January 21, 2022

Academic Libraries: Library Without Books is on University of Florida 'Wish List'

From The Gainesville Sun:

When students walk by Newell Hall, they see a historic building.

But University of Florida faculty and library administrators hope that building with such a rich past will be cutting edge: UF’s first library without books.

The library project was originally introduced by UF President Bernie Machen in August 2009, said Judith Russell, dean of the University of Florida libraries. Though the university planned to provide stimulus money for the project that summer, funds were assigned to greater priorities, she said.

There is no expectation that the project will be included in the university budget this year, Russell said.


The experience would be one where students bring in their laptops or work on available computers to access the library’s extensive electronic collection of books, research articles, course reserves and academic journals. Millions of materials are available through the George A. Smathers Libraries website.


Several universities have new facilities like this, said Russell, who visited a combined learning center and classroom building with mostly computers and few books at the University of Georgia. The discussion has always centered on having a space entirely devoted to electronic use of the library materials, she said.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.