When the flood passes

People lost libraries of books they loved when Sullivans Creek burst its banks and flooded parts of ANU last month; including DVC Marnie Hughes Warrington who reflects on the extraordinary event of four metres of water inundating parts of campus in the new essay in her chronicle of campus. No one died but books, loved for both their form and content, were lost to the flood. “Books are made by authors, of course, but they are sustained by readers in afterlives that stretch over millennia. When you wash away a book, it seems as if you wash away a person, even if it is not the only copy on earth.” But libraries will be created anew, not recreated, as collections and what readers make of them take new directions. The flood reminded Professor Hughes Warrington of another lesson. “Uncle Carl was right. Never underestimate the power of the creek.


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