Monday, March 23, 2009

Soaring Eagles, departing journals

Two notes related to American University:
  • Despite my general indifference to basketball and almost total lack of interest in "March madness," I happened to see a bit of the A.U.-Villanova game last week (at least I think it was last week). The A.U. team lost, as expected, but made a surprisingly good showing. At one point a rather overexcited announcer declared that the Eagles represented "a great university" (I'm not saying, definitively, that they don't, I'm just saying the announcer was overexcited). Maybe we should start ranking universities by how many times sports announcers say hyped-up things about them. After all, some website is already ranking schools in terms of their proximity to "pumping surf" (see a recent post on this at The Monkey Cage).

  • The A.U. library is moving all its bound periodicals, with the exception of certain arts journals, off-site to the Washington Research Library Consortium storage facility. The space crunch is the main reason given (the library buys 22,000 new books each year), and the FAQ sheet on the relocation project also says that "our findings show that a little more than 6 percent of our bound-volume collection was used last year...." Of course, what this figure, however arrived at exactly, almost certainly misses is that at least a few people occasionally browse through the bound periodicals (much as others might browse through the book stacks), without photocopying a particular article or even taking a bound volume from the shelf back to a desk. Such browsing obviously will no longer be possible once the relocation is finished.

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