In a world that’s ever more digital, a group of students at Yale have protested over the school library’s plan to relocate a trove of books from the Bass Library, bringing the library’s holdings down from 150,000 books to just 40,000.
The books were to be moved to make more space for, among other things, places where students could browse and read electronically. But it seems that even among the digital generation, there remains a love of the printed page. Students expressed an appreciation for being able to remove a book from the shelves at random—perhaps intrigued simply by the title—and leaf through its pages, reading it if it seems of interest.
The school offered a compromise wherein 61,000, rather than the original planned 40,000, would be retained at the Bass Library, but the students still weren’t satisfied. The books were to be moved nearby and to be available on a day’s notce for any student who wanted to borrow one. But that wasn’t good enough. Students expressed dissatisfaction with not having the ability to walk into the library, pick up a book they needed for their schoolwork, and do research on the spot.
Isn’t that part of what a library is for?
The world is certainly used to student protests, but not usually over the availability of books, and certainly not in this digital age. It’s good to know college-age kids these days still care about books!