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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Bad News at UML

I went to the UMass Lowell South Campus today, to visit the O'Leary Library.  My purpose was to look for a very specific book, but one for which I only know the subject and the author's last name.  This would be a history of (or perhaps a visitor's guide to) our Nation's Capital, Washington, DC.  The author's last name is Reynolds.  Any hints would be appreciated.

What did I find at the Library?  Nothing!  The books have all left, and not TDY, but rather PCS.  Except for Music, and references on the first floor, the contents are all now on the North Campus.  I am not sure how that helps Continuing Education Students who are taking South Campus courses.

I am perhaps more sensitive to this than some in that while I was teaching at the National War College our library, which was in our own building, was consolidated with the library of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces and moved into a third building, further up the post.  Sure, it isn't a big deal for a physically fit man or woman of 40 to walk a couple of blocks to the library, but moving the library meant that those who might have just wandered through the stacks, killing a few minutes, would no longer do so.  And, wandering is a fine way to discover new things, like when I found a book on Odilo Globocnik, an SS leader and one of the major figures in the Holocaust, which was a course we were taking.  Just plain serendipity.

I can be convinced this massive transfer of books is a good idea, but it is not coming to me as I type.

Regards  —  Cliff

  • TDY is Temporary Duty
  • PCS is Permanent Change of Station


JoeS said...

Try searching with link below:

JoeS said...

Could you be looking for Charles Bingham Reynolds?

C R Krieger said...

That may be the guy.  I am now researching same.


Regards  —  Cliff

Anonymous said...

I share your pain Cliff. Being a history professor and with an office in O'Leary I watched all of the history collection - the entire history dept. is housed on South btw - moved to North Campus. It was great when I needed something to walk one floor down. They also purged lots of older history books from their holdings-it is only history afterall!

This is partly growing pains with lots more students and too little teaching and faculty office space, esp. across South Campus, which has always played second fiddle to the science and engineering folks on North. What we have on South that they now do not, is a lot more parking!

Personally, I'd take a greater investment in books if we are ever to become a much more well thought of research university in the social sciences and humanities.

Bob Forrant said...

Opps. The comment on the library is mine - Bob Forrant, History professor at UML. I never blog hiding who I am. Sorry about that.

C R Krieger said...

Purging the "old books" is especially egregious.  New books smell better and have more current information, but to avoid being too heavy, they purge "old" information.  I am helping someone write a history of the National War College and one of my tasks has been a history of what is now Fort McNair.  The "old books", the old guides to Washington, DC, for example, have had lots of interesting information that is not available in newer material.

Thanks for the post(s).

Regards  —  Cliff