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Friday, 30th March 2007

Libraries at the Cutting Edge

Libraries at the Cutting Edge

The trendiest meeting place on many college campuses these days features a coffee bar, wireless Internet zones, free entertainment and special programs, modern lounge areas and meeting rooms.

And free access to books. Lots of books.

This educational social hub is the campus library, which is beginning to look more like an Internet café than the academic library you remember from your college days.

Far from fading away in the Age of Google, which has begun digitizing millions of books from university and other libraries, and despite the almost universal availability of vast online resources, circulation and visits at college and research libraries are on the rise. Campus librarians now answer more than 72 million reference questions each year — almost twice the attendance at college football games.

In other words, this is not the beginning of the end for campus libraries, but the dawn of an exciting new age.

Column by Pamela Snelson, president of the Association of College and Research Libraries

Source: Inside Higher Ed


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