The DE has an article on the return of books to Morris. This is good news. But missing from the article is the reason the books are coming back. It is not because they are valued, but because they are valued less than the McLafferty Annex itself, which is now coveted as a research space. The $1 million required to get the books back materialized once this became clear--or this at any rate is what I gather from comments by the Chancellor some time ago,* noting how many groups had expressed an interest in McLafferty. Of course research space is also a good thing, but this sequence of events seems to show how low a priority the library, and particularly its print collections, has around here. This is yet another reminder, for any needing one, that when an administrator says "we don't have the money to do x" it often means "I've decided to spend the money on y instead".
The priority on getting the books out of McLafferty rather than in to Morris may help to explain the rather sketchy details in the story as to how exactly the books are going to get to Morris. From reading the story, one gets the impression that despite having had the books in McLafferty for three years, we have made no plan about how to get them back. But the confusion in the story may be as much journalistic as administrative: I welcome comments from readers with more insight into this. McLafferty itself is now closed to browsing, and its books lost in limbo during the transfer. Some such loss of access is necessary, but it will be interesting to see how long the limited access lasts.
* She made these comments at a Faculty Senate meeting, but I haven't been able to find them in the minutes.