I received a decent undergraduate education at the University of Florida. At the heart of the sprawling campus was a substantial library housing wide-ranging collections that included rare book and manuscripts. It even had a terrific comic books collection. So I was a bit nonplussed to see that the state university system has opened a new campus—Florida Polytechnic University—that boasts a remarkable main building designed by Santiago Calatrava and a library with no books.
Actually, FPU doesn’t even have a true library; it has “the Commons”, which provides an area for “library services”. There are librarians, and a digital catalog with a whopping 135,000 e-books, but other than that it’s essentially bookless. Apparently, if a student wants to access tradition books they can only apply for interlibrary loans.
I’m no Luddite, but even a science and technology focused university deserves a real library, with real books. Although they won’t have to worry about Calatrava’s roof leaking on the books.