The Man with a Thousand White Papers2

A university, the American historian Shelby Foote once said, is just a group of buildings gathered around a library.

Foote, known for his three volume epic The Civil War: A Narrative, didn’t say it out of any ill will towards faculty, or a desire to malign the hard work of students. It’s not a sentiment rolled out to denigrate the many moving parts of a higher education institute or imply their superfluity. Instead, it emphasizes a simple truth about libraries: that they are not just places where information is stored and categorized, but sites where new knowledge is produced.

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