University of Hawaii: A Farewell to Books: Who Will Take Sinclair’s Collections?
The phrase “no more Alexandrias” has become a common refrain among academic librarians in the United States. A reference to the great Library of Alexandria, where it is said that every time a ship docked in the city’s ports, scribes would copy every text aboard to add to the library’s impressive collection, the phrase now refers to libraries’ practice of eschewing expansive collections of books – especially serials and periodicals.
Why cramp libraries with volumes when a subscription to JSTOR, an academic digital library, offers the same texts online?
This movement is evident at UH Mānoa’s Sinclair Library, now “Sinclair Student Success Center,” where librarians spend their days thinning books, most of them periodicals, some more than a century old. Librarians have sent books to Harvard, Princeton and Emory University. Other books have taken a shorter trip to UH’s own Hamilton Library, and some have ended up in the dumpsters.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.