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Monday, January 19, 2015

The "A Digital Catastrophy" Story

It was an ordinary day.  Starting to worry that my job as yearbook advisor for the Manheim Township Middle School Yearbook and the Landis Run Intermediate School Yearbook are in jeopardy.  I had heard about the elimination of some yearbooks from schools around the country, but never thought it would affect me.  
Story from the latest issue of the Millersville University Review.
Click on photo to enlarge to make it easier to read.
That was until my recent copy of the Millersville University Review came in the mail a few days ago.  Interesting and informative publication that tells what is going on at the university throughout the year.  Starting reading through the articles and when I hit page 19 it jumped off the page at me.  Headline said "Yearbook? No More."  Wow!  Now I know this is a college yearbook that they are talking about, but …..  Can it happen in the public school districts around the country?  When I went to Millersville I graduated and never bought a yearbook.  I lived at home and attended very few social functions and sporting events, mainly because I had to work a part-time job which consumed most of my out-of-class time.  I got to know most of my classmates in the Industrial Arts Department as well as those whom I ate lunch with most days, but knew very few others in the college.  So, I decided against buying a school yearbook which was called the "Touchstone."  I guess I wasn't the only one who didn't buy the book, since over the years the sales must have decreased to the point that the book became too costly to produce in book form.  I had read that some schools had gone the route of producing a digital book, but the story today says that the "Touchstone" ceased publication after the 2012 yearbook.  I still have the 4 yearbooks from my high school years as well as quite a few of the 40 plus yearbooks I have been responsible for in the high school, middle school and intermediate schools where I was the yearbook advisor.  We still sell books to about 75%-80% of the students in both the middle school and intermediate school so I don't think we have reached the point of no return ….. yet!  I can't believe students would be happy with a digital yearbook, but what do I know.  With formatt changes and loss of digital files over the years, how long would a digital book last for most people.  And, when your friend buys one why not make a copy of it to avoid the cost of buying your own.  Can't have a digital book signed like a traditional printed one?  I'm sure it's possible if you know know to do it.  So should I worry?  Nah!  By the time yearbooks die I'll no longer be interested in being an advisor.  I hope!!  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

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