Re: Librarians and the Ginsparg model

From: Thomas J. Walker <tjw_at_GNV.IFAS.UFL.EDU>
Date: Fri, 8 Sep 2000 09:20:40 -0400

At 11:36 AM 9/6/00 -0700, Roy Tennant wrote:

Building Space
>This is one of the more prevalent and potentially disastrous myths
>regarding the digital future for libraries. Within our own
>university, there is talk of no new library buildings, as if print
>books died overnight and only the librarians didn't notice. Digital
>books are the exception, not the norm, and there remain serious
>issues regarding accessibility (in some situations e-books are *less*
>accessible than p-books) and preservation. Even if you believe
>computers are the future and books are not, do you realize how much
>space computers require? To offer students the same level of access
>to digital collections as we currently do to print collections, you
>will need floors and floors (yes, physical buildings) of computers.
>And no, we are not yet requiring every student to purchase a laptop
>and they would still need a spot to put it besides their lap.

It will be difficult to justify new library buildings for those libraries
where most of the shelf space is filled with back issues of journals that
are also held by hundreds of other libraries around the world. JSTOR and
similar projects make it so that all articles in entire runs of back issues
can be searched by any word or phrase with boolean logic and the papers
printed at the users desk. It is infinitely cheaper and more effective to
fund JSTOR-like projects than to fund new stacks.

To the extent that students have their own computers and Internet access,
there is a much reduced need to provide same in university buildings,
especially those that are not convenient to the students usual work space.

Tom Walker
Thomas J. Walker
Department of Entomology & Nematology
University of Florida, PO Box 110620, Gainesville, FL 32611-0620
E-mail: FAX: (352)392-0190
Received on Mon Jan 24 2000 - 19:17:43 GMT

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