Several well-funded, properly maintained libraries have announced plans to establish pop-up locations in LSU’s dilapidated Middleton Library, easing student and faculty concerns about the aging building’s long-term viability.
The announcement followed recent revelations that local restaurant group City Pork will open in the LSU Design Building, furthering a trend of outside companies looking to invest in the university.
The East Baton Rouge Parish Library has committed to open inside the Middleton basement. Library Board of Control President Jason Jacob said: “We have long prided ourselves on our collection of non-water-damaged books, and we are excited to provide them to LSU students for the first time.”
Jacob said students also will have access to the EBRP Library’s 3-D printer.
“Why spend our students’ tuition and fees on building maintenance and faculty retention when we can divert it to athletics and outsource responsibility to people who are good at the academic stuff?”
“They can print whatever designs they bring, although we hope they will choose to create replacement ceiling tiles and foundation repair tools.”
Meanwhile, Irvin Mayfield, disgraced former head of the New Orleans Public Library Foundation, said he will establish “Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Library” in the Middleton Library’s first floor. This public service commitment comes as part of Mayfield’s plea agreement to avoid felony charges stemming from recent fraud, conspiracy, and money laundering indictments.
Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Library will feature a comprehensive collection of jazz recordings spanning every decade and style, as well as weekly quartet concerts.
“I respect LSU’s philosophy on library management,” Mayfield said. “Like a master jazz musician, they’re just making it up as they go along.”
Details for more tenants are still being negotiated, but LSU President F. King Alexander is excited about the prospects.
“We are pioneering a new concept to revive our flagging library: public-public partnerships. Why spend our students’ tuition and fees on building maintenance and faculty retention when we can divert it to athletics and outsource responsibility to people who are good at the academic stuff?” Alexander said. “I can’t wait for students to ‘check out’ the changes we’ve made to the library!
“OK, gotta go sell two of my cars to help pay off Matt Canada.”