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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Book Burning...well, not quite.


85% of the books have been eliminated from the shelves at the Stanford University Engineering School. Any book not checked out in five years was relegated to digital or to a computer accessed book "order" system.

The trend is toward digital books, which update more often, are more accessible and fit the computer saavy of most incoming college students.

But it lacks one advantage.

The ability to discover gold in the books near or down the isle from the one you are seeking.

I have earned "A"'s on papers by introducing sources discovered in the stacks, deep in the stacks. When UNLV switched to a several story high robot system of access, it took away the ability to find dusty old books and discover what no one has discovered. The trend now is to find the same books or sources as anyone else using search engines designed to highlight the popular or most accessed. So, unique and often revealing and exciting sources, are fading into the dust of history.

And what is happening to these older books. Some are being "archived" in other buildings or boxes. Most are being recycled as paper stock.

It may be book burning, but to this researcher it comes close.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh no. I love my nook and all, but I'd never want to get rid of the paper books. The change into e-books scares me. I don't want to imagine the paper books, including less popular diamonds in the rough, being gone. I also worry that the e-books might go to far. What if they can be hacked? What if someone steals all your books? Its just a scary thought. I want to keep both the paper and the e-books. Its good to have options.

Rebecca Johnson 4049

Holly Knowlton said...

I dont like that idea at all. One of my top ten favorite places to be is the library. Any library for that matter. the setting and atmosphere is kinda meditating.

Holly Knowlton com 101 4080