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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Retrieval process ruins old-fashioned appeal of library

By Jonathan Deesing

I’m a history major and I love research. I used to love going to the Middle Eastern section in the Marriott Library and sifting through the dusty stacks to find the books I needed. I doubt that anyone who has seen an Indiana Jones film would argue against the appeal.

One of my favorite memories of the old library was the time I found an Iranian history book8212;copyright 19198212;not because I was looking for it, but because it happened to be next to a book I was looking for. I almost always leave the library with more books than I came for.

Unfortunately, the end of all of that is quickly approaching. With the new Automated Retrieval Center being finished in the library, all you will need to do is simply request a book and wait less than 10 minutes while a robot brings it to you. But in the sterile bins of the ARC, I fear books will lose their distinctive musk. Their dusty coating. Gone will be the days of sitting cross-legged in the stacks, taking it all in. But maybe I’m the only nutcase that does that.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not afraid of change8212;change is good. ARC saves room in the library, significantly reducing construction costs by as much as $16 an item, according to the library’s Web site. It covers an area of only 13,000 square feet while holding a volume of 704,000 cubic feet. It is truly the library of the future. With any luck, the new additions will encourage more students to study on campus, thus increasing campus involvement. Hopefully the coming Cyber Café won’t just sell Chartwells food. Don’t hold your breath.

The new studying areas are not only spacious and beautiful, but convenient and comfortable. The only downside is the new chairs, which are a black hole for the sleepy student. The library will also soon boast eight new high-tech classrooms and even more public and private study areas.

For students who are wary of this new change, the Marriott Library will be introducing Knowledge Commons, which will function to assist students in understanding the increasingly high-tech library.

With these new additions, there is little to complain about, so I will stop. I just wanted to say how much I’m going to miss the old library before I doze off in this chair.

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