Ramblings, citations and "brainwaves" of a college librarian in Toronto. 475 square feet refers to the size of my home, not the size of my office or library.

Leverage Mess Moves From Mortgages to Libraries

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Joe Esposito, my favorite soap box speaker this year recently posted to liblicense-l:

"The mouse in the room that frightens the elephant is the
possibility that the academy is, like housing, wrestling with
overleverage. Access to cheap money in the form of subsidized
student loans enabled the development of infrastructure and
services that are now, as the society is being deleveraged
everywhere from Wall St. to Main St., proving too costly to
maintain. Add up all the student debt and ask yourself: How
will all this money be repaid? What is the return on that

A friend of mine, who is on the faculty of a law school, tells me
that the average graduate of his institution is carrying debt in
the range of $150,000-$200,000. Where does the implicit optimism
about the prospects of a legal career come from? My knees grow
weak at the thought of having to shoulder that kind of debt.
And then I think of the buildings, staff, libraries, and so forth
that that debt helped to pay for.

Publishers benefited over the years from the cheap money policy.
If they suffer now, it is not because the market is failing, as
Fred Friend contends, but because the market is returning."

Okay, I'm freaking out now.

If you don't know Joe:
Joseph J. Esposito is President of Portable CEO, an independent consultancy providing strategy assessment and interim management to the information industries. Over the course of his career, Mr. Esposito has been associated with various publishers in all segments of the industry and was involved from an early time with new media publishing. He has served as an executive at Simon & Schuster and Random House, as President of Merriam-Webster, and CEO of Encyclopaedia Britannica, where he was responsible for the launch of the first Internet service of its kind.

Among Mr. Esposito's clients have been such technology companies as Microsoft and Hewlett Packard, various publishers of all stripes, and a growing number of not-for-profit organizations (e.g., Ithaka Harbors/JSTOR, the University of California Press, and the American National Standards Institute).

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