If iPads and other new mobile computers catch on, libraries might not need to offer rooms full of computers for students to do their research, writing, and Facebooking. But if that happens, will students have any reason left to visit the library?
That's the provocative question posed by Brian Mathews, assistant university librarian at the University of California at Santa Barbara, on his blog this week.
The trend in the last few years was to add more computers to the library, creating spaces often called "information commons." And during that time, visits to the library have increased greatly. "I think the key to our current success has been the computers," Mr. Mathews says on his blog.