The most significant connection between the Ad Fontes of the renaissance and the Ad Fontes of the digital age is the shear accessibility of the Fountain. Professor Burton’s explanation of the ‘Long Tail,’ in a previous post titled Revisiting Research Resources, is an excellent explanation of this digital phenomenon. This new medium allows us unfathomable access. NPR recently reported on Cushing Academy’s transition to an all-digital library. The shift itself is a clear indication of a change in the way we research, but the student’s reactions are also telling.
One could question if the library still exists. The books were removed, the circulation desk turned into a café, and the room is now a room of chairs and tables. The library turned into a rentable kindle. Cost and student culture influenced the discussion, but the jump from an archive of 200,000 to unspecified millions is the most significant benefit. Resources increased exponentially and in a way they will actually utilize.
“Dean of Academics Suzie Carlisle says school officials had noticed the trend. She says surveys they conducted showed students weren't turning to printed materials for research. Instead, they were immediately going online”(Antolini).
Since this transition, circulation has already increased. Digital libraries are evolving and it seems to a move less out of an interest in modernization than out of necessity. Our generation simply researches differently. It only makes sense that the research would change with us.
Antolini, Tina. "Digital School Library Leaves Book Stacks Behind." NPR. NPR, 9 Nov. 2009. Web. 30 Sept. 2015. <http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=120097876>.