Honestly, today's internet research demands a bigger pipeline

or a faster speed than what’s available to American institutions of higher learning, given my experience at Concordia-Chicago. I clocked it. And on my 2007 MacBook with hi-speed wi-fi connection, getting a search done at the Klinck Memorial Library EBSCO was a tortellian fifteen minutes. That’s fifteen minutes when I might have been reading, analyzing, and evaluating the articles I am supposed to read for my assignment. (Ironically, my assignment is all about the internet’s putatively positive effects on education).

Add several of these slow searches up each week, and I’ve wasted hours of time because the USA does not allow bandwidth or transmission speeds that come to even half as fast as those enjoyed in Japan. Hey, President Obama, please listen: we need economy and hiring stimulus targeted at the “information superhighway” now.  What are we waiting for?

Delay in seeking knowledge doesn’t have to be bad. But during the fifteen minutes I am waiting for the slow university search engine to return results, I get distracted by other web interests. I can lose track of fruitful inquiry threads. Maybe most significantly, during those fifteen minutes I am not up off my a– and energetically stalking my knowledge prey in the stacks of a unversity research library, an activity I think must be going out of use.  I spent many happy hours in the mulit-story Illinois State University library in Normal in mind-body harmony, walking and thinking and questioning myself as I gathered book numbers, articles, and documents all over the seventh floor.  (There was a sweet reading spot in the southeastern corner of the building, as I recall, where you could see all the way into Bloomington, where I lived… ah, nostalgia!).  Unfortunately, in Digital University Library Land, down time is just a drag.

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