The Eaton Science Fiction Collection housed at the University of California/Riverside is home to the “world’s largest public science fiction and fantasy library’. This eclectic library possesses 300,000 science fiction tomes, some dating from the 16th century. Recent staff changes and new management of the collection could threaten it’s existence. According to professor and science fiction author Nalo Hopkinson. Addressing his concerns in a recent blog post, he has seen a decline in acquistions, the release of capable staff and notes plans to reduce the collection.
From Mr. Hopkinson’s blog:
Since spring of this year, their accomplishments have included driving out staff members and pushing changes to collection policies that would reduce the Eaton’s holdings, its value to researchers and as a repository of our community’s history, and its standing as a world-class archive. Meetings with the staff of the Eaton have been productive, collegial gatherings. Meetings to negotiate with the new library administration, not so much. It’s putting the faculty of the research cluster in the alarming position of having to protect the very collection we’re charged with fostering. We’re dealing with the new library admins’ efforts to split up the collection and change priorities for what to collect (eg, e-text over print) without consulting scholars in the field, and with what we’d characterize as harassment of staff, who’ve demonstrated extreme competence over the years.
You can read the entire blog post here. There has been no media response from Eaton.