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“The Library site is looking great.” I type, in an e-mail to my website designer. “I was wondering if we could do something more with the background? I’m attaching a few photos that may give it more texture.”

We are currently putting the finishing touches on a new website, for the library I direct. It will help our community members and students access the information in our collection faster. So far, I’m enjoying the task, learning a lot about WordPress and web design as we progress.

The new site is clean, balanced, and modern looking, to mimic the building that surrounds the library’s moderate-sized collection. There are splashes of navy blue, a subtle reminder to the viewer of our Yale affiliation. And, if we can do it, there will be a background, rough, warm, and textured.

I was born in the mid-80s. Unlike the students I now serve (especially the college age ones), I remember a time when computers and smartphones were not primary research tools. I’m old enough to remember that learning, that seeking information, has a sensual experience to it. I know how it feels to hold a book in my hands, slowly slipping my fingertips across the paper’s light, fibered surface as I turn another page and learn another fact.

Though students will visit my site and take in information, clothed in svelte text on a smooth computer screen, there will be something else—a little warmer, a little softer, a little different—going on in the background. Their fingers will not touch fiber, but their eyes will feel the presence of a different sort of texture.

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