legacy librarian

There’s some talk about how the academic–and in some part, perhaps, the public library’s–move to an electronic format stymies the compulsion for legacy-leaving. Nigel Thrift laments what to do with the books he amassed. His long-term plan was giving them to a library, perhaps a library would name it the Thrift Collection, in his honor? But, libraries are chucking their books because their shelves reached capacity. Sometimes they store print copies off-site. Or they only offer online access to e-books.

Where does this trend leave erstwhile academics at the end of their careers? They’re looking toward the light, wanting to establish a legacy, talking to university development folks, or perhaps the archivist about donating papers, endowments, and the like. And is there still room, still a place at the table for their work?

Oh, sure, I say. Certainly, especially if the library has an IR. Faculty can realize their dream of a legacy in an open access IR. But they must change their notion, wrap their mind around it in a different manner.

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