Five or so years ago, I served on a provost committee headed by Jim Collins to look into building a library in front of the College of Communication. At the time, I was one of three dissenting voices about the need for (more) book shelves and robotic-operated stacks, instead calling for nice seating, espresso machines, magazine racks, and large wall LCD displays for visualizations, telepresence, etc. — only to be ridiculed by the library people, including the one quoted in this BU Today article as saying:
During the decades when Mugar acquired books only, Hudson says, “what we had been doing is building more book stacks and taking away seating.” Digitization reversed that, allowing “us to take some of the stacks down and start rebuilding student use space—computers, but also carrels, group interactive spaces, classrooms.” In short, “we’re more than books” and need student work space.
How quickly things change!