Ten Days Away
Virtually all Zubal customers visit electronically rather than in person. On any given day several hundred thousand books are for sale. That makes its active inventory about three times the size of the largest Barnes & Noble Bookstores. And as quickly as this material heads out the door a mountain of unprocessed material waits its chance to enter the selling ring. Few will ever penetrate the mysteries of the Zubal warehouses but everyday hundreds, even thousands of customers peruse the Zubal inventory online and many find the material they want at prices that are right. I could have stayed longer but managed to have most of a day there. It was unforgettable.
On Tuesday, the 16th, we visited Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. Tom headed for an admission interview and I met Bruce Kinzer, Professor of History. Here I had the opportunity to discuss how the Æ could be effective and interesting to colleges, professors, and universities and received some valuable insight and perspective along with some suggestions about how to proceed.
On Wednesday, we visited Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. Here I met Megan Adams, Social Sciences librarian and learned that educational institutions are increasingly looking for the ability to monitor the burgeoning population of databases that are quickly populating the net. In some sense, libraries have the same concerns as the websites do. Are the students using the database? And how are they using it?
In the afternoon we visited the University of Pennsylvania. This is a very impressive school.
On Thursday we visited Lehigh University in Bethlehem. This is an “engineering school” but is actually much more although an analysis of the databases available in their libraries show how strongly slanted to engineering they are. Of about 115 databases I saw listed only two looked to be obviously tied to American history. But Lehigh seems to be onto something. I doubt there are many colleges as technologically advanced and we, on the Æ, can see convergence ahead as the technical side of the world merges with humanities databases to empower both the left and right brainers. One senses the future is now.
On Friday Tom visited New York University. It’s located in Greenwich Village. For Tom, who goes to school in Haight Ashbury, this seemed very comfortable. The size of the liberal arts school means there are plenty of courses with the ability to experiment in different disciplines before declaring a major.