Gaming the library (and going beyond just books and knowledge)

The Harvard Library Innovation Laboratory points out a fascinating part of Jerome Lettvin’s obitiary:

At MIT, his office in Building 20 was crammed with books, most overdue from the college library. Dr. Lettvin claimed he did not return them because the library would send him the students who wanted those books, and he would interview them as potential assistants.”

Jerome was gaming the library. He was holding onto resources that like-minded individuals desired in order to make professional connections. Cool.

Maybe the greatest part of libraries isn’t what’s in them, but the people that go to them.