New England Prep School Builds Library Without Books

A New England prep school is getting rid of its traditional library full of books and going digital.

Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, Mass., will give away or toss the 20,000 books in its collection and spend $500,000 on a virtual "learning center," The Boston Globe reported.

The new space will have flat-screen TVs that show information from the Internet, a $50,000 coffee shop with a $12,000 cappuccino machine and study cubicles that can accommodate laptops, according to the paper

School officials have also spent $10,000 on 18 and Sony electronic readers to replace the old library's stacks of books.

“When I look at books, I see an outdated technology, like scrolls before books,’’ Cushing headmaster James Tracy told the Globe. “We’re not discouraging students from reading. We see this as a natural way to shape emerging trends and optimize technology.’’

Tracy said the new system will give students access to millions of books.

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