One of my favorite responsibilities as associate director is to assist in preparing the library portion of the ABA Annual Questionnaire. I find several of the questions to be highly informative and most to be meaningful indicators that can be used to make qualitative assessments about programs. However, there is one question which just irritates me to no end. That question asks for "linear feet of shelving capacity." I can see how some of the other questions, for example, the number of hours open, the number of serial titles, the number of staff, and even the number of volumes, are relevant when making comparisons in presentations to decision-makers. I can only imagine that a library director would attempt to support a request for more space by showing how little shelving space that library has compared to other schools. Assuming this is the case *and* assuming this is a sufficiently compelling statistic, how is this space to be measured? I would posit that we should be uniform and consistent in how we measure. Nothing short of actually measuring the shelves should suffice. Yet, even an actual measurement continues to beg the question: So what? Linear feet of shelving capacity does not speak to the space needed for materials in formats which do not occupy book shelves. How then can this be a measure of anything that is useful? I urge those of you with influence to work to get this item removed from the library section of the ABA Annual Questionnaire.
Madison Mosley, Jr., Associate Director
Charles A. Dana Law Library, Stetson University College of Law