By Graeme Smith
So Ryerson’s library sucks. What are we going to do about it?
We can’t pretend the library is useful. Anyone deluded into thinking it’s a trove of knowledge should read Maclean’s university ranking. Ryerson has the worst books-to-students ratio of any undergraduate university in Canada. We’re down the road from the Metro Reference Library — anyone who wants to do real research can go there. Since nobody uses Ryerson’s library, the administration has no reason to spend money on books.
In fact, there’s no point in us having a library at all.
Imagine what would happen if Ryerson amputated the library. They could keep the computers. Maybe keep the periodicals and basic reference materials. But sell all the books — if they’re worth anything, or give them to the poor.
Presto! One empty office tower in a prime downtown location. Ryerson leases the space for enormous profit. A floor is given to student organizations (maybe that would shut up the Women’s Centre). The bottom floor of the library might remain a computer lab and reference centre.
The cash from leasing the space and selling the books buys free TTC passes for students, for transportation to a REAL library. We upgrade the school’s computers. Decrease tuition. Give everyone a laptop. Add yet another digit to Claude Lajeunesse’s salary. Whatever.
The bonus prize comes next year when Maclean’s does its survey. We say, “screw your ranking. We don’t need a library to be a kick-ass university.”
That would be so good.