Stanford to create a “bookless” library

The Mercury News is reporting that Stanford University is replacing 2 of their libraries. They're not just adding digital content; the current collection is being boxed up so it can be put in storage. Here are some excerpts:

Box by box, decades of past scholarship are being packed up and emptied from two old libraries, Physics and Engineering, to make way for the future: a smaller but more efficient and largely electronic library that can accommodate the vast, expanding and interrelated literature of Physics, Computer Science and Engineering.


The future library — on the second floor of "The Octagon," the centerpiece of the university's new science and engineering quad that opens later this year — will offer a stark contrast.It is only half the size of the current Engineering Library, but saves its space for people, not things. It features soft seating, "brainstorm islands," a digital bulletin board, and group event space. There are few shelves and it will feature a self-checkout system.

It is developing a completely electronic reference desk and there will be four Kindle 2 ereaders on site. Its online journal search tool, called xSearch, can scan 28 online databases, a grant directory and more than 12,000 scientific journals.

Sanford isn't the only uni with this problem:

Four miles off its Durham campus, Duke University has a high-density storage facility, with shelves 30 feet high, to hold 15 million books. Harvard's repository is 35 miles away in the rural town of Southborough.

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About Nate Hoffelder (11223 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

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