the two talking]
GENE VALICENTI: I'm looking for "internet" ...
[he flips through the pages and shakes his head, as she laughs]
GENE VALICENTI: They don't even have an "internet" reference ... Look, it goes from "international trade" right to "Iran."
MARIA BERNIER: To "Iran" ...
[they laugh]
GENE VALICENTI: They don't even have the internet in here!
MARIA BERNIER: I think we'll see that updated online.
[cut to another shot of the two talking]
GENE VALICENTI: Do you wanna symbolically close the book on Britannica with me today?
[they both laugh]
GENE VALICENTI: This is painful for you, isn't it? The librarian ... Watch this!
MARIA BERNIER: It hurts ...
[they both put their hand on the book and close it]
[she puts her hand over her heart]
[cut to a still image of Gene, as "Gene Around Town" appears on screen]
GENE VALICENTI: [in voice over] Words on paper, they had a good run. Alright, by the way, the Redwood has the first Britannica published in the US from Seventeen Ninety Eight. Imagine that?
ALISON BOLOGNA: [in voice over] Mmm.
GENE VALICENTI: [in voice over] They will subscribe to the new online edition ... Email me a story idea at "genearoundtown at wjar dot com," or leave a message at "Four Five Five Nine Two Zero Five." You could also write me a letter the old fashioned way, I'd probably look at that. Watch my stories again at TurnToTen dot com, keyword Gene.



Gene Valicenti from Channel 10 News visited the Redwood Library this afternoon to see our Encyclopedia Britannica in person. Assistant Director Maria Bernier sat with him in the reading room to commiserate the demise of the print version of this venerable reference source.

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