Laurie Taylor Column

July 4, 2003

Pulped books spark fury - THES, June .

Welcome to the Library Rationalisation Committee. We have two new faces. As you know our former head librarian, Dr A. J. R. Duncombe, has taken early retirement and I'm delighted to welcome his replacement, Mr Doug Thrust, who has adopted the title "head of information resources" in a bid to get away from the bookish connotations of the word "librarian". And let me also welcome Mr Mike Butt of the Poppleton Waste Disposal Company, who will advise us on technical aspects of pulping.

Now, as you will know, our primary object today is to free up 50 square metres of library space so that we can accommodate the new university Learning and Resources Centre, which requires room for 40 desks, 40 chairs and 40 computers plugged into Google.

As you'll see from the tabled paper, the simplest way to create this space is to de-shelve "Philosophy". Following the closure of the department it seems inappropriate that we should still be weighed down with literally tons of Kant, Locke and Hegel.

Our research also shows that philosophy creeps onto other shelves. Kant, for example, has a habit of getting into "Law", Hegel crops up in "History", and there are even signs of Russell in "Mathematics".

So all in all, a very good chance here for a major clearout. I take it there would be no pulping problems, Mr Butt?

Not at all. We've had some philosophy before and it pulped up very well. You don't get too many of those tricky colour plates.

Good. Now, are there any other points? Yes, a question from our academic representative, Ms Mainwaring.

I'm sorry, Mr Chairman, but I really must ask if there is any logic in this proposal?

Yes, indeed. I'm delighted to be able to tell you that all seven shelves of "Logic" will be bundled for pulping with "Philosophy". Now, may I see those in favour? Thank-you.

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