Is the Head of the Access Services to the William A. Blakley Library.
I would like to respond to issues brought forth in the recent article, “In Perspective: Student Views of the Blakley Library.”
The “obnoxious numbers and letters” that are affixed to volumes are call numbers in the Library of Congress classification system. This system is standard throughout academic libraries, including the Southern Methodist University library to which Ms. Bowen refers. A detailed guide to the LC system can be found at http://www.loc.gov/catdir/cpso/lcco/.
The lighting in the periodicals section is problematic. Several years ago, the library purchased additional table lamps to enhance the lighting. Due to electrical issues, the facilities department was unable to install the lamps.
The larger issue is the dissatisfaction with our collections. With the exception of the 2010-2011 fiscal year, the library has not had a monograph budget in more than 10 years. The only budget the library receives is spent on journal subscriptions and electronic databases. We are thus unable to keep up with academic publishing that would benefit our collection.
This should not detract from the value of our current collection. We have one of the largest collections on Catholic theology and liturgy in the United States. Our philosophy collection also attracts prominent scholars. We have access to over 115 databases (more than many larger universities), over 84,000 electronic books and thousands of journals through full-text databases. We also offer an interlibrary loan service, allowing patrons to order materials from libraries not included in our collection. With our limited resources, we have built a collection that meets the needs of academic departments across the curriculum.
We are currently involved in a library satisfaction survey administered by the American Library Association. There is a link on the library’s homepage. I urge you to let us know your thoughts and concerns so we can improve our offerings to the University of Dallas community.
is the Administrative Assistant to the department of Education at the University of Dallas.
I would like to shed some light on the matter of the Blakley Library.
Yes, my sensibilities lie favorably towards the library, because I worked there for four years during my undergraduate years and am currently studying for my Master’s in Library Sciences. It is not easy to anticipate each and every research topic of approximately 3,000 students each and every year. This is especially true when the budget for the library grows smaller each year. It is not easy to help a student who needs a book for a paper now, when that book has been checked out by a student earlier.
The library has signs labeling each floor – have you seen the one by the elevator? It even says which floors have which gendered restrooms. Have you seen the bookmarks that explain the system of labeling (modeled after the Library of Congress’)? Having had to study this system, I acknowledge that it is a complicated system of letters and numbers, but librarians and even student workers will help you understand it, or, if nothing else, how to use the online catalog to research, which will give you call numbers. Once you have a call number, all you need to do is to know your alphabet and your numbers, and you can find the book.
Research is not easy, and in this day and age of instant gratification, we do not like to “waste” time looking for things that we feel should be as accessible as Google and Wikipedia. A library is not Google or Wikipedia. It can be so much more, if you are willing to take the time to ask a question or spend time looking through books in the admittedly arctic climate. (Cold is better for books. I recommend fuzzy socks and a blanket if you plan to be there for long.)
is a PhD student at Princeton and a law student at Yale Law School. He delivered a paper at the University of Dallas on Oct. 10 titled “The Case Against Same-Sex Civil Marriage.”
In a talk at Dallas, I argued that what distinguishes marriage from other bonds also makes it possible for an infertile couple – but not for two men or two women – to marry. Neither Peter Antich’s objection to this nor his counterproposal succeeds.
Marriage comprehensively unites persons. But persons are embodied, so marriage includes bodily union. Two organs unite by coordinating for a biological end (survival) of the whole they compose together (an organism); likewise, two people unite bodily by coordinating for a biological end (reproduction) of the whole they compose as a couple. Only in the generative act do two people thus become “one flesh” to seal a marriage. More precisely, only in coitus do (a) two people realize an (b) intrinsic part of an (c) inherently coordinated bodily process – or thus unite bodily, or thus maritally.
Mr. Antich objects that the “generative act” category is gerrymandered. It either includes too much (e.g., solitary acts, or acts between a man and a mere organ) or excludes too much (e.g., coitus involving a partner missing gonads).
But an individual’s climax alone is too thin an episode to count as coordination, much less of two people. Male-female coitus, by contrast, inherently involves two. And it remains an intrinsic stage of the coordinated process of reproduction when external or accidental conditions (like the absence of an internal organ) keep the process from reaching completion. But two men’s acts form no stage of the process of bodily coordination toward reproduction, or anything else; they are not bodily unions, or thus marital acts.
It is Mr. Antich’s view that proves too much. If, as he says, cooperation toward any goal creates the bodily union needed for marriage, then marriage needn’t be between two, or even be sexual, or therefore involve permanent commitment or even cohabitation. His revisionism, like others’, would collapse marriage into ordinary friendship. And that, all along, has been my point.