Library expansion: space for expertise and studying
The new Center for Library and Information Resources will rise from the
noise and dust of where the Woodruff Library bridge once stood. The center,
scheduled to open in 1998, will bring together the expertise of the library
and information technology staffs to serve as a gateway to digital resources
and provide additional study space for students. There have been questions,
though, about why the library needs more space in an era of electronic information.
"We need to continue to deal with print as well as electronic materials;
the needs of the disciplines are so varied," said Joan Gotwals, vice
provost and director of libraries. "In some areas like medicine or
law, a faculty member will say, `we can get everything we need off the Internet
or in electronic databases,' but the reality is that in some disciplines,
particularly in the humanities and social sciences, print materials continue
to play a key role. We have to provide the material that's needed most.
Each year, some 700,000 to 1 million print titles are produced globally;
you can't close your eyes to that. Our mission is to support academic programs
and research, and that still frequently requires books."
The new space in the Center for Library and Information Resources will be
a high quality facility surrounding library patrons with a rich array of
electronic information resources, print material, librarians, technology
specialists, and a range of new computer workstations and software for study
and research purposes. "The library remains important as a place for
students to study and work together in a rich learning environment,"
Student editorials in The Emory Wheel have noted the lack of spaces for
students to work and study together. Gotwals also noted that last spring
when Woodruff Library was open 24 hours a day, there were 300-400 people
a night using the library between midnight and 8 a.m.
"A growing amount of the library staff's role involves teaching people
who come to the library not only what's available, but also how to search
and use it effectively," said Gotwals. "The new center will be
a bridge between the traditional library and its print collections and the
networked information environment in which we now work."
to the October 28, 1996 contents page