I thought this article was interesting, given I am on the homepage redesign committee. We, too, are dramatically reducing links; however, design wise, I think it has a much more organic feel and look. Of course, we'll see what usability says, right?
"The San José Public Library (SJPL), CA, unveiled its new, vastly simplified website this month, after more than two-and-a-half years of design work and usability testing."
"Six blocks concept is key
The most noticeable aspect of the redesign is its simplicity. The usual wide array of links that used to greet visitors—a familiar sight on library websites—has been replaced with a portal offering just six broad choices: Books & Media, Downloads, Services, Research, News & Events, and Locations."