Archive for September, 2009

Managing Library Collections in the wake of Digitization

Most libraries are going through a space transition. They are moving from Print only collections to digital copies. The issue is particularly difficult for librarians who are faced with lack of space for staff, collections and seating. The ITHAKA report is a good place to examine the latest thinking on the subject.

From our perspective, it’s quite possible that the transition from print to digital will speed up even faster in the next couple of years. The cost of building new space is going up and the need for social / educational learning spaces is increasing exponentially.

We know the students need information and technology literacy as much as, if not more than, standard reading literacy. That’s not to say that books aren’t an important part of their overall learning process, but they’re a tool like any other. The transformation of library space is continuing…check in to find out more.

library planning

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KAUST LIBRARY OPENS

Last week, the KAUST (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology) academic library opened for the first time in Saudi Arabia. The academic library illustrates that the “library as place” is as important as ever to the incubation of student success.

During an inaugural tour of the campus, new students told me that the value of having a central 24 hour research space on campus is important to get work done. They told me that the physical components such as flexible space, collaborative workrooms, high tech work areas, copy center, cafe and periodical area for meetings are components that the students need for scholarly research and intensive study.

We have to be mindful that the library is the only flexible research space designed as such on campus. Students use it to create their own working environments regardless of the information format.

We need to tell the critics that the library is changing into a new form and that the ‘library as place’ has taken its place. KAUST is a great example of the 21st century’s latest library design.

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The future of libraries with or without books – CNN

The future of libraries gets the attention of the large networks once in a while. What is interesting about “The future of libraries with or without books” – CNN article is that futuristic concepts of library services are possible.

RFID is an interesting topic. The article explores the Danish concept of extending book information via RFID technology. The set up provides children with an interactive story via an RFID tag-enabled book. A child picks up the phone and a book and hears about the contents.

We recently explored ways that RFID books can be checked onto a “just returned” shelf instead of a counter. This simple process puts the books in a location that quickly returns it to the customer.

Library as Place
Libraries are community places. The CNN article points out that funding is tight in America and that over 16,000 public libraries are facing cuts in funding. We have to be wary of Politicians who don’t use the library. Many perceive that information is online so, why should you have a library?

Librarians can work to make their community forward-thinking. They have to show that demand for the “library as place” is vital to many who use the library to read and access the internet. For example, in Mohave County we developed a program for Bullhead City, AZ. The library was a safe haven for youngsters and a life-long learning center for the seniors. Additional reader seats reduced the crime (got the kids off the street) and adults had space for job seeking and resume writing.

Our message for CNN is don’t give up on our libraries they are part of a healthy America and informed world.

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This could be the year of e-textbooks – how does this affect library design?

A recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education about the progress of E-Textbooks states that CourseSmart now offers up to 7,150 titles. According to the article that’s over half of the most popular textbook titles.

Library buildings need to incorporate new types of learning spaces into their design for it to meet a 20 year planning goal. The reality that we are living in a blended learning environment that continues to require more spaces for electronic learning. Indeed, the article states that “the increased awareness and availability of e-textbooks could make this a watershed year for the format-which has held only 2% to 3% of the market until now, according to the National Association of College Stores.”

Our mission is to make sure library buildings are equipped with enough spaces to support “e-learning.” The identification of new library technology is important for space planning, circulation, zoning, access, social and educational progress.

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The future of learning – online?

The slate article is a good example of the changes taking place in higher education. Think about it almost 4 million students took an online course this year.

Take a look at this article and think about how academic libraries need to change their services as a place and as a service.

the future of higher education

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