Posted by: bluesyemre | February 9, 2018

A #library without #books? Universities purging dusty volumes

books

In this Jan. 25, 2018, photo, books marked with red stickers, meaning they might be removed from the shelves, are displayed at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania library in Indiana, Pa. IUP is planning to remove tens of thousands of books that have little or no readership. (Michael Rubinkam/Associated Press)

A library without books? Not quite, but as students abandon the stacks in favor of online reference material, university libraries are unloading millions of unread volumes in a nationwide purge that has some print-loving scholars deeply unsettled.

Libraries are putting books in storage, contracting with resellers or simply recycling them. An increasing number of books exist in the cloud, and libraries are banding together to ensure print copies are retained by someone, somewhere. Still, that doesn’t always sit well with academics who practically live in the library and argue that large, readily available print collections are vital to research.

“It’s not entirely comfortable for anyone,” said Rick Lugg, executive director of OCLC Sustainable Collection Services, which helps libraries analyze their holdings. “But absent endless resources to handle this stuff, it’s a situation that has to be faced.”

At Indiana University of Pennsylvania, the library shelves overflow with books that get little attention. A dusty monograph on “Economic Development in Victorian Scotland.” International Television Almanacs from 1978, 1985 and 1986. A book whose title, “Personal Finance,” sounds relevant until you see the publication date: 1961.

http://wapo.st/2FXnleY


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