Stanford University's 'Bookless' Library

From the New Yorker's Book Bench: Amid all the fuss over Stanford University’s announcement that they are unveiling a bookless library (is it the wave of the future? A sign of the literary apocalypse?), everyone seemed to be missing one rather obvious point: when it opens in August it will, in spite of the misleading nomenclature, contain books.

True, the new physics and engineering library will house eighty-five percent fewer books, but it isn’t some sort of thought experiment (if a tree falls in a forest with no one to hear, will it still make a noise? If a library contains no books, is it still a library?) or Borgesian symbol. In fact, it isn’t even a sign of the end of books; it’s a result of schools being so overcrowded with them. According to the San Jose Mercury News, Stanford buys the equivalent of two hundred and seventy-three books a day. As you can imagine, that adds up to an awful lot of shelf space and, as a result, Stanford has been forced to move many of their titles to storage facilities miles away

Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2010/07/the-dawn-of-the-bookless-library.html#ix... ...and listen to the NPR story on the 'bookless library'. The library opens August 2.

Syndicate content