[Web4lib] Campus without library - summing up

Walker, David dwalker at calstate.edu
Wed Nov 19 13:45:38 EST 2008

> why they think some of these projects ended up
> relenting and building real physical libraries?

I think newly built academic library buildings are really multi-purpose spaces.  They devote a large amount of square footage to computer labs, group study rooms, and related service points (writing center, math labs, tutoring), as they do traditional library services and book storage.

Universities still need those kinds of spaces for students.  Not everyone has a laptop, and even if they do, many students actually *prefer* the library to other places on campus, even other computer labs and study spaces.

And I don't really think most of these campuses "relented" and built physical libraries.  Most of the new California campuses, for example, had plans to build a library from the outset.

If you look at the timing of Monterey Bay, it was built in 1994-95, probably when the hype and promise of the "paperless society" was at its zenith.  That hype never really panned-out, even if some administrators there publically declared that it would.  So there's a still a need for people to read actual, physical books, and it's good, for convenience sake, to have some of those on-site.


David Walker
Library Web Services Manager
California State University
From: web4lib-bounces at webjunction.org [web4lib-bounces at webjunction.org] On Behalf Of Steven E. Patamia, Ph.D. [patamia at gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, November 19, 2008 9:55 AM
To: Even Flood
Cc: Project Wombat; web4lib at webjunction.org
Subject: Re: [Web4lib] Campus without library - summing up

Hi Even et al.

    I have a special interest in "virtual" libraries because we are
planning one and recruiting for it.  However, we are not a typical
campus.  The anticipated research library supports a global cadre of
researchers most of whom could not make the trip to a specific campus
location if they wanted to!

    Nevertheless, its not my purpose to champion the idea of a virtual
library, but to learn how to make the one we need work in the
situation it faces.  Consequently, I want to understand well the
librarian viewpoint on this issue and thus flagged this thread as
relevant to that goal.

    Bear in mind that we will have real live librarians and technical
support people organized into a service structure so that several
kinds of direct assistance from trained, skilled, and people smart
staff is always available.  We are not trying to save money by
eliminating staff -- the library we are planning MUST nevertheless be
virtual because of where the patrons are physically (all over) and
their need for 24hr electronic access.

     Question: Given the negative intimations in some of this thread,
would anyone following it care to comment specifically on why they
think some of these projects ended up relenting and building real
physical libraries?  More importantly, even if it amounts to stating
the aobvious, would anyone following be willing to identify the most
important things that the physical facility offers in different
situations that are the most difficult or problematic to virtualize?
Other comments more than welcome.


On 11/19/08, Even Flood <even.flood at gmail.com> wrote:
> Folks,
>  Thanks for the help and response! Here is a summing up of what I have learned
>  1) The original discussion goes back to 1995 and the announcement that
>  the California State University Monterey Bay would be built without a
>  physical library. The plans were commented in Newsweek and lambasted
>  by Cliff Stoll, and the CSUMB learned the error of their ways. The
>  library was built and a new library buidling is to open on December
>  1st this year. Congratulations to them! See http://library.csumb.edu/.
>  Two other project have been mentioned: University of Minnesota
>  Rochester, http://www.r.umn.edu/01_about.htm, looks like a small
>  university and with no physical library. The Kingsport Center for
>  Higher Education, http://www.timesnews.net/article.php?id=9005970, is
>  under constructiion and will not have a library. Opens in 2009. Let us
>  see how long they last.
>  Again thanks! If I have missed anything, please say so.
>  Even
>  --
>  Even Hartmann Flood,  Senior Academic Librarian
>  Ilevollen 3e
>  N 7018 Trondheim, Norway.
>  Phone: +47 73 52 53 53/ +47 95 11 58 14
>  even.flood at gmail.com
>  http://home.broadpark.no/~evflood/
>  "Come, and take choice of all my library, and so  beguile thy sorrow."
>                                 (Shakespeare)
>  _______________________________________________
>  Web4lib mailing list
>  Web4lib at webjunction.org
>  http://lists.webjunction.org/web4lib/

Steven E. Patamia, Ph.D., J.D.
Personal Cell: (352) 219-6592

Web4lib mailing list
Web4lib at webjunction.org

More information about the Web4lib mailing list