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Death of the physical library

Death of the physical library by Scott Locklin, July 28, 2023: “One of the unsung disasters of contemporary academic life is the death of the physical library. There are so many disasters in current year academia, I doubt as anyone else grouses much about this, but as a great enthusiast for the KNN algorithm, I will complain about it. My mid-late physics career had many happy hours spent in the LBNL research library; it is where I expanded my basic knowledge of the principles of physics to broader views.  My early business career had many happy hours spent in the Haas school of business library; most of my good ideas had some origin there, prowling the stacks. At this point, every nerd is familiar with the google/wiki hole where research into one area can lead one. Ventures into a well stocked physical library have a similar effect, though very, very different. The Dewey decimal system of course makes for excellent search results. A book on a general topic may lead to a number of related books on the shelf. Futures trading books lead to options trading books lead to commodities economics and so on. Even better is the inadvertent walk past a shelf on the way to another shelf and have something interesting catch your eye…”

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