Who said: "Let's face it: the library, as a place, is dead. Kaput. Finito. And we need to move on to a new concept of what the academic library is."
You're never going to get this.
It was Suzanne E. Thorin, dean of libraries, Syracuse University.
To be fair, Ms. Thorin says that she made this very extreme statement as part of a debate at the 2009 Educause Conference.
Or, should I say, ooooooo-kay.
You see, part of the reason that this statement is making the rounds is because Syracuse has been engaged in a fight over shipping a portion of the books from their library stacks 250 miles from the university to a storage facility. Seems the Ernest S. Bird Library, designed to hold some 2 million volumes, is cramped for space.
Funny thing is that there are only 1.1 million books in residence. The rest of Club Bird, as the kids call it, is filled up with student lounge areas, seminar rooms that faculty members say they don't need, and a coffee bar.
I understand the use of the provocative statement to generate discussion but, if you were the dean of libraries for an institution I was attending or teaching at, I think I'd prefer you to put books ahead of coffee beans.
Even if you think the joint is kaput.