In These Days of Unlimited Physical Space, There’s Enough Room For Everything

June 20th, 2005 · No Comments
by Booksquare

The Octagon library at Queen Mary, University of London, is undergoing a little “refurbishment”. Part of the process involves discarding old books. This, by the way, is a common library practice (we will refrain from repeating the mother/Ray Bradbury story, but you can pretend it’s been told. Again.). The Octagon’s mistake, and it was a mistake, came in their approach.

Yes, rather than announcing a book giveaway or sale or donating the books or taking them to used bookstores or any one of a zillion approaches, they chose to toss the books into large skips. Which is the British way of saying they threw them into the garbage.

Outrage and opportunism ensued. There is something so delightfully over-the-top about the responses quoted that we (almost) feel sorry for the library.

“A library is a collection of books, it’s not a building. Throwing out books because you are having a refurishment is like moving house but saying I won’t bother taking my family with me.”

More practical souls saw the dusty old tomes as helpful decorative items.

File Under: Square Pegs