Dean says collection of books growing
The hard copy book collection at SHU is close to 750,000 to 800,000 volumes and is only getting bigger, said Dr. John Buschman, dean of University Libraries.
According to Buschman, the university purchases anywhere from 5,000 to 7,000 books a year and that does not include any donations or gifts to the library.
SHU also has an increasingly large selection of ebooks available to students as well, with the number already more than 200,000 available and growing, according to Buschman.
He said a majority of these ebooks are leased under contract from two separate companies.
Buschman added he does not see ebooks replacing physical books anytime soon.
“Well it depends on which field you’re looking at; we’re a humanities and social science based curriculum,” Buschman said, “and those are still very print-based, book-based, and that shows no sign of going away.”
Buschman said that some fields of study, including law and medicine, are increasingly shifting to electronic formats but the primary areas of Seton Hall’s curriculum are still very much set in the print format.
“I kind of reject the paradigm of progressing to ebooks,” Buschman said. “What’s going to happen is what’s happened with every new technology in the past, which is it doesn’t completely displace it, it takes place alongside it.”
There are students who say they actually prefer hard-copy collection.
For example, junior Jenna Romaine said she sees the benefits of both ebooks and the hard-copy collection, but the actual books are her preference.
“When it comes to reading, I’m pretty old fashioned,” she said. “I prefer being able to physically hold a book, or set of papers, and mark notes on them.”
Romaine said she does see the value in online texts though, too.
“That being said, I don’t think that ebooks are a bad thing,” she said. “They are easy to access and can be great resources when you’re in college. But I would never want to get rid of the actual books.”
Eric Hostettler can be reached at email@example.com.