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The Bookless Library Has Arrived...

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by nubka, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. nubka

    nubka Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Jul 11, 2011
    IceAlisa and (deleted member) like this.
  2. mindy74

    mindy74 Well-Known Member

    I think it makes more sense in an academic setting, as Drexel's is (my alma mater). I'm a public librarian, and while we've definitely seen a higher demand for e-books, most of these people still want to check out "regular" books too. I don't foresee most public libraries (especially bigger ones, like mine) becoming bookless in the near future. There may be a few here and there who experiment with it, though.

    The major area that books will be leaving is reference. I still go the reference stacks once in awhile, but for the most part, subscription databases have taken over. It's sad because our library has a wonderful, huge collection and it's hard to let it go but it's just not used like it was even 5 years ago. Students just prefer using the databases, and they can access them 24/7 from home, and the materials often comes straight from the books--so who can blame them? Of course we are keeping our local history and anything rare/valuable but most of it will go into our circulating collection.
  3. Andrushka

    Andrushka Well-Known Member

    It's not great.At all. :( I don't want electronic I want Books!No batteries,turn my own freakin pages books!
  4. Satellitegirl

    Satellitegirl New Member

    I like using my ereader for environmental purposes, but I really miss holding a book in my hand and seeing the progress as I turn the pages.
  5. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

    I don't own an e-reader but it would certainly make sense for college textbooks. I remember buying all those heavy expensive books that went out of date so fast you couldn't always re-sell them at the end of the term.
  6. Prancer

    Prancer Slave to none, master to all Staff Member

    Yes, I think it will be a long time before public libraries go bookless. There is still far too much in print and far too little in electronic form for that to happen. Publishers still aren't sure what to do about electronic borrowing and some fo the big houses don't allow it at all.
  7. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

    One of the unis where I teach has a 100% online library. Since they have multiple campuses spread out, and they offer many online classes in addition to on-campus classes, it makes sense. And for reference, it allows for more up-to-date materials.
  8. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    Having worked in a library years ago, I could understand why libraries wouldn't want to keep lots of reference books on shelves. They are expensive and these days go out of date too quickly. And you can find everything pretty much online.

    Although I do remember our family having copies of Childcraft and World Book encyclopedia when we were kids. I loved those books and read them a lot.

    I really only go to my library now to get DVDs.
  9. mindy74

    mindy74 Well-Known Member

    Exactly. Lots of the publishers only allow libraries to buy a certain number of titles, and also how many times titles can be "checked out" before the license expires. There is a lot to be worked out. Add to that library budgets being cut massively in a lot of places, and it's going to be difficult to meet demand.

    I will say after this past holiday season, we've seen a massive increase in questions from people about how to get the ebooks from Overdrive (the vendor we use to provide e-books to our patrons) onto Nooks and iPads. Finally Amazon is getting into the groove and they will be able to be read on Kindles by the Fall, hopefully! I loved when patrons would act like we were to blame because they couldn't get the free library e-books on their Kindle. Like it was the library's decision!
  10. genegri

    genegri Active Member

    My parents both used to go to library for days on end. It was just part of their research.

    By the time I was in college and grad school, most students only looked for references online. Very few bothered to go to the actual library. Some would even use google as their primary research tool.

    I keep hearing funny stories that grad PhD students these days only know how to do reseach online, but many publications prior to mid 90's are not indexed into online databases yet. So these students don't know the work had been done and they are writing papers over the same topics that were already researched and published over 20 years ago.
  11. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

    I don't think it should be called a library. Come up with another name for it, haha
  12. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

    When you take books out of the library you're sharing/recycling, so I think it's okay from an environmental standpoint. It's also more economical than buying either hard copy books or e-books.

    My library is starting to offer e-books but I agree that it will be a while before the book industry become completely electronic.

    I love holding books in my hand and seeing my progress as well. I like being surrounded by books in my office, as well and being able to pick up a book and flip through the pages. And I like the art on book covers as well.

    Not all technological change is for the better IMO. Vinyl was the best for music and record jackets were such an art - so carefully designed and sometimes all the lyrics would be printed out on the back of a jacket or inside of a double jacket record. The covers were part of the experience. All that has been lost with digital.
  13. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

    This is one of the ways I find plagiarism - when an undergrad student references a journal article from, say, 1964... I then ask them to provide me with that article. Because I know they simply used Wikipedia as their source, and wrote down some of the references listed there, and they never went to a library or accessed this journal, which is only available offline... and in one particular case, only in Japanese. ;)
  14. stanhope

    stanhope Active Member

    I couldn't agree more about vinyl and the fact that not all technology is inherently better. Vinyl is making a comeback as I see many more records being sold at music stores these days than I did in the late 90's/early 2000's when digital was the newest hot thing on the market. I imagine books will always stay because people like them. I know I will never buy an e-reader. I see its uses for travel and not wanting to lug around a lot of books, but even for college students, it is actually much more work, in my opinion, to take separate notes where you could just highlight your textbooks and make notes in the margins.
  15. JoyCo

    JoyCo New Member

    I alternate between sadness that a student just didn't understand what she was doing and evil glee when it takes me five seconds to identify entire bibliographies that were cut and pasted into a paper. (Tip off: the course focuses on APA style and those Google bibliographies definitely are not in that style.) The sad students haven't developed any reasonable research skills but were initially proud that they found anything on the topic. Those who engender evil glee have usally spent the quarter stubbornly submitting minimal work while demanding stellar grades.
  16. nubka

    nubka Well-Known Member

    ITA! Call it something, but not a library...
  17. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

    But it *is* a library. Library doesn't mean "books", we've just come to associate it with hardcopy books. It indicates manuscripts - and what form a manuscript has taken over history has changed, and is still changing.
  18. moojja

    moojja Active Member

    I could never write on a book for any reason. I always have to take separate notes. But for research, where I have to cross reference multiple books, it's easier w/ physical books. At least until e-readers gets really inexpensive, or I become really rich.
  19. Prancer

    Prancer Slave to none, master to all Staff Member

    I keep reading this, and that vinyl sales are going up while CD sales are dropping. Well, yeah. Vinyl sales have improved. Two point eight million vinyl records sold last year in the US. Meanwhile, in the same year, 1.2 billion ILLEGAL downloads were made. That doesn't even include legitimate sales. Of course CDs are losing ground; no one needs them to get digital tracks any more.

    So I don't think vinyl is really making a comeback. And I think print books will be like vinyl eventually--boutique items for people who consider themselves connoisseurs and for specialty items.

    It is hard to suppress that cackle sometimes.

    Me, too. But it is very easy to highlight and add notes in electronic media.

    I would not, however, recommend an e-reader for this purpose. E-readers are great for pleasure reading, but they are not great for research at all.

    Yes, this is a common problem with electronic books. That's why most people print their articles out rather than just looking at them online. For me, however, I'd rather use Diigo to highlight and add notes; cross referencing is then a breeze. I also like online textbooks; I like the search feature and the automatic outline. I can't convince my students that it's actually easier to use once they learn how, but it is inevitable that they will.
  20. skateycat

    skateycat Minecraft Widow

    I am in the middle of earning a master's degree in library and information science.

    I also produce a somewhat obscure reference resource, a dictionary of the Karuk language. Online and print editions are available. People love the physical book, and there is a lot of front and back matter that hasn't yet been put on the website, but the last edition was published in 2005.

    The online version is the dictionary is more accurate, as I put up an updated version of the database just a few months ago.

    I can update the database so easily, whereas the second edition of the book is going to take a lot of work. Also, the online version gives me the ability to add audio, which our users have been clamoring for since day one.

    I don't see physical books going 100% by the wayside, as even vinyl records have made a niche comeback in the music world.

    My father-in-law, who passed this April, owned and managed a number of off-campus textbook stores, and he wasn't happy about the e-book revolution. He knew he wouldn't be able to adapt to the change.
  21. nubka

    nubka Well-Known Member

    True - but I can't wrap my mind around it, or maybe I just don't want to... :(