University of Buffalo's new medical school building to forgo textbooks for 'electronic library'

Officials said the library at the University of Buffalo (N.Y.) Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences building, scheduled to open January 2018, will be "mostly electronic," forgoing traditional tables and vintage lighting for computers, online databases and e-books, according to The Buffalo News.

The library at the new medical school building, part of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus in downtown Buffalo, will feature quiet study rooms and a small collection of medical textbooks, dictionaries and reference materials. However, online access to various databases, journals and e-books will constitute the primary method of receiving information, according to the report. A librarian will remain onsite to help students navigate the digital resources.

The bulk of the medical school's books will remain at the school's Health Sciences Library.

Charles Lyons, associate university librarian for discovery and delivery at the University of Buffalo, told The Buffalo News the gradual shift to an electronic library mirrors the changing ways in which students receive information. While books are important, they aren't the first reference material students or professors reach for, he said.

"Books take time to publish. They're not the primary resource. With the rise of online materials, we've certainly tried to keep up with that," said Mr. Lyons. "One of the main thrusts of what we're doing is taking prime real estate that is centrally located and highly used space, and we're moving books out of those spaces … We want to make room for the people and create technology-rich, silent study spaces and collaborative spaces."

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