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Off the shelf

“Going virtual” – shifting to an online environment – has huge benefits for library users. But there’s often one thing that people miss about physical libraries: looking around and discovering other useful books or articles just because of their proximity.

The library is aiming to recreate that feeling of serendipity with a virtual shelf browser, which allows users to discover materials just as they would standing in front of a real shelf — and to see physical and electronic collections all in one place.

The Physical Sciences Library is the first to test the new virtual shelf. Start with a search or just scroll through the titles.

“This service is unique in that users can gain a traditional library experience right at their fingertips,” said Jill Wilson, Physical Sciences Library outreach coordinator.

Feedback will help the virtual shelf browser improve and, eventually, be incorporated into many libraries on campus. Leave comments in theforum or email your ideas.