The new bookless/electronic engineering library opened yesterday in Palo Alto, CA. Here’s the announcement from yesterday and a look at their web site.

Much More in an Article (Published Last Week) in Stanford News:

The Engineering Library’s move from the Terman Engineering Center to the new Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center was an opportunity to do more than just haul books from one building to another – and the librarians jumped at the chance to create a state-of-the-art library.

“It’s going to be gorgeous,” said Helen Josephine, head librarian for the Engineering Library. “There’s a lot of new technology going into this.

“We’ve been working on this for the last three years – we’re anxious to get in and get going. I’m really excited about it. I can’t wait to show it off to the students,” she said. She’ll get that chance when the library opens on Aug. 2, with a campus-wide invitation to tour the new engineering center and library on Sept. 8.

The new library at the Huang Center will be less than half the size of its predecessor at Terman – about 6,000 square feet compared with the earlier 16,000 (and that’s not counting footage from the physics and computer science libraries that have merged into the new library as well).

The revamped library will have a completely electronic reference desk with four Kindle 2 wireless reading devices. It will be the first on campus to have a self-checkout and book security system; by this fall, it also will have 15 ebook readers that library patrons may take home like regular books. Librarians will not be staffing a desk to help students and faculty, said Josephine, “but we’ll be more available when they need us.” Available, that is, through email, online chatting and Facebook.

An online journal search tool called xSearch will scan 28 online databases, a grant directory and more than 12,000 scientific journals.

Access the Complete Article

Source: Stanford News

Note 1: The SearchWorks discovery layer that runs on top of the Socrates OPAC (SIRSI) is now powered by Blacklight an open-source project. It replaces VuFind, another open-source project. More about Blacklight at Stanford here. Stanford is also a full partner in the development of Blacklight.

Note 2: xSearch, is powered by Deep Web Technologies. You can check the interface but it takes a login/password to run a search and retrieve results. At launch this federated search tool has 28 database targets.

Related: TeleRead previously mentioned this library in July.


  1. Great idea. I remember, back in the dinosaur days of 2000 when I finished my degree, having to do a computer search for call numbers, which you took into the stacks to find physical journals. And if somebody else beat you to it, too bad! There are some types of media which really benefit from being on paper, but I don’t think academic journals are one of them. You still have to learn and analyze and synthesize and read—that won’t change. But rather than looking at an abstract and then going into the stacks, you can look at an abstract and, with one click, read the whole thing. I really don’t see how that is NOT a better way! I loved this quote from the cited article:

    “You don’t need to go to the library—the library is there, wherever you happen to be on campus.”

The TeleRead community values your civil and thoughtful comments. We use a cache, so expect a delay. Problems? E-mail