The Fate of Mr. Ergueta’s Book Collection


Temilola Lufadeju, Features Writer

We live in an age of information surplus. So what exactly does that mean? The Information Age began around the 1970s and is still going on today.  It is most known as the New Media Age. The Information Age has changed people, technology, science, economies, culture, and the way people think. History of Technology expressed the internet as, “arguably the most prominent innovation of the Information Age”. 

How did the information age affect society? It is fair to say that the Internet changed the way people do everything. Some say that it has made a large amount of the population smarter and others say people have become lazier. Javier Ergueta currently teaches History and the Theory Of Knowledge class at Wilmington Friends School. Ergueta expressed the value of physical books in the Internet Age. Eurgeta remarked, “Our society values books much less high than in the past”. Ergueta continued “There is a widespread view that ‘we live in an age of information surplus’, and ‘if students need information, it is online, and we can and should make it available to them there’”. In an upbeat tone, Ergueta expressed his love for these physical books, he said “I love books and for me, my books are an extension of my mind. They are the repository of my knowledge and of human knowledge”. 

Javier Ergueta plans on donating his library to the school. Ergueta comments “I have about 3000 books that are my personal property at WFS. I have offered to donate most of my library to WFS——–”. In a self-assured tone, Ergueta comments “It’s no accident that, whenever students in our world history courses (HEM and 20th C.) need books for their historical investigations, they commonly find more sources in my library than in our school’s. Ergueta follows “And they find books that may not even be available for purchase on Amazon or elsewhere, because I sourced many of my books in university book sales, from donations made by professors”. According to Ergueta, “Most of the WFS academic departments don’t require deep libraries. 

Phillips Exeter Academy is a prestigious boarding school in New Hampshire Exeter. The academy is the largest secondary school library in the world. This distinguished school contains 160,000 volumes over nine levels with a shelf capacity of 250,000 volumes. When it comes to history it’s different. Ergueta wants the best for WFS. Not just to match up with these prestigious schools that vaunt their books but to understand the values his books can offer. “The value of many of my books is not just their value as measured by book market prices, but in the knowledgeable selection process, I applied when acquiring them,” Ergueta

Ergueta has been building his library since his Harvard School days. There is no doubt that Ergueta’s book collection can offer more perspective and depth. Ergueta’s book collection will remain on identified bookshelves in other rooms, as is done now in 3 separate locations. The books will be joined into the Library filing system; students will be able to access them. This generous donation will greatly expand its official collection. Ergueta remarked that the collection will roughly double the size of the WFS library’s previous holdings in the comparable categories. After Ergueta donates his books to WFS, he plans on retiring this June.