economica.jpgTwo studies are to be published this spring by the Council on Library and Information Services.

The first, by Paul Courant, dean of libraries at the University of Michigan, and Matthew “Buzzy” Nielsen, an Oregon-based library economist, meticulously compares the costs of keeping bound books on the shelves versus the costs of warehousing print collections and focusing on delivering library resources in electronic form. The second, by Geneva Henry and Lisa Spiro of Rice University’s Digital Media Center, explores several campus-based efforts to build new libraries oriented to the digital future.

Taken together, these studies point to twin conclusions: The sooner professors and students embrace e-books, the sooner their libraries can start saving money — but that might not happen for a while.

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