Power to the People!

conf flat screen


You can see how some folks just have the wrong impression.

At least, that is how I respond to the ad hoc posting I found in the library group study room pictured here. If you cannot read the message in the photograph, it says:

“Please do not unplug the cords from the back of the TV. All the plugs you need are located below. Thank you.”

But obviously, all the plugs one might need were clearly not there; otherwise, why would the photocopy-graffito exist? Clearly some enterprising person found the facilities lacking and adapted, prompting the sign. Just for the record, the only accessible outlets in the pictured room were at either end of the space — and then only duplex outlets. I think that four plug-ins for the eight chairs at the table seems inadequate somehow — and the table itself was not wired.

Popular wisdom needs to be re-written for the digital age. Wifi is not enough.
So with apologies to Mrs. Simpson, I suggest something along the lines of:

You can never be too thin, or too rich, or have enough electrical outlets.

Places where people learn and study need to be fully charged; by which I mean, be chargeable places. One sees charging stations for passengers’ convenience to refresh their hand-held devices in many waiting lounges at newer airport terminals, except at O’Hare. (Take note, American Airlines, five working outlets in the K concourse, really?) It’s time for collegiate libraries and classrooms to get in step with the times and amp up.

Old-style codes dictating the sparse spacing of wall outlets now need to be exceeded, given the predominance of portable devices one now sees on campuses. One of the librarians in the facility pictured noted that students nowadays come equipped; she related observing one student at a fixed computer station working with four additional devices. There were no extra outlets to recharge them at that table either; I checked.

In extremis, man and woman tend to adapt. Witness the librarian’s solution for the pencil sharpener, pictured below, which is nestled on a shelf near the floor.


wire tangle


Not-so-parenthetically: The sharpener was plugged into the outlet behind the flat screen display hung above it (and ironically just outside the group study).

Ever musing,