So, apparently faculty have changing views of their campus libraries.
Since some of you probably can't access the article, here's the salient point: "However, it also confirms that researchers increasingly find what they need through Google Scholar and other online resources, a trend the report's authors anticipate will accelerate as more and more knowledge goes digital. ... But only 48 percent of economists and 50 percent of scientists value libraries as gateways."
There is something wrong with this view. Google Scholar allows you to find articles, but - and this is a very important but - not to see most of said articles unless one is connected through an institution that has paid for access to those sources. So when I hop on to Google Scholar to find articles on lemur femurs, it's the VU library that gets me there. And I'm very aware of this because after many of the results it shows "findit@VU." The physical library may not be a gateway, but the virtual library is.
Are other scholars really too thick to notice this, as the piece seems to suggest? Or are they simply not relying on articles? Some scholars may be taking the easy route. I know students who won't bother to use anything that is on microfiche. From reading dissertations, I know a lot of them don't bother to scan other dissertations first. But many economists increasingly publish working papers online themselves long before they appear in journals. They may, quite validly, be sidestepping the library. Yet I don't think that you can completely bypass the library in any field.