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A library without the books - The Boston Globe

"...A lot us are wondering how this changes the dignity of the library, and why we can't move to increase digital resources while keeping the books."

...administrators said the books took up too much space and that there was nowhere else on campus to stock them.

(above) In place of the stacks, they are spending $42,000 on three large flat-screen TVs that will project data from the Internet and $20,000 on special laptop-friendly study carrels. Where the reference desk was, they are building a $50,000 coffee shop that will include a $12,000 cappuccino machine.

And to replace those old pulpy devices that have transmitted information since Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press in the 1400s, they have spent $10,000 to buy 18 electronic readers made by Amazon.com and Sony.

They needed the space, y'understand. Eighteen students at most will be able to read books they chose themselves. But there's this side to it:

"When you hear the word `library,' you think of books,'' Alliy said. "But very few students actually read them."

At a rough guess, this change isn't going to get them reading any more than before.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Sep 4th, 2009 at 09:05:55 AM EST

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