Re: Recent Comments by Albert Henderson

From: Greg Kuperberg <greg_at_MATH.UCDAVIS.EDU>
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2001 08:44:02 -0800

On Thu, Jan 25, 2001 at 09:50:42AM -0500, Albert Henderson wrote:
> You have my sympathy.

Thanks but I don't need it. I don't think that the university is
short-changing me. My access to math research is as good as it ever
was thanks to MathSciNet, which is unfortunately proprietary but not
expensive; the math arXiv, which is free; and home pages and other
Internet sources.

Shields Library is a Taj Mahal among campus buildings. It has tons of
books and an ample, efficient, smiling staff. It has nice furniture
and beautiful computer terminals. If it doesn't have absolutely every
math journal, it has most of the important ones. That it is so big and
unwieldy is the real problem. Spending more money on Shields would not
bring it down to a human scale, nor would it bring it any closer to my
office. In any case it isn't far away. It wouldn't beat the Internet
no matter how much money they spent on it.

I agree with you that the administration should listen to the departments
more on library spending. The math and physics departments would
probably cut library spending in favor of their own budgets if they
could. The main reason that Shields goes beyond the utilitarian minimum
is to recruit undergraduates, and even more their nostalgic parents.
That could be a fine reason to spend money, but it's not for the benefit
of my research.

As I said, your most recent piece in Society does lie somewhere in
Shields. Why not also put it on your web page like everyone else does?
  /\  Greg Kuperberg (UC Davis)
 /  \
 \  / Visit the Math ArXiv Front at
  \/  * All the math that's fit to e-print *
Received on Wed Jan 03 2001 - 19:17:43 GMT

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