Universities redesign libraries for the 21st century

Libraries are 4,000 years old, but the digital revolution is dramatically changing their use on college campuses. From coast to coast, University of California, Berkeley to Harvard University, libraries are removing rows of steel shelving, stashing the books they held in other campus locations and discarding duplicates to make way for open study spaces. Their budgets are shifting away from print, to digital materials, writes Teresa Watanabe for Los Angeles Times.

The changes have met resistance from some faculty, but they suit many students just fine. Ted Xiao, a graduate student in electrical engineering and computer science, loves the changes at Moffitt Library at UC Berkeley. He and five classmates recently used a meeting room to work on a PowerPoint presentation. As they brainstormed, they ate snickerdoodles, washed down with milk tea.

Moffitt used to be so “old and musty”, Xiao said, that he visited once and never returned. Now he comes often – and doesn’t miss the books. Everything he needs is online. “I’ve never actually needed to use a physical book,” Xiao said. “I’ve never checked one out. I can’t honestly say I even know how.”
Full report on the Los Angeles Times site