Sunday, July 31, 2011

Dismantling the Library of Michigan

Library of Michigan, Lansing, MI
I was thrilled to be part of the incredible staff at the Library of Michigan in Lansing years ago. At first the beautiful new building showcased the library in one wing and the historical museum in the other. Eventually other departments moved in and the library was slowly squeezed. Now many of the books are being auctioned off in huge lots. You can read more HERE in Dome.
"Rare book dealers who follow these things believe that the sale is the largest number of books to be sold at one time in Michigan. The sale includes what is called the “Dewey” collection and another estimated 7,500 books deemed superfluous and culled from Library collections."
I spoke to a rare book dealer in Lansing and he said the huge lots being offered made it almost impossible to bid on lots. One would need a truck to pick them up and someplace to store them so you could sort through for 'gems'. 

At one point there were proposals to get rid of  "the state’s premier genealogy collection" but that ultimately did not happen. "That collection was ultimately saved, to the delight of thousand of “genies” who fought hard to preserve the collection. However, that collection will no longer be expanded by purchases or gifts."

I hate to see our important cultural assets diminished or destroyed because of funding declines when we all know there is plenty of money out there. It is just going to other priorities.

1 comment:

  1. That's so sad. And you're right -- the money is there, just going to other priorities.