In an update to the recent post about Sarah Lawrence College and its disappearing college catalogue, officials from Sarah Lawrence clarify that no, actually the college catalogue still exists; it’s not all online yet.

Students and alumni were recently shocked when they heard a rumor that the college was moving its catalogue online. But, according to Gerald Schorin, vice president for communications and marketing at Sarah Lawrence, “it looks like a small group of students and alumni acted a bit precipitously based on some rumors and then made some assumptions without seeking official corroboration.”

The truth, apparently, is more complicated. SLC is still printing physical catalogues, though fewer than in past years and of lower quality.

The college printed 33,500 catalogues for the 2004-05 school year but they’ve been steadily reducing the number over time. For the 2011-12 school year, SLC only plans to print 2,650 copies. The catalogues from seven years ago were printed on glossy paper and included color photos. This year’s catalogue is far less fancy. The copies are “modest, functional documents for student and faculty use,” according to SLC’s Jerrilynn Dodds, the dean of the college.

But ultimately, however, the physical course catalogue at Sarah Lawrence is clearly on the way out. As Dodds explains, “we anticipate that the online catalogue will eventually supplant the written document, but we intend to let student comfort help guide the velocity at which that will happen.”

It’s a little unclear how the college plans to measure something so ambiguous, especially considering that students at SLC tend to get caught up in illogical opinions about how “it’s difficult to make decisions without the tactile touch of a printed catalog.” (Really?) But they’ll get over it. People always do.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer