Do Stacks make the Library?

Colby College’s Miller Library is only the latest example of a library reducing the amount of space utilized by books. And some people are very upset about that.

The Bookies are quite right to want to save the stacks—but not just for the reasons they give, all of which could be dismissed as the sentimental drowning cries of Luddites. We must also save the stacks for another, more urgent reason altogether: Books, simply as props that happen also to be quite useful if you open them up, are the best—perhaps the only—bastions of contemplative intellectual space in the world. – Rebecca Schuman

I think you can make a case either way although I am pretty sure it will be a while yet before most Libraries go completely stack-free. But is a healthy debate to have.

University of Pennsylvania plan to cut Math and Science Libraries Unpopular

UPenn Engineering Library

A plan by the University of Pennsylvania to cut back on two of its branch libraries – one for engineering and the other for math, physics, and astronomy – has yielded an outcry from students and professors who say the books are critical to their studies and research. Both libraries are housed within the same campus buildings as their departments, and are heavily used by undergraduates and graduate students alike. Mathematics students, in particular, said many of the books and materials they need are not available electronically, and they must browse the library to find what they need. – Students, faculty decry Penn plan to cut math and science libraries

Technically, the books will still be available but they will be warehoused in New Jersey and it could take up to 5 days to fill a request for a student who wants one for a project. It seems like this is kind of a brute force method of going digital.

Wiki Management

# Steven “found(Live Changes in Wikipedia)”:http://www.librarystuff.net/2005/06/live-changes-in-wikipedia.html where you can watch Real-Time Changes in Wikipedia. I just watched a number of things get updated including the listing for “Terry Funk(Terry Funk)”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terry%5fFunk. # If your Wiki project isn’t quite on the scale of the one above, you might need some advice on getting it organized. Lorelle VanFossen explains the “Organizational Strategy(WordPress Codex Has a New Look)”:http://www.cameraontheroad.com/?p=684 of the “WordPress Codex(WordPress Codex)”:http://codex.wordpress.org/.

A Library Without Books

The “Undergraduate Library(Undergraduate Library)”:http://www.lib.utexas.edu/ugl/ at the University of Texas at Austin has dispersed nearly their complete collection to other campus locations in order to clear space for a “24-hour electronic information commons(College Libraries Set Aside Books in a Digital Age)”:http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/14/education/14library.html?ex=1273723200&en=594e613ac6e9a350&ei=5088. As the article notes, there was a time when undergrads were not permitted the use of the other libraries. Now that that policy has changed, the space is better used for other forms of information gathering. It really only makes sense.

Note to Library Thieves

When you are trying to unload your ill-gotten gain, try doing it some other way other your “Amazon account(Stolen Library Books = Amazon $)”:http://techdirt.com/articles/20050311/0952255_F.shtml. Or, you, too, could end up another humiliated criminal like “Rory Matthews(Johnson man stole books, then sold them on Amazon)”:http://www.timesargus.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050311/NEWS/503110347/1003/NEWS02. Or better yet, don’t steal them at all.

Reinvent the College Library

Bruce Miller and Donald Barclay have “big plans(UC Merced girds to reinvent the college library)”:http://www.modbee.com/local/story/7971042p-8843564c.html for the new “library(The University Library of the University of California, Merced)”:http://www.ucmerced.edu/lib/ at University of California, Merced.

USF Ask-A-Librarian

One demonstration we got to see during the meeting yesterday was the working of the Ask-A-Librarian Section of the University of South Florida Virtual Library. The entire section is powered by RightNow Technologies . Two Thoughts: 1) For those of without the budget of a library of a major research university, I wonder how easy would it be to assemble something similar with free or open-source products. 2) It will be interesting to see how usage develops over time

Winnipeg SF Sale

The University of Winnipeg Library has sold a large collection of donated science-fiction materials due to space considerations.