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Digital Libraries Still Find a Place for Books

A computerized system can find books in seconds at California State University, Northridge. The Cal State Northridge library has more than 1,000,000 books and 2,000,000 magazines and newspapers. The complete list of publications is digital. Students can use digital downloads in their studies. The library's Mark Stover says most academic journals are now available electronically. MARK STOVER: "I would say that probably 90 percent of the journals that we subscribe to now come in electronic format. With books and monographs on the other hand, it's a little bit different story." The library is digitizing its paper holdings to save them and make them more available. They include handwritten letters and old newspaper stories. Steve Kutay is the university's digital librarian. STEVE KUTAY: "They can be backed up and they can be stored off-site. They can be very well-protected, but are not necessarily meaningful to us if we don't know 10, 20 years from now, what those files, what is contained in those files." Librarian Helen Heinrich says universities are making sure that hard copies of books remain in storage, even after they are digitized. HELEN HEINRICH: "As we know, we all are becoming so dependent on the Internet, but what if there is a cyber attack and it all goes down one day? So there is always, there will be a copy of record." MARK STOVER: "We are going to weed our collections. We are going to reshape them and use the space to repurpose into more learning places for our students. But I think that print books, especially because of copyright issues, are going to maintain their place for many years to come." I'm Steve Ember.
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