Nice System, but Something is Missing

Over the years I bought, read a number of books on Asia, mostly Japan; had much more than I had imagined when I went through all of them yesterday. 

Why? Well I am/was thinking about donating them the son's soon to be college's library in what I see now as a naive attempt to add something to the library which might fuel greater student interest in Japan. I initially contacted the school librarian.

Now the State of Ohio, and perhaps other states as well, has a system in place (OhioLINK its called) in which a student in one school can borrow a book from  another university's library. Cool system and efficient as smaller schools (such as son's school) can defer to larger schools (who have more space and $$$$$$$$) for keeping large collections.  So in this regard I was told I needed to check each of the titles I have against OhioLINK to see if any copies exist/how many copies exist, which would then determine what books the school would accept.

So I plowed through it all yesterday and saw that most of the books I have, one school or another has a copy of.  But what really impressed me was the collection of books on Japan the Ohio State University seems to have.  In every search I did from a book I have written in the very early 1900's on the Russo-Japanese War, a 1920ish book on Chinese etiquette, and a more contemporary book of an English translation of Ainu poetry, Ohio State's library has it.  Was very impressed.

So what this means is given what I've been told, there are very few books the school will accept. 

Now what I have isn't that extensive or special, but after this exercise, I realize that I would much rather have what I have donated/kept as a whole as I see it as much more useful in that state instead of piecemeal in a state-wide system. Understand and can appreciate the benefits of a system like OhioLINK, but  again, it seems  better for a student to have a book on the stacks right in front of him/her that out there on a database.

I think my mistake was going directly to the library bureaucracy who has their own interests in mind instead of making contact with say the dept. /professor in charge of Asian history at son's school.

So what am I going to do next?  Get back with the librarian to tell him what I found, but make a pitch for keeping the collection I have intact.

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5 Responses to Nice System, but Something is Missing

  1. Katiebell says:

    If you really want it to keep the collection together, you might want to look at a few other schools or systems.

  2. An Ex-Expat says:

    Am toying with that idea, to speak to the Asian History Prof, but perhaps later when things settle down; after all were there's a bureaucracy, ther are also egos and territoriality, and it might not sit well with this person seeing me make an end run around him.

  3. Ladywise says:

    Hey Expat! Nice to meet you! I was checking out your blog and read this entry about the books. I wanted to comment but without being in your "hood" I couldn't. I wanted to say that if I were you and you have Asian heritage I would keep the books. Your son will have children of his own one day and you will wish you had those books. Just my opinion but little things that you can hang on to now will be big important things later. I'm a grandmother of three with a fourth on the way and have spent many hours already with my oldest grand daughter going through things I hung on to. Having a book in their hands that they know their father or especially their grand father actually sat down and read is a connection for them. Books to me are one of the material things in life worthy of hanging on to. That's just my opinion.

  4. An Ex-Expat says:

    I haven't moved on what to do with the books. You have a pint; that while son may not be all that interested in the other part of his heritage, keeping the books aroun may come in useful later.

    As for not beng able to comment without being a 'neighbor', blame that on the blog-bots (guess that's what you call them), who were provimg to be as welcome as flies at a BBQ.

  5. Ladywise says:

    That's fine. I'm always happy to have a new neighbor, especially one that isn't a blog bot. That's a good word for them. HA!I guess I'm just big on hanging on to stuff anyway as a part of my own heritage. I grew up without much and you tend to hang on to whatever you do have in that case. Books though, they are just more important in my eyes and I have a fear that we will get to a point one day that printed books will be hard to come by because of the internet. Heritage is always important and your son will change his attitude about it as he matures.

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