Letters

The Christian Science Monitor, August 31, 2005 | Go to article overview

Letters


No Marian the Librarian to be found at the University of Texas

As a professional librarian at the University of Texas, I am perplexed by the portrayal of the university's undergraduate library in the Aug. 23 article "Academic libraries empty stacks for online centers."

Even before the transformation to digital learning center, there were no "Quiet Please" signs; the food policy, revised three years ago, allowed carry-in food items; and professional librarians rarely shelved books because we had student staff dedicated for that task.

Contrary to the impression given in the article, the library is not and was not a "dusty" hall, but rather a dynamic facility, bustling with student activity throughout the semester and run by highly dedicated staff determined to help students not only find what they are looking for, but find the fun in learning. That's because the undergraduate library has long led the University of Texas Libraries in the realm of cutting-edge, student- oriented services and innovative changes in the field of librarianship.

The removal of books to create enhanced digital study space is just one point in the evolution of a facility that has always been at the forefront of undergraduate needs. Lindsey Schell Austin, Texas

Dangers of democracy in Egypt

It was about time someone noticed the tight relationship between democracy and the politico-religious situation in some Arab or Muslim countries. Your comments on the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt ("Bush's antiterrorism formula," Aug. 25 editorial) hit the nail on the head.

As a modern, tolerant, and educated Egyptian, I do not want the Muslim Brotherhood in power in my country. It is easy for you, in America, to speak pearls of wisdom about democracy, but I hope that after 9/11 and all the new laws to "fight terror" that your administration is passing, your perspective has changed somewhat.

Perhaps you can now better understand the dangers for us. Your editorial asks the question, "What if democracy opens the door to Islamist rule?" and that means that you can now see something you did not see some years ago.

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