What is a Library?
My spies tell me that a theological library, with which I am well acquainted, is often found with "students" gazing at their laptops. Are they writing a paper on the New Testament or theology or even philosophy? No they are not. They are watching films.
Portable communication technologies have broken down the sense of sacred space, of a dedicated environment set aside for one set of purposes. Thus, people play on cell phones in church, gaze at hand-held devices during meals (so much for conviviality), and entertain themselves in a library.
Libraries are meant to be places of study, learning, and reflection. No other such places bear so many books, magazines, journals, and the like. One goes there to be there, this sanctuary for knowledge. Or so it once was.
Now libraries have been largely leveled by a mentality, a sensibility that assumes and demands that every place is a play station. Thus, I need to adjust myself to an environment according to an historic discipline. Rather, I am the environment--one that I can endless divert through my portable toys: laptops, cell phones, and the like.
Because of this intellectually-impoverished sensibility, I banned the use of laptops in my classrooms. As a professor, I can control and audit this environment, this place for teaching and learning. Sadly, I cannot exercise this authority at the Denver Seminary library. However, responsible students may choose to police themselves.