At the University of Denver Penrose Library, you may find computers, a coffee bar, art, and a community of students but you might not see any books. The University is in the process of removing the majority of their books to an off-site location and revamping the library into an ‘academic commons’ area.
Some students who are in need of a community within a library will be pleased. They can search for their books online and if they need a book, journal or article can order it from the off-site location.
For another group of people who long to study and research in a quiet academic area, the new layout and reduction of books might be a bit disorienting. Where is their silence and tomes they’ve come to know and love?
Initially, the cost of purchasing a book will switch to the cost of digitizing it. Google planned to digitize 7 million books in six years, however, in three years they’ve only indexed one million books. This will take time. This will cost money. As new books are written they will be digitized for different platforms.
Digitalized information will become readily available to all students. When it’s time to write a paper, twenty students can refer to the ONE online article or book. Gone is the waiting for books to be returned… they can be accessed immediately. When a natural disaster hits a campus or frozen pipes burst during a school holiday, all will not be lost.
The thing is this … if I was a student and the books I needed were not available or I had to order them then wait for their arrival… I would probably do my research with what was present or online. I call it convenient research for the digital native.
- Inside Higher Ed: No Room for Books
- Are Librarians Totally Obsolete?
- New E-Book Company to Focus on Older Titles
- Ascend: The Campaign for the University of Denver – Academic Commons – A New Face for a Campus Fixture (du.edu)
- Pays to Share – Inside Higher Ed (insidehighered.com)
- Federal judge rejects plans for Google digital library (philedufutureboytech.wordpress.com)
- Penrose Library at the University of Denver | Connecting People to Ideas (library.du.edu)