First off: libraries. My wife is currently a student at University of Canterbury, whose libraries were devastated by the quake as shown in these shocking pictures: http://www.canterbury.ac.nz/photos.shtml
So the questions I'd be asking are: how much money is available to rebuild a library, and how should it be best spent?
- Renovate or completely rebuild the building
- Buy a load of new shelves
- Purchase a library-full of replacement books
- (Not to mention chop down forests, use litres of ink, ship the books from A to B and pay someone to catalogue them and stack the shelves....)
- AND: the knowledge in the book is out of date the moment it's set to paper
- Ensure that all study materials are published online from now on
- Provide campus-wide free wifi
- Subsidise all students to buy a tablet with e-reader software (see http://www.androidtablets.net/ for some examples)
- AND the knowledge is updated without needing a reprint, plus everyone gets accessible wireless internet access to carry around with them.