Book Channel readers may have noticed an apparent uptick in the pace of university libraries purging their stacks to make room for multimedia spaces and other amenities. A new article by Sarah E. Bond of the University of Iowa appears in Hyperallergic, examining changes to the fine arts libraries of the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Wisconsin system, and other schools. Last month, the Associated Press reported other universities' plans to reduce their collections to cut costs and expand study spaces. At Indiana University of Pennsylvania, for instance, initial plans include removing 170,000 books.
Of course, university libraries aren't the only ones affected. Controversial plans to overhaul the New York Public Library system, including moving stacks to off-site storage, were thwarted by public outcry. That story appeared in Vanity Fair in 2012, and more recent developments can be read in The Nation.