Monday, May 30, 2011

No browsing in this library

A library in which you can’t browse the stacks? At the new University of Chicago library, that’s considered state-of-the-art. At first I thought a library without row upon row of books to wander would be most terrible. But then I realized that I do the majority of my own browsing online these days. I’m not sure when my habits shifted. Do you still like to browse without a computer? Link to print article


Helen said...

With as many books as will be requested and returned - I imagine those retrieval machines will be constantly moving. How often will those constantly moving machines need repair.
No, I still prefer browsing the books on the shelf. Most often I wind up leaving the library with books I didn't even know existed or go into the library for, but because they appealed to me when I saw them and picked them up, they wound up in my bag.
I use the computer at the library when there's a specific book I want or a specific type of book - and I'm directed to the shelves I should be perusing - but I still need that browsing fix!

Erin Healy said...

I agree, Helen. It seems like such a system is more prone to technical disaster than the traditional library. Also, browsing is such a calming way to pass the time, to unwind, or de-stress. Browsing online feels more like work.