David W. Lewis. "The User-Driven Purchase Giveaway Library." EDUCAUSE Review, 45(5)(September/October 2010). At: http://www.educause.edu/library/ERM1057
The patron-driven acquisition model is a hot topic lately. In this short article, Lewis, Dean of the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) University Library, imagines a more radical model where the library actually gives away all books to patrons. He argues that with digital technologies such as the e-book readers and print-on-demand machines, such a library is quite possible. It can serve the same purpose as traditional libraries do: "At the core, either type of library is the means for communities and organizations to provide a subsidy for information use.... Large book collections have been viewed as an institutional or community asset, though the long-term commitment to a book collection also creates a large liability. In the past, the possible future use justified the liability of a physical book collection. In the easily imagined future, alternative delivery mechanisms call this justification into question."