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There have been many concerns expressed over the last decade about the role of the college library in an age of easy availability of information online. The unwillingness or inability of many students to read journals and texts, it seems, might render the traditional library obsolete.
That's not to mention the serious concerns about the rising costs of all kinds of media resources, including reference works and hard cover and web-based journal subscriptions. Finally, there are the ever-increasing costs associated with personnel.
Consequently, even before the Great Recession threw even the most carefully managed budgets into disarray, many colleges, looking for ways to trim expenses, began cutting back on library spending, perhaps believing that few students would notice.
By sacrificing their libraries to shrinking budgets, colleges were in fact …