There was one copy of The Female Eunuch in the senior library of my public high school when I started fifth form - now year 11 - in 1976.
After four years at a Catholic high school I was surprised to see Germaine Greer's landmark feminist text on the shelves. I was even more surprised to see it was well read, or at least the parts that featured sex.
I loved that senior library. It sat at the end of the larger junior library, behind a closed door. It had enough tables and chairs that there was always somewhere to sit, and enough books to deserve its title.
I don't remember under what heading The Female Eunuch was filed. I can't think why, in 1976, a NSW public high school library would include the feminist tract, or which class might have used it as a reference book. But there it was.
It might have been implanted as a subversive act by the school librarian, a striking woman with bouffant reddish hair and a dress code that favoured close-fitting skirt-and-top ensembles on a tight colour spectrum of yellows and greens. I liked her. She was odd, spiky at times, but tended to leave the seniors to their own devices unless she was needed.
I thought about that library the other day while reading about the new $225 million Arthur Phillip High School at Parramatta that has iHubs but no library, and the continuing controversy about Sydney private school, Scots College, and its $29 million upgrade of an existing library to look like a Scottish castle.
At Arthur Phillip each iHub - and decide for yourself what an iHub looks like, but I can't get past a lot of power points and cords - has digital resources and some hard copy books, while "students can access other parts of the school's collection through the librarian", according to the Department of Education.
At Scots College the library upgrade will incorporate a terrace with Sydney Harbour views, a grand hall, 100-seat theatre and a boardroom. And possibly books and book shelves. Details apart from the "Scottish Baronial architectural style" are sketchy.
I won't wax lyrical about the pleasure I take wandering through libraries or book shops to find books on subjects I never knew existed, and how the thought of "accessing" a book "through the librarian" gives me the horrors because of how limiting that sounds. There's not much exploration when you have to ask someone for a particular book. It's transactional rather than expeditionary. It sounds like how a committee of public servants and engineers on a budget would translate the library experience.
But you're either into libraries and book shops or you're not, and if you're not, someone else's raving about fabulous books and fabulous authors can sound like pretentious crap. So I'll spare you.
Anyway, clearly the volume of information available to us now via computers, laptops, tablets, phones and watches in our hyper-"connected" world is extraordinary, and would not be at our fingertips if confined to print.
And clearly the internet opens up that world of information, so a search online on a subject - say, National Party controversies - might start with Bridget McKenzie and sports rorts, jump quickly to Barnaby Joyce, weird videos about getting the government off his back, an affair, a baby, another baby and a dummy spit, and eventually run into Michael McCormack and his issues with city folk who drink coffee.
All very enjoyable, sometimes mildly disturbing, but after half an hour of online searches you're as enlightened as you might have been if you'd killed 30 minutes watching a reality TV show. You're still ignorant of what the Nationals think about climate change, and more importantly, why they think it.
Acting on climate change is "good policy, bad politics" is the term used by the major parties, which explains a decade of inaction.
That's the reality of many people's experience of information and the internet, and that's a problem.
Another survey this week showed a majority of Australians - 68 per cent - believe climate change poses a "serious threat" to our lives, and 64 per cent believe Australia should be "doing more" to address the problem, while 60 per cent believe we should be a "global leader" in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
But things get pretty messy from there.
The survey of 1014 voters found the percentage of Australians with "serious doubts about whether climate change is occurring" has increased from a similar survey two years ago, rising from 19 per cent in 2018 to 24 per cent this week.
Even people who support action on climate change aren't clear about what that means and how it's achieved, beyond acknowledging the Paris Agreement has something to do with it.
Politicians know this.
Reports this week about a "clash" between federal Liberal and Nationals MPs over climate change policy, and a push by Nationals for a new coal-fired power station in Queensland, made clear the issue at federal level remains the politics of climate change, rather than climate change itself.
Some MPs - Nationals - argued against action on climate change because it is "only of interest to Greens voters in the inner suburbs of major cities", while marginal seat holders said the government had to be seen to act on climate change because it was a big issue in their electorates.
Nowhere in the reports did I read of an MP arguing Australia needed to dramatically reduce carbon emissions because the science shows Australia is particularly vulnerable to some of the predicted impacts of a warming planet, including increased and more intense natural disasters. There was no mention of the increasingly desperate calls for a national climate and energy policy from business and investor groups, or warnings that climate change will have a "profound" impact on the economy, from people like Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe.
No. The talk within the federal Coalition Government leaders was about whether doing anything will play well for the parties politically. And Labor's not much better. Acting on climate change is "good policy, bad politics" is the term used by the major parties, which explains a decade of inaction.
So it's up to us to be informed. There are great books available about climate change and energy, written by Australians, for Australia. Economist Matthew Warren's 2019 book Blackout: How is Energy-Rich Australia Running Out of Electricity?, carries chief scientist Dr Alan Finkel's thumbs-up, and shows how clearly politicians have failed us. Economist Ross Garnaut's Superpower, shows what we should be doing.
Read them, weep, and then get vocal.