Preserving the past for the future good

Hypocrisy is defined by the English Oxford Dictionary with a really long, boring definition that makes no sense, and would make you fall asleep if I repeated it.

However, it is much more readily applied in life, such as the case of Halle Library archives. EMU needs a better budget and a better way to allocate that budget for this reason.

I say this because even as we speak the very campus around us crumbles and decays with age. Mark Jefferson is getting some work done and Pray-Harrold, to be honest, is such a dead horse that it’s understood renovation is needed.

While Pray-Harrold is scheduled for a renovation process, it seems to be taking its time, and as long as it gets done properly, I’m OK with that. Better to take your time and do it right once than screw it up and have the buildings fall down from poor planning.

But just when it’s safe to think Michigan gives a care about our little corner of the state, our library archives are rotting from mold. Not everyone might be aware of this, but to whoever doesn’t give Halle its own budget, let me explain it: Paper degrades.

Paper has this annoying habit of being biodegradable, so it tends to decay if not properly preserved. If you’re going to have an archive, for crying out loud build it right.

In the modern era it can be easy to overlook the importance of paper books, but this is more complex. But any source of information about the past can be useful and must not be overlooked. If this information is lost then it will make information about the past much harder to find and obtain.

Preserving the past takes dedication, not the half-hearted attempt made at Halle archives. The archives need to be properly remodeled; the problem is money. Without proper funding the archives will remain the same, and eventually they will degrade and decay into useless fragments and crumples of paper.

Though placing the information into digital format and archives will happen sooner or later, not just with Halle’s archive but all archives- as well as already taking place in many- it can be a long process, and it takes time, the enemy of aging paper. The benefits of course are wider availability and easier ways to find what you’re seeking.

Studying the past allows us to prevent making the same mistakes, and instead allows us to make whole new ones, which will be analyzed by our descendants.

How they’ll view that information I don’t know, but they’ll need some way of preserving information and archiving it for those who seek it.

Unless we keep maintaining our archives, eventually some bureaucrat might decide they’re too expensive to keep-yeah, you Granholm and your Michigan Library annihilation and genealogy record scattering- and the task of searching through that history becomes that much more difficult or even impossible.


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