Stanford University’s new Engineering Library is scheduled to open this August, and when it does, it will have 85 per cent less books than the one it’s replacing. It’s a big step toward what the school’s librarians envision as a bookless future.
It’s not hard to see the trend: students are checking out less books than ever before. When the Stanford staff looked into the Engineering Library’s records, they found that a great number of books hadn’t been checked out in five years.
Instead of carrying the physical volumes, the library will offer access to searchable, digitised versions of books and periodicals – especially useful for engineers who often only need to consult the book for a formula or too. And clearing out some of the books makes room and resources for other endeavours. One librarian explained, “That’s what we’re so [excited about] …the idea of actually offering more services, offering more workshops, offering more one-on-one time with students.” [NPR]