Archive for July, 2011

Children’s Library: Example Program for the Future

The BCPL developed a children’s library model called Storyville. It was designed to foster early literacy and school readiness skills. It was developed specifically for children birth to five.

We know through scientific research that success in school begins at birth and that the ages of birth to five are critical learning years. For this reason, we recommend this model as a beginning point. It is for librarians who are looking to be innovative with their children’s service.

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New Ways of Learning Effects Library Design

Technology has impacted the way we use library collections. It has impacted the way we interact in the library building. The landscape of learning has changed so much that we need to ask – “Is someone literate if they can not use digital technology?”

The library of the future needs to provide ways to build skills for creativity, socializing and collaboration. If you look around, you will find young people using mobile technology. According to Pew Internet – Smartphones – 35% of adults in the US own a smartphone and more people have cell phones than a degree. And “some 87% of smartphone owners access the internet or email on their handheld, including two-thirds (68%) who do so on a typical day. When asked what device they normally use to access the internet, 25% of smartphone owners say that they mostly go online using their phone, rather than with a computer.”

For young kids, the cell phone can be a distraction or it can be an effective productivity tool. To produce the New Learners for the 21st Century we need libraries that enable educators to use the digital media to shape their experience of the world.

Collaborative Space

Collaborative Space

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A New Academic Library – House of Knowledge

HOUSE OF KNOWLEDGE
KAUST Library

Created as the focal point on the new campus, the KAUST library crystallizes the architectural and functional ambitions of a new university. It is a contemporary global center for scientific thinking that is rooted in local culture with a senses of historic “place.” Our planning of the library space de-emphasized the building as a repository of books while emphasizing the social dimensions of learning and the access to knowledge through technology. The library respects Arabic culture, retelling the story of the House of Knowledge. Indeed, this is a symbol of educational leadership; with the value of learning at its heart.

In our view, the House of Knowledge is a place of gathering; a metaphorical heart for learning. This university created library serves to function as a learning center, providing informal settings for scientists to share thoughts and ideas. Our program included group study areas and informal lounges that were located throughout the library’s spaces; a café is integrated at the entry, blurring the boundary of formal and informal knowledge sharing.

This library was an innovative architectural project by HOK architects. They developed an innovative light-filtering and translucent, stone shroud that complemented the interior layout. Their expert and professional services gave the library its architectural character. For example, the shroud drapes the north and south façades while leaving the east and west facades open. This provides grand views of the Red Sea to the west and transparency toward the campus to the east.

We hope you will visit this example of a great academic library and let us know how you enjoyed – the house of knowledge.

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