One of my students stopped by this week to talk about her term project. The class has several options for a project, but one option involves analyzing old periodicals. When I discussed this in class, some students didn't know that those were on the shelves, and only a few had ventured into the dim caverns of the library where they're kept. I waxed rhapsodic about the joys of reading old periodicals, winding up with, "And it's really fun!" Their faces told me that their idea of fun might involve something other than the library, but they still seemed interested (or had the good manners to seem interested).
The student who stopped by was one who had ventured into the dim caverns of the compressed stacks--and seemed to be as excited by that adventure of discovery as I am: "I love old books!" It's nice to know that some in the class share this feeling. Take today, for example: If it's dinnertime on a cold, dark, rainy night, and I've been up since 5:15 and on campus since 8:00 a.m. , and if the last thing I feel like doing is going to the library before heading home, I can usually find the motivation to track down books and make copies if I can go to the old periodicals/books area as a reward.
I mention this in part because of a recent comment posted to a previous post about book dumping at Cal Poly Pomona (go to the comments page to read the whole thing; I'm not sure about the etiquette of reposting the entire comment on the blog):
"The 200,000 books in storage are going to be thrown away. The library is being converted into a book crematorium."