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Letter: Math, science books at Sprague are embarrassing

Published November 27, 2013 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Salt Lake City library system's Sprague Branch has science and mathematics sections that are embarrassing; the lowest quality books for kids looking like they were purchased from Deseret Industries.

One single textbook on calculus and several beat-up Schaum's Outline books is as much real mathematics as you'll find. The science collection is pretty much the same — some eye-candy astronomy books, cut-rate children's books, a biography of Einstein (?) and one or two thought-provoking books about the "big questions."

However, there are many, many books on occult subjects, and shelves of novels by authors no one remembers nor really should. When I asked about policy I was told that the library spends its budget on popular, high-turnover books.

What is the purpose of a library? To add books to it collection that won't be read after a year or two or to provide the community with a learning resource? I'd say that latter, but that's not the policy.

To a world increasingly dependent on science and math, this is doing our young people a great disservice.

Harold Katcher

Salt Lake City