Controversy erupted at the University of California–Santa Cruz when 60 percent of its printed materials were removed from the Science & Engineering Library. Faculty members were outraged that approximately 80,000 books valued between $2-$6 million were hauled off campus or destroyed without their consultation. A proposal to remove 90 percent of written material from the Cabot Science Library at Harvard was scaled back by the faculty there.
The more I think about this story, the angrier I become.
It’s not the fact that the schools are going “digital” – that’s fine if their students are happy with that decision and I understand how much easier it probably is to manage their inventory & to provide open spaces in the library for the students.
No, what has me upset is that in some cases these “schools” are DESTROYING printed books when they make the transfer to digital. How could they do this?
I cover stories on a weekly basis of schools desperately reaching out for book donations, of schools trying to find money in their budgets to add to a sub-par library. Why would they do this when there are so many other options available? Donate the unwanted tomes, hell – even sell them if you want some type of payoff for disposing of them. But to just out-and-out destroy them?!
Shame. Shame on you. Shame on you for destroying the books, shame of you for apparently not even considering other options but most of all – shame on you for calling yourself a “school” or “educator”. You are not worried about “educating” people, at least not as much as you are worried about making a profit.
I just find this all so very, very sad.