California Library May Ditch Its Books

People could still order them, in a system similar to Netflix
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 29, 2011 12:55 PM CDT

(Newser) – New phrase for the digital age: "Bookless library." The California city of Newport Beach is considering just such a beast, reports the Los Angeles Times. Under the plan, the city would remove the physical books from one of its four branches but still keep it open as a community center where people could gather to study, use the Internet, and do pretty much everything they do there now. The only difference is that all those stacks of books would be gone—the stacks nobody seems to be using anyway.

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Actual books would still be available, but patrons would have to order them from what the LAT describes as a "Netflix-like system" and then pick them at a locker. The proposal is driven both by budget cuts and the changing behavior of library visitors. "Shouldn't the modern library reflect what people are doing now, instead of reflecting what we might have done 20 or 30 years ago?" asked the city manager. (Read more library stories.)

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