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So, what university should it be? The criteria are:
1. Small is probably better. We could, for example, get a full-page ad in the Tufts Daily and four smaller follow-ups for under $500. (At one point Tufts was the smallest university with a daily paper.)
2. Bookish is good. Most colleges and universities are full of the wrong sort of people.
3. Grad students are good. From my own experience, grad students are book-hoarders far and above undergrads.
4. Schools with a strong paper are good.
4. Having a LIS program would also be good.
I'd also like to build audience around Boston and Maine, although that's not a requirement. Maybe Harvard, Tufts and Bowdoin? Brown, Yale or UPenn would work—indeed I'm going to be talking at Brown, so that might be an extra reason for it. I visit North Hampton pretty often, so Smith could work—I could put up flyers even. The town also has the only library still using the Cutter system, which we've be a nice alternative to Dewey.
I went to Georgetown and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, but I'm not sure they're ideal. Georgetown is smart, but somewhat careerist; it doesn't have as many freewheeling intellectuals as it ought. UM is great, with grad students and even a library school, but it's HUGE; we'd be giving away a lot of value, and advertising would cost a lot.
Wow, I wonder what you could possibly mean by that.
Seriously, I understand it's all relative, but "small" and "university" rarely go together.
I vote for:
1. Barnard College (because I went there! And it's small, and bookish.)
2. University of Chicago. Definitely bookish! (They not only have an undergraduate book collecting prize, they also have a writing award named after my high school English teacher.)
And to answer your question, no I don't.
Having taught a fair number of college students (at a large state school), I can say with confidence that no, no it is not. I've had a depressing number that were barely literate, let alone book-hoarders.
Although, Tim, given your conditions above, I think you're going to have a hard time meeting all criteria... smaller schools with bookish undergrads usually don't have particularly large graduate programs. I'm sure there are exceptions, but I think those two trends run counter to each other.
I second Peter's suggestion of Simmons above - I have no idea about the undergrad population, but the grad student population would, I suspect, eat this up ... and even if the undergrads don't, it's a small enough place that you could easily do it and then some of the "larger" places that have been suggested (Tufts, Brown, Harvard, Bowdoin).
If it's LIS/small/grad students/reasonably bookish/in New England that you're looking for, Simmons does pretty well. Might not be the perfect storm (hence the need to combine it with others) but it would be a good small target, I think.
And I agree that "small" and "grad students" are pretty much two opposite goals.
Smith/Mt.Holyoke are looking good to me, particularly because of location synergy with the only library still using Cutter, the Forbes library in Noho. Unfortunately, I can't seem to get my foot in the door over there.
So I guess the only one I would say is BC (and its newspaper The Heights that is always looking for ads if I remember correctly). Large Jesuit community rooting for learning and books in general. They have a large community among us grad students who are going to be the ones to be building libraries because we have space in our own apartments (and not in dorms) and the ones who are organizing books for our theses.
You should think about marketing it towards teachers as well. My friend down at UVA and I have found it a great way to catalog our classroom libraries. It makes finding graded/themed reading books easier, that's for sure! :)
Yes, over 60% of Americans "go to college" now, but the vast majority go to community college and a great deal of them are in technical, not academic, programs. In other words, as long as you didn't choose a school that was too heavy on the tech side, you'd get a balance of book types.
You said picking a book college would skew the stats. Frankly, picking any college will skew the stats. Why not pick a town instead? Pick a town that is well-educated, known to be book oriented, with a fairly balanced population (politically and religiously speaking). That way you get a college-type crowd, but don't get swamped with libraries full of text books.
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And as a Bryn Mawr alumna, I support the Seven Sisters idea. :)
This sounds like a good idea. Why not pick Ann Arbor? You're familiar with the area, probably still know some folks in the grad school. And Eastern Michigan University is close by. Of course, being a Central Michigan University person, I'd be jealous. Wanna come to Mt. Pleasant? Another recommendation might be Athens, GA and The University of Georgia - a very literate community.
1. Small is probably better. -- Brandeis has roughly 4K undergrad, and another few thousand grad.
2. Bookish is good. Most colleges and universities are full of the wrong sort of people. -- Brandeis folks are definitely bookish. From what I remember from undergrad, th main and science libraries were often hang out spots. About half the graduating class applies to law school, and another quarter to med school, and a good chunk get in and go. Not that other pursuits aren't bookish as well, but those are just examples...
3. Grad students are good. From my own experience, grad students are book-hoarders far and above undergrads. -- Again, a few thousand grad students... though can't speak for much more than that.
4. Schools with a strong paper are good. -- Won't vouch for quality, but most everyone reads it, mainly for kvetch-material.
4. Having a LIS program would also be good. -- OK, not currently available. The Brandeis Libraries are generally pretty good and extensive, with some nice special collections and archives. Yes, I realize that's tangential.
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I've read articles about Oxford Square Books, which seems to have quite a reputation. I noticed that someone connected with it is an LT member.
How about Agnes Scott College -- in the top 10 with the seven sisters and in Decatur, GA -- very bookish when I was there AND they have one of the best literary festivals in the South --2000-3000 undergrad females AND a grad. MAT program with men and women.
As for the TOWN -- Decatur, GA also has Emory University - private, bookish, grad and undergrad AND one of the 5 campuses of Georgia Perimeter College -- 23,000 students in a two-year transfer institute AND a DeVry Institute and a DeKalb Tech College, and, and, and . . . .
the City of Decatur has had a very successful NEW Decatur Book Fair -- I think 40,000 the first year and 80,000 in 2007???
And there are LOTS of free newspapers (like Creative Loafing) along with the college newspapers.