by Mike Masnick

University Library Gets Rid Of The Books

from the those-old-paper-things? dept

It's not quite as drastic as the headline would have you believe, but the removal of all books from a University of Texas at Austin library to make room for a more digital friendly study space is turning some heads. The books aren't being ditched. They're just moving to other libraries. Really, all that's happening is the University has decided that this particular library can be converted into a study area -- with an emphasis on digital connectivity and information, rather than a place to store books. However, on a symbolic level, it's making people think about the future of the library as a place to find books -- and whether or not that's an obsolete idea.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 May 2005 @ 11:13am

    Goodbye, libraries

    Problems will occur by making libraries all digital.
    If books will be accessed digitally, you've no guarantee you're accessing the same books day to day. In Farhenheit 911, books had to be burned. With digital files, they just need to be edited. That can be done with no one knowing. A hacker would do it just for kicks. The US government would do it for national security, moral hygiene, anti-defamation laws, ...
    Whether or not the files are secure and protected, your access of the files is that much easier to monitor. The current fuss in libraries about homeland security potentially spying on your book-reading shows the potential of this problem.

    If you know what you're looking for, digital research helps you find it, and not much else. Research with digital books has it's advantages: fulltext searches, text summaries, and hyperlinks. Yes, digitizing old works can make research easier, but it can stop a student from reading a book cover-to-cover. That sometimes defeats the author's purpose. It is the difference between filling your pigeonholes and finding pigeonholes to fill.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: Copying Is Not Theft
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.