From the CentralMaine.com:
A tussle over a library renovation at Colby College has sparked a debate about the role physical books still play for library users in an increasingly digital world.
About a year ago, thousands of books began to be transferred from their shelves at Colby’s Miller Library to a storage building built for that purpose, part of a $12.3 million renovation project that also brought new programs and study spaces into the library.
The renovation, which is scheduled to be completed this summer, drew complaints from students and faculty in part because stacks of books — about 40 percent of the library’s total collection — were put in storage off campus, where they are retrieved twice per day at the request of library users.
A group of 76 faculty members have signed a series of petitions against the renovation, while administrators have continued to move forward with the project. In an open letter from faculty published April 10 by the Colby Echo, the campus newspaper, they called the renovation “hurried” and “poorly thought-out” and say teaching faculty have been “overwhelmingly excluded from decisions about how to build and staff a better library.