Can we get more fantasy books in Dunn, please?


by Ryan Magalhaes, Staff Reporter

When I was in middle and high school, I could spend an hour or more perusing the shelves of the school libraries and would come home with a few thousand pages worth of content to read.

I always found it so exciting to come home with new stories to read, new characters to fall in love with and new worlds to explore.

When I came to Simpson, I was excited to continue to feed my ravenous appetite. I was anticipating finding new, more mature books that they don’t put in high school libraries.

But when I first entered Dunn library, I quickly realized there was no fiction section. I also found that when I used the search tool on the website, more books weren’t available at the library than were.

Dunn has nearly 100 thousand print books, ranging from the biography of Emperor Hirohito to a survey of groundwater in Warren County. Yet, there are very few options for fantasy reading and, therefore, no way to browse for them. Despite this gap in the collection, Dunn maintains a massive number of books that haven’t been checked out in decades, if at all.

This has created two problems. 

Number 1: I can’t browse for fantasy novels. 

The purpose of library sections is to allow general interest browsing, which is one of the best things about physical libraries. Not having a section for fantasy makes the already difficult task of finding fantasy novels I haven’t read yet even harder.

Number 2: To get fantasy novels, I either must get an inter-library loan or go to the public library. Both are inconvenient and often don’t allow me to read the books I want.

Inter-library loan due dates are much tighter and more difficult to renew (I once had a week to read a 700-page novel) and the public library does not fill all the gaps in Dunn’s collection. It would also require me to go off campus and get another library card. 

I’ll also point out that Dunn already has certain fantasy novels and even children’s books. Let’s not pretend that Dunn is solely for research and learning.

The fantasy novels that are present don’t suggest a pattern behind selections either. Lord of the Rings is in the collection, likely due to its cultural and literary significance. Elric of Melnibone, however, is not there, despite being the next step in fantasy and hugely influential on works like Game of Thrones. 

These books aren’t hard to get, nor would they be particularly difficult to find space for if Dunn restructures its collection.

Dunn is currently undergoing renovations, so now is the perfect time to go through the collection and remove unnecessary books to make space for exciting, enlightening, and memorable novels.