Last week while I was on vacation I went to visit my mother, an eighty- year old, retired school librarian. I brought along my current favorite thing, my new iPad. I thought she would be thrilled to see how many books can be downloaded and from how many sources and how she could get free e-books from her public library in Massachusetts without leaving her chair. She seemed skeptical that such a small device could hold so much, so I attempted to explain the concept of the “cloud”. Now, I’m not sure I understand the “cloud” all that well, but I have no problem taking that leap of faith because I want all those books, all the time. Luckily, my mother seemed to get it at least as well as I did but she jumped on the privacy issue right off the bat. “Can anyone see what’s in my cloud?’ I rolled my eyes (teenage habits die hard). “It’s password protected,” I told her. She was skeptical, at best. “I would not want anyone to know what I was reading.” I told her she was reading the same thing every other eighty- year lady in the country was reading, Nora Roberts. She told me not to be “fresh.” “But,” I said, “you can read all night without a book light or bedside lamp“. “Oh, your father will sleep through anything.” And on and on it went until I skulked away with my beloved iPad tucked under my arm. Fine, see if I give her one for Christmas, so there! But the entire conversation made me think all the way home. My book life is an open book. I don’t care one bit if everyone knows what I have read. In fact I volunteer that information daily; I loved that book, I hated that book, I read a book I think you would like, Fifty Shades of Grey, yup, I read it. We guard our patrons’ privacy like hawks but ours… not so much.
By the time I reach eighty (I hope) that “cloud” thing will have been replaced with something new and even more amazing and it will be another leap of faith. I hope I take it!
BTW She did like the movie I made of her grand-dog licking the screen every time I said, give Grandma a kiss. So, there is still hope for that iPad under the Christmas tree.