Is a Library Without Books Still a Library?

In anticipation of April Fool’s Day the University of Michigan student newspaper has lampooned the current trend towards replacing library books and journals with electronic media:

Mardigian Library to remove all books; students won’t notice

Asinusim Inlitteratus
Issue date: 3/27/07 Section: April Fools’

Students visiting UM-D’s newly-renovated Mardigian Library will find plenty of room to study and hang out, now that the books are gone.

Library administrators undertook the renovations in response to a Student Government petition, removing all books and shelving and installing a state-of-the-art sound system and night club-style lighting. According to the SG petition, the books and shelves were “taking up a lot of unnecessary space that might be better utilized by students who want to see their tuition used to serve their needs.”

He added that library administrators had made the changes with the best interests of students in mind. “We took a good hard look at how best to meet students’ needs. We figured no one was using the books, so why not get rid of them? I mean, come on, we all know that students really come here to surf the Internet and make out on the second floor. And with these new innovations, they’ll be able to do so much more efficiently.”

Although the response to the changes has been mostly positive, Richards explained that there was some initial hesitance on the part of some faculty members. “Yeah, a couple of the professors weren’t down, they wanted to make waves. It was cool, though. I just had to let them know what’s up,” said the former Navy Seal, cracking his knuckles menacingly.

If only the Provincial Government was joking as it suggests that the Legislative Library can continue to function with half the staff and most of its collection in a warehouse half an hour outside of the city. Who do they think they’re kidding?

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