CommComm posted on November 1, 2011 17:38

          As October falls away and November props open----(bringing us closer to December 31st)----I thought it beneficial to review a little more commentary about the Welch Library closing. Here are several thoughtful pieces, one comes from the Library Journal and the other written by Hopkins' very own Simeon Margolis, a professor of medicine and biological chemistry, titled "Lost in the Stacks No More".

          They both illustrate points that come to mind when you think of our transition from the reliance on a physical space, to a more robust online presence. A presence that already draws many more patrons than the building, and stands to increase exponentially with the coming changes. Yes, nostalgia and the tradition are a thing to behold. It seems as though everyone has a past story, a warm remembrance. However, if there's one definitive surrounding science and medicine, it's that they're constantly fluid. Yesterday's big reveal, is today's "what's next".  There's a reason the phrase "the shock of the new" was created. Ultimately, the logic for our changes is illustrated by the heading in Dr. Margolis' article. Something will be missed, but something will be gained. 

          Last week I hosted information tables at a variety of places around the east baltimore campus. We were there to promote "Open Access Week," and had a few promotional materials along with information about the Library changes. The patrons who stopped to talk about Welch all had the same reaction. Yes there was the surprise that the physical space was being de-emphasized, but most fell back onto "oh, but we still have access right?" They accepted the trade-off, and moved on. And there you have it. Missed........gained. For some it won't be that simple. On another post I mentioned that old rituals never seem to fade. But there's no reason they can't be replaced by new ones.


Alonzo LaMont     

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