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University creating 'bookless' library

May 19, 2010 at 8:00 PM   |   Comments

PALO ALTO, Calif., May 19 (UPI) -- California's Stanford University is preparing to close two department libraries and replace them with its first "bookless library," campus officials said.

Books in the Physics and Engineering libraries are being boxed up for storage to make way for a smaller, more efficient and largely electronic library, the San Diego Mercury News reported Wednesday.

It will feature a completely computerized reference desk, Kindle e-readers, and an online search tool linked to 28 online databases that can scan more than 12,000 scientific journals, the newspaper said.

"The role of this new library is less to do with shelving and checking out books," said Andrew Herkovic, director of communications and development at Stanford Libraries, "and much more about research and discovery."

Stanford says it is running out of room to store a steady influx of books it buys at a rate of 100,000 volumes a year.

"Most of the libraries on campus are approaching saturation," Herkovic said. "For every book that comes in, we've got to find another book to send off."

Most of the books will be shipped to a storage facility in Livermore, Calif., 38 miles from the Stanford campus, the Mercury News said.

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