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Administratiors are considering expansion or relocation of the Iwasaki Library.
strongOur take: /strong
Libraries are for studying, not sitcom sets.
In 2006, television audiences bid farewell to Will Truman and Grace Adler. In 2011, Emerson College needs to ditch their gaudy apartment. The television set from emWill and Grace/em has been at the core of ongoing dissatisfaction regarding the use of library space. It is, without question, the elephant in the room.
In fact, you could fit several full-grown pachyderms in that superfluous relic of the early aughts. At 1,100 square feet, the set could easily hold scores of Emersonians starving for places to read, write, and even nap between classes. Study space on campus is sparse — so much so that the college is considering moving our entire library to a different location. But where?
And, more importantly — why?
For as cramped and crowded as the Iwasaki Library is today, easy fixes could prevent the administration from contemplating a drastic and costly move. Stars Debra Messing, Eric McCormack, Megan Mullally, and Sean Hayes have all moved on from their beloved sitcom, and to improve usable space on campus, so should we. Surely it would be easier to find a new home for Will and Grace’s tchotchkes than for our entire library.
Just as dated as the characters’ Persian rugs is the enormous collection of periodicals housed in the Iwasaki. Our tuition dollars pay for subscriptions to online databases that allow those magazines and journals to be consulted in a much smaller space — a 13” MacBook. While most periodicals before 1984 have been archived in an off-campus storage facility, aisles of battered journals linger in syndication like so many emWill and Grace/em reruns on Lifetime.
Moving the sitcom’s set and archiving more redundant periodicals could provide enough room in our current library to avoid an unnecessary move.
Once upon a time, the famous living room may have impressed us on a campus tour, but this selling point comes at a high cost for productivity at Emerson. As a funky piece of popular culture, it is an asset that Emerson should be proud of. However, we are first and foremost a college, and a better library should make us even prouder.