Archive for October, 2009

The Ecology of Information: Library Walls

The library building can communicate with us through the use of media walls. One design idea is to integrate communication into the walls. For example, Büro Hirzberger’s office space in Vienna features “Digital Wallpaper”, or illuminated walls that “stream” video and realtime content.

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The Book that Contains all Books

The Kindle is a product that has made history today. It is available globally to anyone who wishes to take advantage of e-book reading technology.

Today’s e-book revolution brings many in the field back to the 15th century. Scrolls were replaced by books and the masses began to become literate. The library of the future will contain e-book readers and it will do its job.

Stephen Marche states in “The Book That Contains All Books. “The introduction of the printing press brought a change to the nature of reading.” Don’t worry it took years for the scrolls to be replaced by the book. We will continue to see the book as a commodity in the art of learning and education.

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Special Library Collections and the Future Library

The Chronicle of Higher Education Wired Blog posted a futurist idea of the “library as place.” It is a building block that we believe is part of any building project.

What is the relevance of Special Collections? And how does it relate to the library of the future? We believe that Special Collections are part of a laboratory of ideas. Something libraries can offer to enhance their experience. Jennifer Howard states, “Don’t lock your special collections away in neglected corners of the library — use them to teach students about the possibilities and principles of research. Such collections should be put to use as laboratories where students work hands-on with primary documents, incorporate them into original research projects, and even publish the results in institutional repositories.”

The discussion was held as part of the Coalition for Networked Information‘s fall forum.

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Changing Libraries – “Readers Wade Into Digital Lending”

The NYtimes article “Libraries and Readers Wade Into Digital Lending,” illustrates that libraries can provide digital services. As a matter of fact, some library patrons are already using the library in new and innovative ways. So, it is not surprising that digital lending is starting to occur in community colleges, academic and public libraries.

Some libraries are ready to make the digital leap so down-loadable e-books is a reality not a possibility. For example, Michael Colford, director of information technology at the Boston Public Library, stated “People still think of libraries as old dusty books on shelves, and it’s a perception we’re always trying to fight,” “If we don’t provide this material for them, they are just going to stop using the library altogether.”

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Library as Place – Disney is moving toward a better retail place.

Disney’s Retail Plan is a Theme Park in its Stores, is another example of retailers recognizing the need to create a place. They hired Steve Job’s retailing team at Apple to help them develop interactive learning spaces.

The ‘Library as Place’ is an important aspect of the new service/space paradigm. For example, “the world does not need another place to sell Disney merchandise – this only works if it’s an experience,” said Jim Fielding, president of Disney Stores Worldwide.” In relation to Library Space Planning, people want space to interact with the library material and they need additional types of working environments to do it in.

The ‘Library as Place’ is an important factor in the way we interact with information. For example, by using RFID librarians can equip packages to respond when the customer passes the interactive display. In the future Disney Stores, “Computer chips embedded in packaging will activate hidden features. Walk by a “magic mirror” while holding a Princess tiara, for instance, and Cinderella might appear and say something to you.” – Barnes, Brooks, “Disney’s Retail Plan Is a Theme Park in Its Stores,” NYTimes, Oct. 13, 2009.

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