Two items in today’s papers show that there appears to be a global trend towards smaller libraries, with the justification being that it’s all available online anyway.
In Bangor Maine, users will be moved out of the main library room into three small upper rooms, as the librarians pack up 750 boxes of the collection. We can say that it’s all on the online services, but losing 15,000 books has to have an impact.
And on the other side of the world, a story from the SMH as profs at the UNSW discovered the library‘s collection of international law journals pitched into a skip for recycling. They scrapped 350 journals.
Staff managed to salvage about 35 sets to donate to educational institutions in Laos.
It is understood librarians were keen to donate or sell the rest of the journals but were advised by university administrators not to waste their time.
The Federal Opposition’s education spokeswoman, Jenny Macklin, said the destruction of the journals was “vandalism”.
“It’s not hard to find a good home for books. Store them, sell them or give them away but they should never have been dumped.”