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(Yahoo)   University Libraries: Hey, we need to get rid our books that people no longer check out. Faculty and students: THIS IS AN OUTRAGE   ( yahoo.com) divider line
    More: Fail, books, Digital library, libraries, Library, IUP faculty committee, IUP history professor, online reference material, available print collections  
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5077 clicks; posted to Main » on 08 Feb 2018 at 7:38 PM (22 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2018-02-08 04:25:56 PM  
Some students say they worry about missing deadlines if they have to wait for a book the library no longer has. Others, like 19-year-old freshman Dierra Rowland, say they're on board.

"If nobody's reading them," she said, "what's the point of having them?"


She doesn't realize it, but she just assessed her education and it failed.
 
2018-02-08 04:40:42 PM  
I have a friend from college that is in charge of weeding his university's collection of books. Most of the stuff he throws out are things that are horrendously out of date to be of use to all but the most esoteric of researchers.
 
2018-02-08 04:41:22 PM  
Because "the cloud" is the end-all be-all of everything and there is no need to have local copies of anything whatsoever because even without Net Neutrality everyone will have unlimited access to data with no restrictions whatsoever that could never be interrupted by any accident or unforeseen circumstance. Ever.
 
2018-02-08 05:59:35 PM  

slackananda: Because "the cloud" is the end-all be-all of everything and there is no need to have local copies of anything whatsoever because even without Net Neutrality everyone will have unlimited access to data with no restrictions whatsoever that could never be interrupted by any accident or unforeseen circumstance. Ever.


I'm sold
 
2018-02-08 06:00:57 PM  
Here's a much more distressing article about libraries destroying books.
 
2018-02-08 07:10:19 PM  
Back in my days as a student, there were books I would pluck off the shelves, examine what I needed to, and leave there in the library without checking them out. That was true even later when teaching classes or simply doing research. And sometimes I'd grab a reference, leaf through it quickly, and just put it back, not because it was worthless but because it wasn't specifically what I needed  then but it was often something I might wind up needing another day.

Sure, some culling needs to take place on occasion but make sure you understand the potential value. And don't score it like you do a retail market. Libraries need to warehouse information that is infrequently accessed. It's rather the point. (or at least one of the important points)
 
2018-02-08 07:16:49 PM  
I volunteer at a local Friends of the Library & we've gotten several HUGE donations from a couple of colleges 200 miles away(ish).  We guess it's so that local people browsing the used book sales don't see local university's books being disposed of.

/we tend to toss 70-80% of those books.  Most are horribly out of date or so tightly focused that the chances of anyone being interested, let alone those who come to out small sales, don't make it worth the time to price/store/& then put out (such as "French Labor/Union Relations in Post-War France - 1948-1955" or "Soil Quality Analysis of South Eastern Montana - 1932" - yeah, no)
//the tossed books do go to a recycler/pulper so there's that
///we also try to salvage the more valuable ones that are in decent condition - no idea what we'll do with them but early edition Dickens (for instance) don't belong in the dumpster or priced for a dollar or two
 
2018-02-08 07:42:46 PM  
Someone failed English 451
 
2018-02-08 07:43:17 PM  
Okay, I'm getting a redirect to win an iPhone scam.
 
2018-02-08 07:45:37 PM  
I went to a book sale at a university library and for whatever reason Blade on DVD was like 3 bucks.
 
2018-02-08 07:46:49 PM  

Angry Drunk Bureaucrat: I have a friend from college that is in charge of weeding his university's collection of books. Most of the stuff he throws out are things that are horrendously out of date to be of use to all but the most esoteric of researchers.


Why are we checking out books at all!?

We have COMPUTERS!!  We should have digital copies of every book in the library system available to anyone who wants a copy. If not everyone on earth, at least every .edu email address.
 
2018-02-08 07:47:29 PM  
People hate two things: change and they way things are now.
 
2018-02-08 07:47:34 PM  
Getting everyone to get rid of their own books in favor of online references feels like the first act of a cryptocracy that would Baudlerize the whole place. Scrub the histories to fit the narrative, teach that Creationism is true.
 
2018-02-08 07:48:07 PM  
Yeah, nobody "checks out" things from a University library (and probably a lot of other libraries too).
They read them while they are there, and then put them back.
I even do that at Barnes & Noble.
 
2018-02-08 07:48:24 PM  
Librarian here. Unfortunately, this is the nature of the job, none of us particularly enjoy it but for the collection to be relevant, current, and in good condition weeding has to happen.

 It's not as though we just go through and throw everything out before a certain date; librarians love metadata, and there's tons to look at of how often things circulated, how often it's requested or looked at in other branches, how old it is, how often things in that category need to be updated (not all nonfiction is created equal).

It's a complex process, and, to the mention of picking up a book and reading it in the library but just leaving it on a table, we account for those too with in house check-ins that count activity even if it isn't leaving.
 
2018-02-08 07:50:36 PM  
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2018-02-08 07:51:07 PM  

wildcardjack: Getting everyone to get rid of their own books in favor of online references feels like the first act of a cryptocracy that would Baudlerize the whole place. Scrub the histories to fit the narrative, teach that Creationism is true.


The ability to control information isn't shifting. Either the library had a physical copy or it had an electronic copy. Assuming that the latter is somehow easier to control than the former is farking stupid.
 
2018-02-08 07:52:52 PM  
most of those books are references that are so far out of date that they are no longer worth keeping around. why keep 15 books of "rainfall in patagonia 1815-1816, 1817-1818, 1819-1820, etc" when you could just keep "rainfall in patagonia '1815-18230'" or even better access to a data base of that same data. It opens your library up to keep more relevant books that your students can actually use
 
2018-02-08 07:53:55 PM  
The university I attended sold old books that weren't being checked out. I got some pretty good bargains. What didn't get sold was donated. The book sale cleaned out the stacks for brand new books and raised funds so they could buy new books and paid for a lot of other things.
 
2018-02-08 07:53:57 PM  

meanmutton: wildcardjack: Getting everyone to get rid of their own books in favor of online references feels like the first act of a cryptocracy that would Baudlerize the whole place. Scrub the histories to fit the narrative, teach that Creationism is true.

The ability to control information isn't shifting. Either the library had a physical copy or it had an electronic copy. Assuming that the latter is somehow easier to control than the former is farking stupid.


Why is it stupid to assume that a hacker or sketchy government agency with hacking skills would have an easier time deleting e-books than physically traveling to the library and tossing the real thing?
 
2018-02-08 07:55:23 PM  
Maybe they should put them into a book depository...

img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2018-02-08 07:56:19 PM  
Exactly this protest predicted back in 2006

img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2018-02-08 08:01:38 PM  

wildcardjack: Okay, I'm getting a redirect to win an iPhone scam.


What are you going to do with an iPhone scam?
 
2018-02-08 08:02:14 PM  

Recoil Therapy: I volunteer at a local Friends of the Library & we've gotten several HUGE donations from a couple of colleges 200 miles away(ish).  We guess it's so that local people browsing the used book sales don't see local university's books being disposed of.

/we tend to toss 70-80% of those books.  Most are horribly out of date or so tightly focused that the chances of anyone being interested, let alone those who come to out small sales, don't make it worth the time to price/store/& then put out (such as "French Labor/Union Relations in Post-War France - 1948-1955" or "Soil Quality Analysis of South Eastern Montana - 1932" - yeah, no)
//the tossed books do go to a recycler/pulper so there's that
///we also try to salvage the more valuable ones that are in decent condition - no idea what we'll do with them but early edition Dickens (for instance) don't belong in the dumpster or priced for a dollar or two


Damn it I was looking for a copy of the French labor/union relations in Post war France. I was going to contrast it with the state of labor today in the US and Europe.

Do you still have a copy?
 
2018-02-08 08:02:22 PM  

Angry Drunk Bureaucrat: I have a friend from college that is in charge of weeding his university's collection of books. Most of the stuff he throws out are things that are horrendously out of date to be of use to all but the most esoteric of researchers.


All the more reason they shouldn't be throwing them out. There might only be a few copies of that left in the world, and it might be something that only a few people would ever look at, but if you're a researcher or genealogist, it might be the find of a lifetime.

This kind of thing really pisses me off. It would be one thing if these older works were properly digitized and preserved, but Google Books has done a real half-assed job of it.
 
2018-02-08 08:03:46 PM  

tlchwi02: most of those books are references that are so far out of date that they are no longer worth keeping around. why keep 15 books of "rainfall in patagonia 1815-1816, 1817-1818, 1819-1820, etc" when you could just keep "rainfall in patagonia '1815-18230'" or even better access to a data base of that same data. It opens your library up to keep more relevant books that your students can actually use


Because sooner or later this information will be deleted from the database when it becomes a politically inconvenient truth.

This is penny smart and pound foolish.  Sure, a 1961 book on personal finance may not be worth much to anyone, but a lot of this stuff will fall into a much greyer area.
 
2018-02-08 08:08:56 PM  

wademh: It's rather the point. (or at least one of the important points)


Another point of the Library is to combine the Basement and the Stack.
 
2018-02-08 08:10:32 PM  
So the real problems are three grades of idiot:

Library 'system bunnies' assess things based on checking out books, but cannot and do not measure books used without checking out, which may be highly significant. These people should know better.

Modern library bean-counters are focused on 'using the space' so want to get rid of boring old books in favor of hacky-sack sharing coffee meetings? These people are unrecoverable and should be shot into the Sun.

People thing that because they have an iPad books are obsolete, right up until they need one that isn't available online because the other types judged it too boring to bother. These people's parents just needed to smack them more often.
 
2018-02-08 08:17:46 PM  

a particular individual: Here's a much more distressing article about libraries destroying books.


The head of my gaming group is a librarian and has discussed this a bunch. The problem is not that people aren't reading (they're reading more than ever) the problem is that people are using digital media for books (especially research) but still have an attachment to physical books that isn't necessarily tied to their dollar value or rarity. People are afraid to get rid of physical books even when the knowledge they contain remains more accessible than ever.

Books are cheap. Like dirt cheap. A modern 400 page paperback cost the publisher less than $2 to print. People object to books being thrown away or destroyed but when books are cheaper than a loaf of bread there's no reason not to make them disposable and only keep high demand ones. All of the knowledge of the rest are still available in digital form (actually more available than physical since you can search and multiple users).

/Everything should be backed up on microfilm
 
2018-02-08 08:19:39 PM  
Why not digitally archive all the books whose copyright has expired? That way you can make room for other books or remodeling.
 
2018-02-08 08:19:49 PM  

To The Escape Zeppelin!: a particular individual: Here's a much more distressing article about libraries destroying books.

The head of my gaming group is a librarian and has discussed this a bunch. The problem is not that people aren't reading (they're reading more than ever) the problem is that people are using digital media for books (especially research) but still have an attachment to physical books that isn't necessarily tied to their dollar value or rarity. People are afraid to get rid of physical books even when the knowledge they contain remains more accessible than ever.

Books are cheap. Like dirt cheap. A modern 400 page paperback cost the publisher less than $2 to print. People object to books being thrown away or destroyed but when books are cheaper than a loaf of bread there's no reason not to make them disposable and only keep high demand ones. All of the knowledge of the rest are still available in digital form (actually more available than physical since you can search and multiple users).


There are many reasons. Your 'digital form' is dust in the farking wind any time some company board decides it is getting out of a market.
 
2018-02-08 08:23:42 PM  

Fireproof: meanmutton: wildcardjack: Getting everyone to get rid of their own books in favor of online references feels like the first act of a cryptocracy that would Baudlerize the whole place. Scrub the histories to fit the narrative, teach that Creationism is true.

The ability to control information isn't shifting. Either the library had a physical copy or it had an electronic copy. Assuming that the latter is somehow easier to control than the former is farking stupid.

Why is it stupid to assume that a hacker or sketchy government agency with hacking skills would have an easier time deleting e-books than physically traveling to the library and tossing the real thing?


Do you know how I know you never read 1984?

Hint:  you don't delete the digital books...
 
2018-02-08 08:26:56 PM  

Persnickety: Exactly this protest predicted back in 2006

[img.fark.net image 294x475]


Not quite. Libraries aren't digitizing things universally, which is the reason for the uproar.

The point of a library is to have a wealth of reference materials, not to stock the most popular books.

/getting people to come in is a different problem, and I am glad it isn't mine
//Campus libraries ought to be pretty flush
 
2018-02-08 08:27:55 PM  
I'm a doctoral student in art history at UT Austin watching our dedicated fine arts library decide to purge the shelves all while replacing stack space with maker spaces and collaborative workspaces (the first of these is great, but belongs in fine arts/architecture). Much of the problem comes from applying the needs of science libraries to the humanities. In history, we often do historiography, and those "out-of-date" books and journals, which are quite often not digitized, and are essential for our work. The same goes for primary source materials. We need the most recent scholarship, but we also need the full thread of a given history. Moreover, as strange as it may sound, serendipitous discoveries of dusty, forgotten books shelved near the one you are looking for, are often the impetus to good history. Our dedicated fine arts library has long been a part of attracting students and faculty who support the program's reputation, which in turn affects the ability of newly minted PhDs to get jobs in universities and museums. Decimating our library has a pragmatic repercussion. I'm not a Luddite mind you. I've personally scanned most of the books and archive materials required for my work, and I use a cloud-based drive so I can access my material anywhere. Digital availability of rare materials and phenomenal search engines make my life monumentally easier than academics had it a generation ago. What I'm suggesting, however, is that the rush to purge books in so many libraries is being undertaken as poorly thought out theater, rushing to give the appearance of a 21st century institution based on a set of questionable assumptions about what that means. This is often being done without the input of those who depend on these collections for their work, and, as in our case, despite that input when it loudly opposed the administrations' assertions.
 
2018-02-08 08:28:15 PM  

Persnickety: Exactly this protest predicted back in 2006

[img.fark.net image 294x475]


Came here to post this.  Glad it's not obscure.

(Great novel, especially if you've ever been to the Geisel library at UCSD.)
 
2018-02-08 08:29:20 PM  
gaspode:
Library 'system bunnies' assess things based on checking out books, but cannot and do not measure books used without checking out, which may be highly significant. These people should know better.

We have the technology
img.fark.netView Full Size

img.fark.netView Full Size
img.fark.netView Full Size
img.fark.netView Full Size

and the kid power
 
2018-02-08 08:30:04 PM  

doglover: Why are we checking out books at all!?


No kidding, it's not like you are ever going to have a job or career that benefits from a first class education. "Would you like an Apple pie or McFlurry with your meal, sir."
 
2018-02-08 08:32:09 PM  
This isn't anything new. Physical items take up space. How many tons of newspapers were pulped in favor of shoddily produced, haphazardly organized rolls of microfilm?

img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2018-02-08 08:32:33 PM  
In a few years, young people will be like, "What's a book?"
 
2018-02-08 08:33:53 PM  

Soccerhead: In a few years, young people will be like, "What's a book?"


Well still have books in fifty years, even in 100 they will still be a well-known luxury.
 
2018-02-08 08:35:34 PM  
Students: "We want lots of study rooms, soft seating, and 3D Printers but we never use the books in the stacks, only databases"

Faculty: "We need more offices - ooh let's poach some of the library space, they're not buying books any more, just databases"

Librarians: "well, since we're losing more floor space for what the patrons say they want, let's undertake another weeding project and get rid of some useless crap"

Faculty & students: "OH NO THEY BE TAKIN OUR BOOKITS"

/university librarian
 
2018-02-08 08:38:13 PM  

punkwrestler: Recoil Therapy: I volunteer at a local Friends of the Library & we've gotten several HUGE donations from a couple of colleges 200 miles away(ish).  We guess it's so that local people browsing the used book sales don't see local university's books being disposed of.

/we tend to toss 70-80% of those books.  Most are horribly out of date or so tightly focused that the chances of anyone being interested, let alone those who come to out small sales, don't make it worth the time to price/store/& then put out (such as "French Labor/Union Relations in Post-War France - 1948-1955" or "Soil Quality Analysis of South Eastern Montana - 1932" - yeah, no)
//the tossed books do go to a recycler/pulper so there's that
///we also try to salvage the more valuable ones that are in decent condition - no idea what we'll do with them but early edition Dickens (for instance) don't belong in the dumpster or priced for a dollar or two

Damn it I was looking for a copy of the French labor/union relations in Post war France. I was going to contrast it with the state of labor today in the US and Europe.

Do you still have a copy?


According to my confidential informant at the library, we just got in another 35 boxes of books from said university...

You pay the postage & it's yours once I run across it.... would Basque labor relations be an acceptable substitute if I can't find French?
 
2018-02-08 08:44:20 PM  
Tell us more about what it was like when you were a kid grampa.
 
2018-02-08 08:44:41 PM  

Great_Milenko: tlchwi02: most of those books are references that are so far out of date that they are no longer worth keeping around. why keep 15 books of "rainfall in patagonia 1815-1816, 1817-1818, 1819-1820, etc" when you could just keep "rainfall in patagonia '1815-18230'" or even better access to a data base of that same data. It opens your library up to keep more relevant books that your students can actually use

Because sooner or later this information will be deleted from the database when it becomes a politically inconvenient truth.

This is penny smart and pound foolish.  Sure, a 1961 book on personal finance may not be worth much to anyone, but a lot of this stuff will fall into a much greyer area.


sure, someone should probably keep that information somewhere. but if your choice is 2 dozen old books of agricultural records that haven't been touched in 15 years from when you were a land grant ag/tech school vs 2 dozen current books about programing now that your school is focused on technology education? no brainer there
 
2018-02-08 08:51:59 PM  

Recoil Therapy: punkwrestler: Recoil Therapy:

Damn it I was looking for a copy of the French labor/union relations in Post war France. I was going to contrast it with the state of labor today in the US and Europe.

Do you still have a copy?

According to my confidential informant at the library, we just got in another 35 boxes of books from said university...

You pay the postage & it's yours once I run across it.... would Basque labor relations be an acceptable substitute if I can't find French?


Let me know if you come across Proceedings of the IVth International Congress on Methods in Protein Sequence Analysis (1981) Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY, The HUMANA Press Inc., or any other of that series from the first to about the tenth. Thanks
 
2018-02-08 08:52:31 PM  

Chuck87: Why not digitally archive all the books whose copyright has expired? That way you can make room for other books or remodeling.


It's called Project Gutenberg. http://www.gutenberg.org

/Love my hardcopy books.
//Ran out of room.
///Slashies come in threes unless you have more to say.
////Smarted some of you for excellent comments.
 
2018-02-08 08:58:03 PM  

doglover: Angry Drunk Bureaucrat: I have a friend from college that is in charge of weeding his university's collection of books. Most of the stuff he throws out are things that are horrendously out of date to be of use to all but the most esoteric of researchers.

Why are we checking out books at all!?

We have COMPUTERS!!  We should have digital copies of every book in the library system available to anyone who wants a copy. If not everyone on earth, at least every .edu email address.


I work in history, and I have to say, while I do appreciate very greatly things that computers have brought to the field (especially in terms of access to primary sources), it's a hell of a lot more time consuming and frustrating browsing through books on a computer.

A lot of this has to do with how you can browse through a book online vs. in your hand.  Browsing online, a delay of even a millisecond or two per page rapidly becomes noticeable and annoying as you're scrolling through a PDF.  Flipping through pages is a book is a hell of a lot more responsive.

Then there are issues with problems with scanning.  Incredibly annoying when you've found just the page you need and the person scanning that page failed to notice that it was partially folded over or something.

More to the point, I've tried browsing for good books to use for research using online catalogs.  My experience is that you'll find quite a bit that way, but you'll also find quite a bit more by going to the physical shelf with the book you need and just browsing through what's on the shelf around it.  Grabbing a book off the shelf, leafing through it, and either adding it to the pile or putting it back.  My experience is that doesn't really happen with books online.

I can't speak for other disciplines; my assumption is that the hard sciences, for instance, would have to be a lot more ruthless about culling the older stuff.  But for recent work I was doing, I was using works dating back to the 1930s quite heavily and consulting books written back in the 19th century.
 
2018-02-08 09:02:29 PM  

Recoil Therapy: punkwrestler: Recoil Therapy: I volunteer at a local Friends of the Library & we've gotten several HUGE donations from a couple of colleges 200 miles away(ish).  We guess it's so that local people browsing the used book sales don't see local university's books being disposed of.

/we tend to toss 70-80% of those books.  Most are horribly out of date or so tightly focused that the chances of anyone being interested, let alone those who come to out small sales, don't make it worth the time to price/store/& then put out (such as "French Labor/Union Relations in Post-War France - 1948-1955" or "Soil Quality Analysis of South Eastern Montana - 1932" - yeah, no)
//the tossed books do go to a recycler/pulper so there's that
///we also try to salvage the more valuable ones that are in decent condition - no idea what we'll do with them but early edition Dickens (for instance) don't belong in the dumpster or priced for a dollar or two

Damn it I was looking for a copy of the French labor/union relations in Post war France. I was going to contrast it with the state of labor today in the US and Europe.

Do you still have a copy?

According to my confidential informant at the library, we just got in another 35 boxes of books from said university...

You pay the postage & it's yours once I run across it.... would Basque labor relations be an acceptable substitute if I can't find French?


Possibly let me know what you can find.
 
2018-02-08 09:02:52 PM  
I want better security for the books they keep - was doing research at a reference library (where you can only read them there) and they had a raft of local college students stealing them because they just didn't want to read them there.   And of course a lazy jack-off stole the one I was using and never returned it.
 
2018-02-08 09:03:16 PM  

Tax Boy: Students: "We want lots of study rooms, soft seating, and 3D Printers but we never use the books in the stacks, only databases"

Faculty: "We need more offices - ooh let's poach some of the library space, they're not buying books any more, just databases"

Librarians: "well, since we're losing more floor space for what the patrons say they want, let's undertake another weeding project and get rid of some useless crap"

Faculty & students: "OH NO THEY BE TAKIN OUR BOOKITS"

/university librarian


Yeah we should probably be kicking the students who don't know how to use the stacks out of the library.

/snark
// BTW, I'm really enjoying my metamorphosis into a curmudgeon as I age
 
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