What's The Role Of Physical Books In 21st Century Libraries?

Published: Thursday, March 23, 2017 - 3:46pm
Updated: Friday, March 24, 2017 - 2:01pm

(Photo courtesy of ASU)
Devoney Looser (left) works during a Book Traces event.

What is the role of physical books, words printed on paper, in 21st century libraries?

Arizona State University is working to figure that out, both as Hayden Library undergoes a renovation but also through its work on a national program called Book Traces, which aims to find unique copies of old books on library shelves.

Jim O’Donnell is a university librarian at ASU, and Devoney Looser is an English professor at ASU and organizer of ASU Book Traces.

It seems people still want to read books they can hold in their hands, rather than just on a digital device.

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