Reopen the Caltech Bookstore
  • Petitioned California Institute of Technology

This petition was delivered to:

California Institute of Technology

Reopen the Caltech Bookstore

    1. Petition by

      Matilde Marcolli

      Pasadena, CA

Caltech used to have one of the very best scientific bookstores in the country. Three years ago the Caltech administration, without consulting faculty and students, decided to close it down. Not only the bookstore was important to the faculty in their research and to students for the selling of textbooks and other reference books, but closing down the bookstore in one of the most prestigious universities also sends a terribly wrong signal to the general public and the community. We increasingly live in a time where anti-scientific and anti-intellectual feelings and attitudes are on the rise, and where cultural and intellectual values need the strongest possible endorsement from our centers of scientific excellence. Caltech had a model bookstore that delivered to its community of scholars and to the general public the best of our scientific and technological culture. Despite requests from the faculty and the recommendation of the appointed committee, and despite a promise from the administration that the bookstore would reopen, three years have gone by with no credible sign of its reopening. Its place has been occupied by a travesty of store selling t-shirts and flip-flops. Tell Caltech: Books not t-shirts!

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 250 signatures
    2. Further information: Why the bookstore?

      Matilde Marcolli
      Petition Organizer

      An additional detailed discussion on the reasons behind petitioning in favor of the reopening of the Caltech bookstore is now available in the file "Why the Bookstore?" posted on my webpage:

    3. Reached 50 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Matthew Ballard MADISON, WI
      • almost 2 years ago

      As an undergraduate, I spent spare hours here and there knocking around the bookstore. I found a two volume set on QFT and strings for mathematicians. I vowed to one day understand the material inside. I still cannot confess to that fact but the attempt surely shaped who I am today professionally. It is too bad that others Techers will not enjoy similar experiences.

    • Melissa Smith TALLAHASSEE, FL
      • about 2 years ago

      Hardcopy books are, most times, the only way to go! FSU not only has a bookstore, we also have the Dirac Science Library as well as Strozier Library. Not everything can be found online --- REOPEN THE CALTECH BOOKSTORE

      • about 2 years ago

      I visit the campus and bookstore often. Bookstores are a key resource for faculty and students and give visitors a sense of the character of the institution. the current version of the bookstore, does not reflect these values. Anyone been to the Harvard/MIT Coop or the Standford bookstore will know what I mean.

    • John Vandiver NEWPIORT, OR
      • about 2 years ago

      Access to knowledge

    • Jonathan Lubin PASADENA, CA
      • over 2 years ago

      I'm a mathematician retired from an Ivy League university, living within walking distance of what once was a bookstore on the CalTech campus. I've bought several books there, sometimes having ordered them first. I miss the bookstore seriously.


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