August 24, 2010 – What is a library without books? Paper books, that is. Some call it progress, others are in dismay, but Stanford University’s Engineering Library has gone digital.

Many sources are carrying this story. NPR did one titled, “Stanford Ushers In The Age Of Bookless Libraries”. Over the past five years, most periodicals have been transferred to digital and books are now following. Instead of searching through volume after volume of books, students will now be able to do a full text search in no time at all.

This plan started in 2005, when the university realized it was running out of space for its growing collection of 80,000 engineering books and administrators decided to build a new library. However, instead of creating more space for books, they chose to create less.  Now, five years later, the new library has opened with 10,000 engineering books on the shelves — a decrease of more than 85 percent from the old library. Stanford library director Michael Keller expects that eventually there won’t be any books on the shelves at all.

All this makes taxonomies and their construction even more important to successful information access. Choose the right product and right professionals to provide taxonomy services and manage your content.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Data Harmony, a unit of Access Innovations, the world leader in indexing and making content findable.