I still can't wrap my head around the idea of bookless libraries. According to the vice-provost of the University of Texas at Austin's libraries, the reason they are emptying their undergrad library of books is:
"In this information-seeking America, I can't think of anyone who would elect to build a books-only library." Am I wrong in thinking that you can get information from books? Or that it is higher-quality information than you might get from Wikipedia? Or that a librarian might agree with that?
A senior in Business Management with some sense said:
"Well, this is a library - it's supposed to have books in it. You can't really replace books. There's plenty of libraries where they have study rooms. This is a nice place for students to come to. It's central in campus." Right. Nor can you replace readers.
An architect tells us that the "challenge" with designing these new "libraries" is to adapt them to what she called "the Barnes & Noble culture, making reading and learning a blurred experience." Ah, yes. I'm glad that someone who can use a phrase like "making reading and learning a blurred experience" is justifying doing away with books.
Trust me, learning is a blurred experience for most undergrads these days. As is every other experience they have.
The, ahem, president of the Association of College and Research Libraries reminds us:
"This is a new generation, born with a chip. A student sends an e-mail at 2 a.m. and wonders by 8 a.m. why the professor hasn't responded."
Right, and there's nothing wrong with that? A generation that can't read and that believes everything should be done to serve them and we're supposed to placate that mentality? How about we add "adult" masseuses to the "libraries" to do to the students what the profession requires these days?
The article notes:
Significantly, librarians are big supporters of the trend.
Okay, I'm open. Why would librarians be big supporters of the trend?