Stanford Ditching Books, Going Digital In Library

Well, this was inevitable. It's clear that paper books aren't what they used to be, and it's clear that they'll never be as important and useful as they once were. The information and knowledge within their pages are still just as vital as ever, but the digital age has led to easier ways to consume that very information. The advent of the Internet, and to an extent, e-readers and tablets, has enabled consumers to read and consume text without having to check out an actual book.

So, what happens to the biggest stockpiles of books? In the case of Stanford University's massive Engineering Library, most of the paper pages will be vanishing while the hard drives in the archive room will be filling up. Five years ago, the school realized that they were quickly running out of room on the shelves, with 80,000+ books taking up an insane amount of room. But instead of building more rooms, they chose to look at how often those books were being checked out. They found that "vast majority of the collection hadn't been taken off the shelf in five years."

Five years! People at the school expect that eventually no books will remain on the shelves, and a new library is set to open in August with just 10,000. Of course, all of the other information will be accessible in a digital form, and some of the librarians are quite excited. They'll soon be able to spend more time with people and less time organizing books, so we guess it's a win-win for everyone.