Despite all the turmoil in the world, this may be the saddest news I’ve read all day: “Florida Polytechnic University opens with a bookless library.” As a bibliophile and former Floridian, I’m appalled that the state of education in my home state has sunk to the level that books aren’t considered vital to a university or its student body. Yes, it does say that they have access to e-books and to interlibrary loans, but I recall from my own college days the joy of studying in carrels among the shelves, surrounded by stacks of dusty hardcovers with bright neon sticky notes sticking out of every few pages.
Although the online tools the library offers are probably useful for citations and organizing papers, a large amount of the learning experience is lost when you can Control + F articles online to find what you need instead of actually having to *gasp* read. Innumerable times I discovered fresh insights or fascinating factoids from physically having to turn through the pages or from scanning similar the section around the book I was searching for. I sincerely hope that the e-book obsession reverses, and bookless libraries are not the libraries of the future.