The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, July 18, 1985, Image 2

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Page 2n"he BattalionAThursday July 18, 1985 OPINION Picking the cream of the text crop It’s harvest time in Texas once again. Time, to harvest the leaves of knowledge and distribute them to the state’s youth. That’s right, it’s textbook pickin’ time. Picking books for school children isn’t quite as simple as picking berries. The State Textbook Committee hears testimony from people around the state and then sends its recommenda tions to the State Board of Education which will choose the books next month. Naturally, no one seems to agree on what constitutes a good textbook. According to Mary Lassiter of Mesquite, Martin Lu ther King, Jr. was a criminal. Lassiter claims a book which por trays King as a role model should be rewritten to “eliminate the praise for lawbreaking” in its references to the civil rights leader. Lassiter’s views are more than slightlv narrow. Sure, King broke the laws, but they were laws which allowed racial discrimi nation to thrive. He advocated an equality that was long in com ing to American blacks. Many prominent historical figures broke laws, but the out come of their actions was the improvement of society. Our founding fathers engaged in numerous illegal activities during their opposition to British rule. The greatness of George Wash ington, Thomas JefYerson, Benjamin Franklin and their ilk can not be denied. Mahatma Gandhi became famous for his peaceful means of lawbreaking and even inspired King’s methods. If King’s actions are to be omitted, Gandhi’s should also. And what about Henry David Thoreau who developed the concept of civil disobedience while sitting in prison for riot paying a poll tax which he found immoral? A child shouldn’t be kept from learning about great men merely because some of their methods of creating a greater good violated some existing laws. Only by being presented with these facts can a child develop a sense of what is right and wrong. We can’t expect to force-feed one person’s set of morals to every child in the state. When picking textbooks we must make sure to get the cream of the crop. The Battalion Editorial Board Exotic animals abound A day at A&M zoo I bet you didn’t know that Texas A&M had a zoo. Well it does. It is a wonderful zoo, lull of interesting, exotic creatures that roam uninhi bited a c r o s s a game preserve that also doubles as the Texas A&M campus. To identify the animals better, I have compiled a list of the most frequently seen exotic creatures that roam across i he preserve. First is the fish. Not your ordinary fish, mind you, but a special breed of fish. These fish don’t swim, but rather they travel across the preserve on two legs. Another distinguishing characteristic is the fish’s special breeding. It has been raised and nurtured in a maroon envi ronment with a geneology that can be traced back through several generations of former fish that once had lived on the preserve. The best place to observe the Fish is at the MSC. Find a comfortable bench by the fountain and be prepared to enjoy a colorf ul array of fish as they wander by. The fish will be accompanied by their handlers, who surround the young Fish to protect them from their natural ene mies — those who prey on innocence. The f ish also travel in schools. If you would like to identify the par ticular species of the fish, just observe the name tag the fish will be wearing. The handlers also wear the same name tag in case you miss the fish. Also take note of the plastic bag the* fish carrv all the time as well as the gray folder. I’m not sure what the purpose of these two items serve, but you won’t see a f ish without one. If you’re lucky, perhaps a fish or one of its. handlers will stop and shyly ask vou where they might find Rudder Tower. Turn them around and point to the tall building behind them. Other animals of interest are the bunm rabbits oji campus. File largest concentration of bunnies can be found on the north side of cam pus. If you want to watch something amusing, watch bunnies. 'The bunnies travel in large groups, at least 40 or more and their coats come in a vast array of colors like green, white, blue and red or a combination of all of them. If you are having trouble telling the bunnies from the fish, just look for white feet. Bunnies always have little white feet with a dash of color on the top. You can look for bunnies in two par ticular places on campus. I hey can be found at the northside dorms in little groups screaming at each other at the top of their lungs, while jumping up and down (they will also be giggling and darting glances at anything male), or you could go to G. Rollie. At G. Rollie they will be doing their bunny dances. Bunny dances should not be missed. The bunnies change into a more color ful coat and procede to carry out a care fully choreographed dance that only they know the purpose of. They will usually be happy to do a variation of these dances on request if you are male. Finally, my personal favorites: the wolves in firemen’s clothing. These animals are hard to find at the zoo itself. They have usually escaped from the preserve and are found lurk ing in local nightspots in Gollege Sta tion. Wolves are hard to identify from the normal patrons who hang around in the local nightspots. But if you look care fully, you can spot otie. Look for unusu ally boisterous behavior, loud voices and hyperactivity. The wolves also have a low tolerance for alcohol, a tan line around the left ring linger and average dancing ability. Wolves tend to stalk the females in a club with total disregard for the proper social etiquette, they have also been known to bother male patrons as well by disturbing a domino game, interrupting conversations and inducing volatile situ ations. All of these animals can be found at the game preserve on can>pus. All you neeed is to look carefully around you and you will be amazed at how many of these wonderful animals surround you. But remember what you mother al ways told you when you visit the zoo. Don’t feed the animals. Cheryl Clark is a senior journalism ma jor and a columnist for The Battalion. Cheryl Clark Whot the Ijbrory needs Library lacking materials This is the sec ond in a three- 1 pun series on Charles what the library Schultz needs. Guest Columnist Since the area in which the Evans Library ranked lowest in the latest Association of Research Li braries survey was total holdings, one might conclude that the library’s great est need is more books and journals. Certainly a good case could be made for this, but it is really necessary tq keep in mind all the needs and to endeavor to solve all of them simultaneous To provide a clear understanding of all the needs, however, it is necessary to de scribe them separately. By the Clapp-Jordan Formula, the most widely accepted mechanism for determining the quantity of books an academic library should have, the Evans Library should have around 4 million volumes rather than the 1.5 million it now has. It took 64 years after the first library was destroyed when the Main Building burned in 1912 for the Evans Library to acquire its first 1 million vol umes. To reach 4 million volumes by the year 2000, the Evans Library will have to increase its annual growth from the 62,000 volumes added in 1983-84 to 170,000 volumes per year. If the average cost per volume is $30, adding an addi tional 118,000 volumes per year will re quire supplementary funding of $3.5 million annually. Any of you who have purchased textbooks lately will know that $30 is not a high figure for a new book. It is definitely a low figure for out-of-print titles, of which the Evans Library needs to purchase large num- ( bers to adequately meet the research needs of students and faculty in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. It does not matter whether the books are new or old paper copies or micro format or if they are recorded in some form of sophisticated new' technology such as laser disks, they w ill still have to be located, acquired, cataloged, labeled, and shelved, all of which takes staff time. Even with the additional 120 fac ulty and s.taff members mentioned in my previous column, it would not be possible for the Evans Library to in crease its growth by 250 percent without additional extra librarians and support staff. The library would either have to hire extra staff over the next 15 years or would have to contract out much of the work. There has been a great deal pub lished over the past decade that implies that traditional libraries with miles of shelves full of books will cease to exist. While it is possible that a number of journals might be available in machine- readable form so that a prospective reader can dial up a database and have a particular article displayed on a termi nal, there is absolutely no reason to be lieve that any of the many millions of books and journals published in the past w ill ever be treated in this f ashion To put the 20 million books in the Li brary of Gongress on videodisks could require as many as 10,000 disk. The simple matter of transferring the image would cost untold millions of dollars. No one can imagine what the access charges would be. If one were to sit at an online terminal and read a w hole ar ticle or book, the fee would be astro nomical. The only alternative would be a paper printout or a duplicate disk to be read on a local or personal machine. Thus the bookless library and the pa perless office are about as likely to hap pen as a paperless bathroom. The equipment needs of the Evans Library w ill be determined to some ex tent by the format in which materials are acquired and by how the library’s us ers gain access to information about holdings of the Evans Library and other libraries. The first and probably most pressing equipment need is a more adequate computer. Other academic libraries of less stature than the Evans Library have their own mainframe computers pur chased for them by their university ad ministration with supplementary funds, not acquired out of funds appropriated for books and salaries as was the Evans Library’s present computer. The com puter now in the library is and will be taxed to hold the necessary bibliogra phic data and other information nec essary to handle the library’s 1.5 million volumes. The possibility of including the necessary data on microtext materi als, government documents, archives, and learning resources materials — to say nothing of an additional 2.5 million volumes — does not exist. Because the existing equipment can not provide access to even half of the current library holdings, a more ad equate computer is an absolute neces sity. Judging by what engineering col leagues say, one new computer in the next decade and a half is probably not going to be adequate if the Evans Li brary is to provide the best available service. Two or even three new comput ers might be needed to keep up with the latest technological developments. When the fully integrated on-line sys tem that has been proposed to pro vide author, title and subject access to all the library’s holdings becomes a reality (Even I, a traditionalist histo rian with fondness for paper card cat alogs, know that this is the logical way to go because of the improved access available through such a technologi cally advanced system that is properly conceived and implemented;), many more terminals will be needed. Those terminals can be distributed throughout the campus so that a user will not actually have to enter the li brary to see whether or not the Evans Library owns a particular title, whether or not the book is on the shelf, when the book is due to be re turned or how many other users have placed a hold on a particular book. As the size of the library faculty and staff increases, the library will have to acquire more equipment such as desks, chairs, computer terminals used in cataloging materials and mi crocomputers used in office automa tion. A year ago the Evans Library purchased 32 microcomputers to start an office automation system. At least 50 more are needed to have an adequate number. The equipment to link them into a system is also needed. The use of microcomputers for in structional purposes has increased tremendously. As it grows in the fu ture, the library will have to add addi tional micros to its Learning Re sources Department to meet the demand. In addition, every few years, engineers tell me, it will be necessary to replace the old ones with new, more sophisticated micros so that our students entering the real working world will not be hampered by uni miliarity with the latest equipment| If the past growth in usecontinia at the present pace, it seems reasJ ble to expect that by the year 20(( | whole floor of the library could bed; voted to microcomputers for snj dents’ use. As more and more materials are j quired in micro format, the libra will need to acquire additionaljeadeil and reader printers and to replatl much of its older equipment. Riffl now the library needs to replace all its reader printers and several of readers. Cqnsidering the amount and vai ety of equipment needed by the brary, it is not unreasonable to ci elude that an average of $1 million year over the next 15 years coulde: ily be expended upon equipment order to develop a Class A und( graduate library. Thus, annual su| plementary funding of $4.5 i ins needed for materials and ment. Charles R. Schultz is the Univem Archivist for Texas A&M. The Battalion USPS 045 360 Member of Texas Press Association Southwest loitmalism Confcicntc The Battalion Editorial Board Kellie Dworaczyk, Editor Kay Mallett, John Hallett, News Editors Loren Stef f y, Editorial Page Editor Sarah Oates, City Editor Chat eau Williams, Sports Editor The Battalion Staff Assistant City Editor Katherine Hurl Assistant News Editors Cathie Anderson, Trent Leopold Entertainment Editors Cathy Riely, Walter Smith Staff Writers Karen Bloch, Ed (iassavoy. Jerry Oslin. Brian Pea ram Copy Editor Trent Leopold Make-up Editor Ed Cassavov, Columnists Cheryl ClarK, Karl Pallmeyer Photographers Greg Bailey. Anthony, Casper Editorial Policy The lintliilion is ;i non-jitoUt. sdl-stipiyonin^ ncwsfy.ijn'r I operated as a (omtnunitx set vic e to Testis J&A/ uilth | liryan-Collcffe Station. Opinions espt essed in The Battalion arc those ol ik Editorial Board or the aiithot. and do not nctvssmih ii'Ie t esent the opinions oT Texas . \&.\l achniiiistniloix ihvIM or the Board of Regents. I he Battalion also serves as a lahoraton ncwspnjicijoi students in reporting, edititfg and phoiogritphx elm's within the Department oTCoinmunUations. : j The Battalion is published Thesdax through Trithix (liir- ing Texas \X.\I l egulat semesters, except lor hnlithx mill examination periods. Mail subset iptions arc $l().7:)ik‘rsi> mestei. SBB.'Jo per school x eat and $11 •> j)cr lull xair.Ad- x erlising t ales f urnished on request. Out address: The Baltalio\t. 2Hi Reed MdhtutM Building. Texas A&M L 'nixersitv. College Station. T\ 77S1S. Editorial stall phone number: (■W ( .l) tfjo-'JIM). Ad vertising: (jdd) S-lo-Xfil I. Second ( lass postage paid at College Station. TX 77STI. BOS 1 MAS I ER: Send addt ess chatiges to The lluliill* ion. Texas A&M L'nixcrsitx. College Station. Texas 77H4H Mi ru SOI Sh a; asi cu of et in lit As materials come out in newB formats such its videodisks and laitl disks, the library will have to acquiB more and more types of equipment enable users to read the materials these formats. At Aust Iworked Imined |in Tas Barrier ;‘A 1 Idling,” Jthat tyj Imeanir | get to ithe edi |ing on “I’ll portun Itechnic Imuch t Wre [things “I w Isays. “ | ous op and o station 1 cattle,