This morning, I encountered a friend who works for a state agency. She was doing research on murine typhus and needed
to look at articles in issues of Public Health Reports from the 1950s, because most of the research on the disease was done
It is incidents like this that remind us of why we need to have a retrospective collection of journals and books. Research
fronts change, but they all cite seminal works which in most cases are not available electronically. Maybe in 10-12 years
we can access them online, but for now, those moldy volumes in the Book Museum are what we've got.
Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Neil Smatresk believes that we are hidebound conservatives, resistant to change,
insistent upon maintaining our collection of musty old books that no one uses. He went so far as to call us a "book museum."
We're obviously stupid for not acknowledging that everything is available through Google, and if it's not, we don't need
it. He's not interested in knowing that electronic versions of publications are more expensive than their print counterparts.
Smatresk wants to know, "Why do we need all that space for government documents? Why aren't we getting them all digitally?"
Hello, Neil, why do you think we're busting our buns replacing government documents & maps lost in the flood if they're
available digitally? It's because THEY'RE NOT AVAILABLE DIGITALLY. DUH!
Thanks for your support, Neil. Luckily, you'll soon be leaving for another job, and no one here will remember your name
in a few years.