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Book burn institute librarian: We have no choice

The first piles of books are down in a skip in the cellar, waiting to be either recycled or burnt. And the whole process will take a year and a half, says chairman of the Saxo Institute's library, who explains to the University Post why it has to happen

People are NOT welcome to come down and browse through the books at the Saxo Institute that are to sent to destruction. This is according to Gunnar Lind, chairman of the department’s library.

»We just don’t have the ressources to handle it,« he explains.

The first books are down in the cellar in a skip, a large container, waiting to be taken away by lorry to destruction. As of now, it is mostly out of date handbooks and bibliographical works, that are in the pile.

Recycled or burnt

The Saxo Institute library is one of four department libraries, that will destroy books to make shelf space before moving into a new knowledge centre in 2013. The controversial move will entail the destruction of two kilometres of shelf space.

»We estimate 40 books a shelf metre, and this gives a 80,000 book figure,« Gunnar Lind says.

He is unaware as to whether some of the books will actually be recycled, but it is likely that large numbers of books will be burnt at an incinerator.

Inevitably, some quality books will go

We have started putting some books into the skip, but the whole process will take a year and a half, and we are still planning how we are going to carry out the operation, he says to the University Post.

He hopes that the teaching staff at the Saxo Institute will help sort the books for quality.

»Inevitably, some books will go that are valuable to someone, but we will do our utmost to prevent it from happening,« he says.

No book sale or giveaway

A book sale or giveaway is out of the question with the personnel ressources that the Saxo Institute has available, according to Gunnar Lind. The money coming out of it, would not cover the costs.

»People forget that the major part of costs in a library is the organisation, and we cannot as yet find a way to let the costs of a sale or giveaway be offset by the costs of processing it,« he says.

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