In order to keep up to date and work toward the “library of the future” as stated in President Wong’s Road Map to 2015, the Lydia M. Olson Library will remove 50 percent of its books over several years. While this may trigger alarm in some people who are concerned that certain information will no longer be available to them, the books to be removed will either have not been checked out or browsed in at least 15 years. This does not mean that the library will get rid of all the books that meet this criteria.
If a book is not available anywhere aside from the library, the book will stay. Sometimes books in a library need to go, especially if the knowledge they contain can no longer be used as a viable source of academic information.
While some people may cry “foul” at the library’s decision to make these cuts, it’s a necessary step in order to accumulate more relevant and pertinent information. In fact, keeping books in circulation that are irrelevant could actually do more harm than good for students looking for information. To keep NMU an academically competitive school, resources must be kept on hand that reinforce the academic standards NMU wishes to uphold.
Not only is it beneficial for the library to update its information, but it will also receive 15 percent of the profits from the sale of the books, which can be used to replace the stacks with better information. Ideally, the library would be able to keep all of its books and acquire more, but that’s not possible.
Cleaning out the stacks is common practice in all libraries, and it hasn’t happened here in quite some time. According to Mollie Freier, head of public services, while cleaning out the older books, a 100-year-old note was found. While a discovery of this nature is indeed interesting, if that doesn’t say that the books need to be updated, we don’t know what does.
A library is an indispensable aspect of a college campus. If NMU wants to grow in learning and education, then its library needs to as well.