The way students use university libraries is changing, increasing the demand for internet access
University libraries are now seeing significant changes in the way they are being used by students, even though their core function of giving access to book-bound information remains the same.
Student library visits have dropped by 20 per cent in the last decade however, the visits students do make tend to be for longer periods. That’s because they don’t just visit to pick up or drop off books, but also to spend more time online. For instance, between 2005 and 2006, visits to libraries declined 3 per cent, while the number of e-books available in each institution has risen an average 60 per cent in the same period.
This has led the Society of College, National and University Libraries (Sconul) to call for more funding so libraries can be redesigned to offer more electronic facilities. Toby Bainton, of Sconul, says: "Students do more project work and collaborative work (in libraries) now, and there is a need to be imaginative about learning spaces. Universities will have to invest in remodelling to accommodate demand."