The library is, to use a cliche, the heart of the university. Its information resources must support research on thousands of topics and instruction in thousands more. All this costs money. Should sports activities assume greater importance than a library, and deprive it of Funding? The answer
must be no.
Of course, advocates of a well-funded sports program may argue that it is needed to attract contributions from alumni. To a point, that is true. A successful athletic team provides effective publicity and creates an image of vitality and ability. Alumni may be encouraged to contribute to a school that is notably successful in football or basketball. It must be remembered, however, that success in sports is short-lived and unpredictable. A team may have a winning season, but future success in sports cannot be guaranteed, however, much the school may spend on athletics.
A well-stocked and well-maintained library, on the other hand, generates predictable and sustained benefits, by ensuring a ready supply of the universal resource: information. We often hear that we live in an “information society.” That is another way of saying that success and prosperity are built
on information. Much of that information comes from college and university libraries.
That is why investment in a university library is far more important, in the long run, than support for even the most successful athletic team. Emphasize library funding. That is where the payoff lies.
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