The purpose of this paper is to provide guidance to librarians about whether to keep or withdraw books on pre-Internet computer programming languages.
For each of the programming languages considered, this article provides historical background and an assessment of current academic library collection needs.
Many older languages (COBOL, FORTRAN, C, Lisp, Prolog, and Ada) are still in use and need reliable sources available for reference. Additionally, books about obsolete languages have educational value due to their influence on the development on newer languages such as C++ and Java.
This information will be useful to academic librarians who want to make the best choices about keeping or withdrawing computer programming books.
Most librarians responsible for managing computer science collections do not have a computer programming background, so they do not know which older languages are still important.
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