Britannica Encyclopedia will no longer be printing books. They will instead focus on their on-line presence. This announcement took me back to childhood memories and makes me aware of how much our world is changing. I remember that all research began with a set of encyclopedias. There were various sets at the library near my house. My neighbors also had a set before we got our set. When you had a report to write, wanted to know something, or needed a fact, you looked it up in the encyclopedia. The school librarian taught us how to look things up. They were a starting point for research, knowledge, and an excuse to go to the library.
Yet, the times are changing. Now, we go to the internet. We can not only learn facts, but we can also learn opinions. We can experience a wide range of views on any topic. As I looked up Britannica, I looked for them online. I found that they have a new Ipad app. We are leaving behind bound books, paper, and pen as we move towards internet, word processing, and keyboards. We are changing the way we receive and disseminate information. It used to be that pastor’s wrote a monthly column in the church newsletter that was mailed out to the members of the congregation. Now, pastor’s write blogs and post to the church web page.
How, are we going to deal with these transitions? Sometimes we fight against the change. We long for the comfortable and familiar. We want others to maintain communication that makes us comfortable. Sometimes we push forward. We realize that the digital and electronic forms of communication can make us more efficient at reaching more people. Each person must choose how they will use the resources of this day for their own spiritual growth as well as to make disciples. We can choose to resist cultural changes, or we can choose to accept them. We can choose to grieve for the way things used to be, or we can choose to reach out to the least, the last, and the lost through modern means. We can choose to refuse to learn new ways of connecting, or we can choose to evaluate new ways of connecting. The choice is ours.
- A Look at Encyclopedia Britannica As It Exits Print (forbes.com)