A lot of what I read in the article "Future U: Library 3.0 has more resources, greater challenges" hit home with some of the advances and fears facing my own library today. Like most academic libraries, we have been slowly acquiring more online resources and fewer print copies to satisfy the growing digital trend seen today. Librarians spend part of their week embedded in their departments and a lot of time is spent creating informational libguides, blogposts, and social media posts that patrons can connect with outside of our digital space, which allows us to provide more people with more information at all hours of the day.
Recently our two main reading rooms underwent a renovation after a year in which the library was the only campus building to receive zero funding for improvements. The grant money was used to build a "library of the future" as described in the article, a multi-functioning space that combines technology, objects, and people. Much of the collection was consolidated and many titles were put in storage or weeded to make room for technology equipped group study rooms, furniture with electrical outlets, and other tools designed for today's digital natives. Though students are generally appreciative of these improvements, fears abound because the marked absence of books makes the space more like a computer lab and less like the libraries of yester year. This has many worried that space may be taken over by other departments on campus who are in need of additional real estate, especially IT, and it is causing tension. Some offices that are not yet filled and rooms that are not fully given a pupose are decorated with props to give them a sense of function and purpose so others will not take them over. Will library funding lessen because the space seems less like a library than a series of rooms where students come to print and charge their devices? One would hope not, but I instantly identified with the concern alluded to in this reading as the push to put information online results in less books in physical spaces and greater odds that libraries will lose funding moving forward.