Meet The World’s First Bookless Library
The Commons does have librarians and Internet connections to all the standard electronic resources of a university library. It provides access to a digital catalog that launched with 135,000 e-books. But take a look around the room, and it’s completely bookless.
That is, unless a student happens to bring an old-style hardcover or paperback to school.
They might; like most university systems, Florida State makes all of its books available to students through interlibrary loans, giving them access to 6 million volumes.
But the idea of the new Florida Polytechnic library is to move away from paper. Printers for articles accessed online are available but not encouraged. Instead, the staff hopes students will organize their research online with tools that are part of the library service.
Florida Polytechnic University opened this week, and its library is an empty room. I like it! Though it does raise one question for me, namely: What is a library anyway?
This library does seem to align with the motto of the American Library Association:
The best reading, for the largest number, at the least cost.
Is it just me or is this an EXCELLENT motto? Almost makes me tear up a little bit.
Wikipedia — I’d give you a better source but what am I, a LIBRARIAN or something? — defines a library as, “an organized collection of sources of information and similar resources, made accessible to a defined community for reference or borrowing.”
Which is also accurate.
CONCLUSION: This is still a library.