More mainstream press attention to libraries – this time in Madison’s Capital Times. The focus is on social spaces and the availability of food and coffee: “Libraries, once bastions of silence, are quickly becoming the academic equivalent of the student union.”
Included in the story, though, is the fact that funding isn’t keeping up with the increasing cost of materias and that circulation of books has dropped even as the number of students coming through the door has risen.
One number I’ve never seen included in these kinds of stories is the number of materials a university like UW loans through interlibrary loan. A quick check of ARL stats for Wisconsin shows that has increased signficiantly in the past ten years even though in-house circulation of books has dropped.