Harvard University has the largest University library in the world – 16.5 million volumes Nearly half of these millions are housed in a warehouse, complete with forklifts. There are 40 shelves, for instance, devoted to Homer. These numbers comprise the most books I’ll never get around to reading.
But Harvard is cutting back on its voracious habit of book collecting. Recently Harvard cancelled subscriptions to over 1,000 journals. Although there is some resistance to Harvard ramping down its acquisitions, most people agree that the new direction is the wave of the future. Students certainly agree that digitization has its privileges.
Instead of punching up a book and having it retrieved by a forklift, then to be delivered to one of the many Harvard libraries, now students in many cases can merely download the desired book to their laptops.