Libraries are one of the best inventions by humanity. They go back a long way but the modern libraries found in all the advanced industrialized nations are incredibly large. For example, the University of California has 100 libraries.
Now of course, thanks to the digital revolution, we can not only have a very large personal library, we can in fact carry thousands of books in our pocket. My personal collection is not as large as the Library of Congress (established in 1800 and which has 171 million items) but it is still impressive by pre-digital age standards. My grandfather owned perhaps 20 books; my digital collection has around 20,000 books.
I have been thinking of listing a few books that I find especially useful and valuable. Inherently lazy and a committed procrastinator that I am, I did not get around to that. Recently, however, a reader prompted me. Thus today I began a list of books that I treasure. It’s a work in progress. Check out the page “My Library” if you are curious. I will update it every few days till I have about 200 books listed.
Finally, it’s been a while since the last “ask me anything.” It’s time. What’s on your mind?
Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.
 The UC Libraries at a Glance – 2019
- 100 Libraries in the UC system
- More than 2,000 library staff serving a University-wide student and faculty population of 303,000
- $295,000,000 total budget for 2018-19
- 40.8 million print volumes in the combined UC collection; 4.3 million digitized volumes in HathiTrust
- 1.2 million licensed e-books, on average, per campus
- 120,000 electronic serial titles licensed centrally (more available on individual campuses)
- 48.9 million items digitized
- 1.6 million items checked out
- 40.4 million article downloads
- 135,000 items exchanged between UC campuses via interlibrary loan
- 140,000 reference inquiries (45,000 virtual)
- 153,000 participants in library instructional programs