Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Writing without a library

Lockdown threw into sharp relief how much I ordinarily depend on physical libraries. One of the greatest advantages of working in the City University of New York system is that you have access to university libraries across nearly two dozen campuses. Prior to March, I made much use of the physical library spaces at Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center, and I requested materials from other CUNY campuses incessantly. I frequently need academic books that have been out of print for decades, which are often difficult to find through online vendors and prohibitively expensive if I do find them. When it comes to nineteenth or early twentieth century publications, the only commercially available copies may be cheap facsimile reprints. So lack of physical library access has made a lot of resources harder to track down (through legal means, anyway).