Following the successful digitization of millions of print holdings in the Gardner (MAIN) Stacks, the Doe Library will be closing permanently at the end of the Spring semester. “The ambitious plan will allow us to better serve the biblioclast community,” University Librarian Tom Leonard said.
Most of the Library’s print collection is now available for free on Google, while certain titles with copyright restrictions will soon be accessible to UC Berkeley students in the Fall via bLib, the newest addition to the bConnected suite of Google-powered collaboration tools that includes bMail and bCal.
After all of the books are removed from the Gardner (MAIN) Stacks over the Summer, the former Library space will reopen in the Fall as the FSM Cafe and Google Study Center. Associate University Librarian Elizabeth Dupuis notes that over the Summer all librarians will attend barista training seminars at Blue Bottle Coffee and the Doe Reference Desk on the second floor will reopen as an espresso bar, while cold-brew and artisanal pour-over coffee will be available at the former Circulation Desk. “We’re committed to meeting the student body’s growing needs for high quality roasts on campus.” Exotic fair-trade teas will also be available.
Some faculty are concerned that Google is not always an effective tool for finding scholarly materials. Geoff Nunberg of the I School finds Google’s Book Search to be a disaster for scholars, for example, noting that “books aren’t simply vehicles for communicating information, and managing a vast library collection requires different skills, approaches, and data than those that enabled Google to dominate Web searching.”
Sophomore Roberto Busa, however, is unconcerned: “I’m pretty sure what I need is online and if it’s not, how am I supposed to find it anyway?”
Library staff are thrilled by the upcoming changes and hope to continue meeting growing needs for humor on the UC Berkeley campus.