Photos of Exeter University Forum / dates on the end university bookshop

There are some photos from yesterday on Flickr

It is a very interesting site so a suitable setting for the visit by the Queen to open the Forum in early May.

It still seems that the decision to end the bookshop has not been reversed. At the moment it is not clear what the retail outlets will be that replace the bookshops. Could be a travel agency or a clothing shop. There must be something in mind to convince a university to choose against a bookshop.

I found a copy of Expose but the campaign about the bookshop from last summer seems to have stopped. Maybe the people interested have left. The temp space has not been easy to find so there may be two thirds of the students who don't know what a university bookshop would be like. There will be a desk in the new Forum with computer access to the Blackwells website and some limited stock at the beginning of each term with the main course items. Delivery will be quicker that online competition because of stock held on the St Lukes campus though there will be no shop as such.

I notice that the bank space is still not being used on the St Lukes campus. Could this be a bookshop? I should reveal that I live in Heavitree and walk past St Lukes quite often. I am more likely to go there than a desk at the Forum, especially if I also have to go back four hours later.

Exepose reports that following a decision not to issue printed lecture notes some enterprising students have found sponsors for a print run that saves students the cost of producing the hard copy that the university assumes is no longer needed. Could something similar happen with a bookshop at St Lukes? Access would be denied except to those with a card issued after filling in a long form about employment ambitions, insurance needs etc. Only a bus ride away.

I am still slightly surprised at my own response to this. I am in favour of the web and digital technology. But the research on blended learning is strong and applies to much else I think. There is still a place for books as hard copy. This is the first time I know of when a university has deliberately decided against a bookshop although it is viable. I still wonder why they need a library or how a library will evolve.

The temp space for Blackwells will end before the 20th May. There will not be much concern during the exams but i think some students will notice round about week six in the autumn when there may just be a desk and a screen.

The Forum looks very nice but it still seems expensive as a way to demolish a bookshop. I will try to keep an open mind and have a good look at the new technology resources.