Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Nature of College - by James J. Farrell

Just in time for Back to School! I read this book in preparation for the fall semester during which I will be teaching a course called Sustainability 101. Students in the class will be assigned this book along with Colin Beavan's No Impact Man (which it pains me to say doesn't mention libraries at all).

Anyway, I digress. I read this in preparation for teaching the class, but it was especially thought-provoking for me to read as I sent my own daughter off to college for the first time. Farrell's book looks at the many resources a college student uses in given day. My daughter's college helpfully provided us a list of things she would need for her dorm, and in case they forgot to include anything Target had a special section of the store labeled dorm "essentials" - things such as string lights and welcome mats. I must admit that I found it easier just to load up the cart than to critique the list (or argue with my daughter). I think I ultimately talked her out of one thing. And so before she even got to college we had amassed a bounty of  "things" for her to take with her. I have honestly decided just to bury my own head in the sand rather than calculating the environmental cost of it all.

Farrell's book mentions libraries a few times, generally as part of a list of places a student might go. They are not specifically analyzed in terms of what resources they use, or help conserve, however.

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