Saturday, March 04, 2006

Impending End of Civilization Watch

by Tom Bozzo

The subhead to this morning's lead story in the Capital Times (link pending):
Cafes and comfy furniture help keep UW libraries viable
Not, you know, learning.

Update: Here's the link to the story. Here's the central end-of-world passage:
Many stodgy, book-heavy university libraries have used business models to retool their product for a new, technologically savvy generation. Although libraries do not have to make a profit, they do need to justify their existence to state policymakers, campus administration and, increasingly, private donors.
State policymakers may well be as dumb as rocks, depending on the state and policymaker. But campus administration? Call me old-fashioned, but I recommend that any campus administrator who thinks "stodgy, book-heavy" libraries need to justify their existence should find a new line of work. Hopefully it's just TCT's Aaron Nathans getting a little carried away with his theme.

That isn't to say that I don't wish I had access to JSTOR.
The private donor who requires a university to justify its library should be told, in the manner of the Apocryphal Stanfords, to go found their own institution. Oh, wait, that's more profitable than actually teaching students now...never mind.
Deep sigh.
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