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.