Bookless library opened by new US university

The Guardian is reporting that the enormous library of Florida’s newest university, Florida Polytechnic University, which opens this week, houses not a single physical book…

Instead, its inaugural class of 500 will have access to around 135,000 ebooks. “Our on-campus library is entirely digital,” said director of libraries Kathryn Miller. “We have access to print books through the state university system’s interlibrary loan program.  However, we strongly encourage our students to read and work with information digitally.”

The 11,000 square-foot library is situated within a huge, white-domed building, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. Eschewing physical books, it is a bright, open space featuring computer terminals, desks, and comfortable spots to read.

A budget of $60,000 (£36,000) has also been set aside for students to read ebooks that the library doesn’t already own. Once a book has been viewed twice on this system, it will be automatically purchased. The set-up, said Miller, “allows for many more books to be available for the students, and the university only has to pay when the student or faculty member uses the book”, allowing students “to make direct choices regarding the books they want to read and have available in the library”.

The new university offers courses exclusively in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and Miller said that one of its objectives was to “prepare students for the high-tech workforce by giving them hands-on experience with advanced technology”.

“The ability to read, absorb, manage and search digital documents and conduct digital research are skills of growing importance in industry,” she said, with the new digital-only library “designed to help students become better technology users and learners”…

More at: Bookless library opened by new US university


What do you think of the idea of a library with no physical books? A sensible approach in the modern world or a bit sad? Please share in the comments or via Twitter…


Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our daily email bulletin every morning (around 7 am) with all the latest schools news stories. Your details will never be given to anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any stage. Just follow this link!

Guest post: Do DfE grammatical mistakes suggest we need more reforms after all?
Today's poll: Are you confident in the standards of marking for GCSEs?
Categories: Overseas.


  1. Dymvue

    Benregis1 I don’t think this is anything new, it will be interesting to see if they can get necessary content without resorting to print.

  2. Benregis1

    Dymvue Yes, it will. Also, are readers going to be happy just using e-books, or are they still going to want a certain amount of hard copy?

  3. Benregis1

    texthistory Yes, that’s rather what I think. Be interesting to see if they are able to manage with no hard copy, or will readers want more.

  4. Dymvue

    Benregis1 That’s the million-dollar question, along with How soon & how far will academic publishers move towards e-only publishing?

  5. Benregis1

    Dymvue I’ll be v interested to see how it progresses with music. I can’t see the day when only e-scores will exist but who knows…

Let us know what you think...