Recently, my wife, Meg, came home with her copy of the 2010-2011 MSU Campus Directory (apparently, everyone in her department received their own copy). This is a 300+ page book of contact information for all the faculty, staff, and students. Although the book seems well put-together, I wonder – is this really necessary? Isn’t all this information available online? Why would we use valuable resources – time, personnel, paper!!!, to print something that is already available electronically? I thought the whole idea was to move to a “paperless society.”
I asked Meg how often she used the directory. Her answer was “never.” However, she did say that one person in her department uses it occasionally. Maybe it would be better to provide one copy per department, rather than giving one to every staff member?
In addition, Meg mentioned that the book is already outdated (even though she just received it last week) – three of the people listed in her department have already left. Of course, the online directory is updated frequently with accurate information – yet another reason to use the electronic version instead of the paper copy.
When I questioned Meg about why she brought the book home, she replied “I thought we should at least recycle it.”