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Fewer books, more online resources at UND

Wilbur Stolt

The Chester Fritz Library at UND is moving toward providing students with more online resources and fewer physical reference books.

Those books merely duplicate information already available online, according to UND Director of Libraries Wilbur Stolt.

“We are currently in a transitional period,” he said. “More and more of those materials are online, but acquiring information, especially dealing with timeliness and the specificity of some topics, that information is valued so there is a cost associated with it. It’s not free.”

Stolt admitted that this gradual change has been “tumultuous.” An unidentified employee went so far as to hang a small sign Monday saying that, because of a “lack of funding,” there would be no new reference titles this coming school year.

This comes after UND Provost Thomas DiLorenzo promised to come up with the money for about a $600,000 budget shortfall in April.

But Stolt said the provost has kept his word and the library budget has not been reduced.

Along with going digital, the library is also looking at ways to provide students with more collaborative learning space.

“If you come back to this library in five years, I would bet it’s going to look a lot different,” Stolt said.

Anna Burleson

Anna Burleson is the higher education reporter for The Grand Forks Herald. She is a 2013 graduate of the University of South Dakota's Mass Communication program and is originally from Watertown, S.D. Contact her with story ideas or tips by phone, email or Twitter, all of which are listed below. Examples of her work can be accessed here.

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