RE: TV Turn-Off

Gary Handman (
Wed, 27 Jan 1999 10:38:06 -0800 (PST) which I would reply: hold a "Watch and Think" week... hold
programs which encourage responsible and intelligent reading and viewing.
Build collections which encourge access to the good stuff--both print and
visual. Give the public the opportunity to experience the broadest and
books and videos which are not available in Blockbusters, Borders, or on
the tube. Fight for literacy in all it's forms...

The notion of libraries as crusaders against the evils of pop culture goes
back to the 19th Century... If we want to be perceived as 19th Century
institutions, I can think of no better way than to persist in pitting one
medium against the other.

Gary Handman

>I sent some of this discussion to our youth librarians, since our library
>does a TV turn-off program every year. Here is the response from the section
>head (along with the comments I sent them) I might also mention that the
>quality of TV programs available to us in Eugene may be lower than in larger
>cities. Also, that there are many quality programs available on video (and
>in our library) which never show up in TV programming here. :
>I don't think of this as being about "critical thinking" but about how one
>spends one's time. I think to date that more individuals of all ages still
>waste the lions share of their free time being "entertained" by the boob
>tube than by playing computer games. It would be a subset i guess. Just
>check the Statistical Abstract for number of television sets per household.
>I want TV Turnoff Week to be more about liberating ones time and expanding
>ones horizons about what there is to do with their time. If they get better
>grades or become smarter or a more critical thinker so much the better but
>really just having a richer, fuller, less circumscribed life is the real
>reward whether it ever adds an IQ point or a penny to your coffers. My
>response to the person scoffing at people who perceive media as some sort of
>anti-christ is , would that it were, at least then it would be more
>interesting. It looks and feels to me more like a vacuum. There is no
>there, there. Our users may have been rewired, but where is the light bulb?
> ----------
>From: HIRSCH Bonnie C
>To: *Library Youth & Ext Services
>Subject: FW: Fwd: Video discrimination
>Date: Tuesday, January 26, 1999 8:52AM
>There has been quite a discussion on the media list about "turn off TV
>week." I'll spare you most of it, but some of the points have been that
>computer games are using more time than TV in some households; anti-TV
>campaigns are like having an anti-church week because some cults are bad;
>and , as mentioned below, we should focus more on teaching critical
>thinking and considered evalution of all media and time uses.
> ----------
>Bonnie Hirsch
>Eugene (Oregon) Public Library