Note: Additional coverage of this story posted a few days ago.
From The Journal Star:
They’ve proposed turning the typically quiet first floor of Love Library’s north annex into a commons with large, open study areas, a café, a nearly 200-seat computer lab and private study rooms. To make room, they’d move lesser-used books out of Love Library and into off-campus storage.
The plan reflects the declining use of printed materials at NU’s seven library branches. The number of checked-out items fell from 418,779 in 2005-06 to 141,603 this year, a drop of 66 percent.
Some faculty and students, she said, have expressed concern that moving books from Love Library would make it more difficult for researchers to find titles related to others they’ve identified as pertinent to their research, because books are grouped by subject matter. However, she said, sophisticated online search engines should make it easy for researchers to find related books they didn’t know they needed.
She [Nancy Busch, dean of libraries] said the university would maintain a healthy collection of print material.
“I don’t see us ever becoming totally electronic,” she said. “It’s finding that balance. It’s understanding what our users need.”
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