A most interesting article by Peter Brantley in Publishers Weekly. Here’s the beginning:

One of the most confusing impacts of the surge in access to e-books is whether academic library interests should be more or less bound together with public libraries. The issue has a wide range of ramifications, from acquisitions, to collections, to the responses to the shifting commercial marketplace. At conferences that I have attended with mixed audiences, each of these “together” and “apart” strands surface; I suspect both are correct, but more through overlay than union.

Both public and academic libraries have encountered declines in print book circulation, although with public systems that has not been the case across all metropolitan areas or all branches, whereas for academic libraries, it tends to be quite pronounced as the research focus becomes more central to mission. In other words, for research libraries, the digital transition is well underway or has already been effected. Thus we see research libraries, particularly at independent or quasi-independent institutions like NASA Goddard, Scripps Oceanagraphic, and JHU Medical shuttering their physical facilities and relying entirely on digital access.

Thanks to Michael von Glahn for the link.


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