A library without books sounds like an oxymoron. But Stanford University's engineering library is about to kiss 85% of its titles goodbye.
As reported on NPR Thursday morning, the library's new building houses just 10,000 physical volumes, down from 80,000. Stanford's librarians told NPR that more and more students are getting the information, periodicals, and even full texts they need via the Internet. Online, it takes students mere seconds to find the same formulas that once sent them hunting through the stacks.
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Librarians might not suffer, either, even as the information they curate migrates online. NPR reports that Stanford's library staff is looking forward to less time lugging books back and forth, and more time working one-on-one with students seeking knowledge.
As for the 70,000 books vanishing from Stanford's shelves, they probably won't be missed. According to NPR, most of the books excluded from the new library hadn't been touched in five years or more.