Instead of a reference librarian, patrons would be greeted by a kiosk equipped with video-calling software that would allow them to speak with employees elsewhere. And books — when ordered — would be dropped off at a locker for pickup.
In Newport Beach, which has four city libraries, officials analyzed how patrons use them. Most visit the branches to study, to plug their laptops into work spaces or to use computers with Internet connections.
Few, however, actually pulled books from the shelves.
--I have in many cases found a book that I ended up loving by browsing through stacks at the library, taking books down and glancing at them. There's really not an analogue of this with e-books.
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