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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 33, No. 1 18 February 1970

USP Book Scheme

USP Book Scheme


Those who donated books to last year's appeal for the University of south Pacific may be interested to learn what became of their gift.

The books 3.000 from Victoria and 10,000 to in all were flown by the RNZAF to Fiji without charge. There the Fiji Military forces arranged their delivery to the University, again without charge.

When I was at the University last September, most cases had been unpacked and the books sorted. The Library staff told me that the books were of a surprisingly high standard. Indeed if I repeated the exact words of their thanks you would think I was exaggerating.

They told me that they expect 80" of the books to be placed in the University Library itself. In most cases duplicate copies will be used to build up class sets, duplicate copies will he used to build up class sets.

Of the remainder, a very small number, perhaps a couple of hundred, were rejected altogether because they were damaged beyond repair or were very heavily annotated. About 15 per cent of the books were more suitable for secondary schools, and a system has been established to supply these books to schools in the South Pacific region. The final 5 per cent were books of general reading value. Some of these will he used in a fiction library run by the Department of English, but most will he donated to the library systems in the various Pacific territories. The remarkable result is that almost every single hook donated has been used in a worthwhile way. In some cases, the University Library has been able to exchange multiple copies of some books with other university libraries on a very favourable basis A striking example was the exchange of eight copies of an advanced economies textbook which were superfluous to any forseeable requirements. These were exchanged with a British university for 160 new textbooks for which cash would otherwise have had to be paid.

New Zealand students have also been able to help in processing the books. The University Library at present is able to process about 10,000 new books a year, would have taken some time to process the additional books coming from the NZUSA gift. In Januare and February this year a work party of 20 New Zealand students, most of them trained in library work, will process the remaining books and other material also donated to the University. The likely result is that this year the University of the South Pacific Library will have twice as many books available to students as its plans called for.

This year's appeal for books for the University is a second opportunity to support an unusually worthwhile project. While any university books are wanted, back issues of academic magazines are especially needed. I can confidently assure your readers that every book donated will be valued and, what is more used to its full potential.

Hugh Rennie.