Hunt Library at NCSU Doesn’t Have Books


Usually, libraries are silent places. However, would you like going to a fun library where silence is just another word in a book? Would you call it a library if it has no books?

The James B. Hunt Jr. Library at the North Carolina State University (NCSU) is nothing like a traditional library. The $1.5 million all-digital book-place is devoid of two core components -BOOKS, huge stacks of bookshelves and SILENCE. People here prefer reading e-books, playing video games and watching movies during their free time.

The NCSU library features a futuristic period architecture. Open to public starting this fall, the library calls attention to its color-coded walls, modernized stairs and elevators, media rooms, video game collections and even a 3-D printing lab to create plastic models.

Where are the books? The 5,000-square foot 'BiblioTech,' will include 50 computer stations, 150 e-readers, 25 laptops and 25 tablets to access e-books.

The Library's first floor, similar to a sleek Apple showroom, is also equipped with 'Ask Me alcove,' a help center, where visitors can approach them for problems related to laptops and flash drives.

"There's a lot of talk about how libraries should change, but very few ideas of how they should be shaped," said Vaughn Tan, a member of the Harvard's University Library project. "Every library should figure out what they want to be and just do that."

One of the benefits of this all-digital library is never having to take the pain to go to the building itself. The process of borrowing and returning is similar to net-banking that has been introduced in the recent past. Sitting at home, one can borrow and return material from a computer or smartphone.

Like the traditional libraries, visitors will be given a card to read up to 10,000 e-books within two to three weeks. After the time limit, the e-books disappear from their respective e-readers. This surely eliminates the tiresome process of keeping records to impose late fees and overdue fines. On the other hand, if a visitor forgets to return an e-reader, it automatically gets deactivated.

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