Many people still love to read a physical book. Personally I think once you have used the right eReader those feelings go away. I did agree with people for a long time that I didn’t like reading on a screen, but now we have E Ink which is not backlit then I feel we are ready to make the shift.
When I started out everyone kept saying “are you going to get rid of all the books” my answer was “no”. Why would I get rid of all of them, we don’t get rid of every computer every time a new one comes out. Eventually they may phase out but for now the physical book is still current. Although… I don’t believe that a Learning Commons should be a huge store room. Just because we had lots of books doesn’t mean we should have lots of books forever. I do believe the physical book will be replaced and I think we can use our learning space more effectively if it is not full with shelves like a store room.
Store rooms are not engaging learning spaces or inviting way to promote books. In general people do not choose a book by looking at the spines that is just an effective way to store them.
Classification – I like standards but I feel that organising books in a Learning Commons using the dewey system is complex and unnecessary. We have to teach students how to use it constantly and they still just ask every time anyway. If books are classified by teaching subjects then it is a lot easier for them to find what they are looking for. I also feel we should take a lot from book shops. Book shops classify fiction books into genres e.g. Horror, Action. Shouldn’t we do the same? Students often are know the genre of book they enjoy and organising your books by author doesn’t help them to find something else they like similar to what they are enjoy reading.
Having a good Library Management System (LMS) is key to future recommending and finding books, whether they are eBooks or Physical books. I will talk more about LMS at another time.
Book displays and promotions will always be important whether it is a physical book or eBook. We must break down the barrier of them being eBooks and Books being separate things the story is the same whichever way it is consumed.