Drexel University's new Library Learning Terrace, which opened just last month, does not contain a single bound volume. Instead, it has rows of computers and plenty of seating offering access to the Philadelphia university's 170 million electronic items.
Scott Erdy, designer of the new library, says open, flexible space allows student and staff "knowledge transfer," a concept reinforced by Danuta Nitecki, dean of Drexel's libraries. "We don't just house books, we house learning," she says.
Drexel University is not alone. Kansas State University's engineering library went primarily bookless in 2000. Last year, Stanford University pruned all but 10,000 printed volumes from its new engineering library, making more room for large tables and study areas. And the University of Texas at San Antonio ditched print in lieu of electronic material when it opened its engineering library in 2010.
Tim Newcomb has an article in Time Magazine that makes for fascinating reading. I suspect this trend will affect all librarians and probably most genealogists as well. Our concept of "what is a library?" is changing rapidly.
You can read Is a Bookless Library Still a Library? by Tim Newcomb at http://goo.gl/IkfPQ.
My thanks to Laura Prescott for telling me about this article.
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