• Library Planning Research,  Space Planning

    The library planning equation and the NYPL example – The library of the future is part Bookstore, MakerSpace and Culture House

    The Library is still defined as a place that holds knowledge. We noted today that books are still part of the library planning equation. According to Libraries See Opening as Bookstores Close – NY Times December 27th article by KAREN ANN CULLOTTA – “As librarians across the nation struggle with the task of redefining their roles and responsibilities in a digital age, many public libraries are seeing an opportunity to fill the void created by the loss of traditional bookstores.

    The library will always be a space with books, knowledge resources (librarians), training, programs and quiet reading spaces. However, the spaces being allocated to books are being redefined, which makes our work challenging.

    Books are still and will always be a knowledge tool of choice for many people. We recognize this fact as we plan tomorrows library collections. We also plan that libraries will be MakerSpaces and Culture Houses and Bookstores of the future. These strategies will continue to be priorities in our planning for 2013.

    The ‘library is a place’ that should offer culture, knowledge tools and space to use for digital bits and physical atoms. Indeed, it will need to support all options for research.

    The new library plan for the NYPL is a very exciting concept with new space designed for learning activities. The big challenge for the NYPL is to create a blended learning environment, not just a vast open room full of computers, but also spaces with books, media and historical resources. Flexible areas with movable partitions and bookstacks with books to check out need to be integrated into Foster’s plan.

    Click on the link below – it is an impressive flyover of the new library planned for NYPL by Norman Foster…
    NYPL – Library Plan


  • Library Planning Research,  Social Library Issues

    General Assembly – Learning Center and Library Concept for Start ups

    The library is a dynamic space for start-ups as well as individuals. It is a space that combines the physical learning experience with the virtual tools. It is a place that has formal teaching and training programs as well as collaborative work-spaces for small groups to gather and exchange ideas.

    General Assembly is a good example of how the physical and virtual spaces are being combined to create knowledge. The description of services reflect the types of work we are doing now and will be doing in the future.

    The development of virtual services is not a replacement for the types of spaces, tools and opportunities for exchange that is required for profitable work. Yes, we are more efficient with our virtual tools, but we still need spaces. In the past, we would say that libraries provide the 3rd space – not home or work. However, the world is blurring and the difference between home and work is not so clearly defined.

    Often, people need spaces that allow them to be motivated by the other people or they need to be in a setting to be more productive. For example, if I were at home, I would get distracted and watch TV instead of working on my business plan.

    In “We must protect and reinvent our local libraries” by Jeanette Winterson, she makes an impassioned argument for why the library is invaluable. After all, John Maynard Keynes believed in culture – why wouldn’t it help others become great?

    For anyone working to develop a better community and enhance their education and culture – Jeanette’s quote of Andrew Carnegie is worth reflecting on –

    “Man does not live by bread alone. I have known millionaires starving for lack of the nutriment which alone can sustain all that is human in man, and I know workmen, and many so-called poor men, who revel in luxuries beyond the power of those millionaires to reach. It is the mind that makes the body rich. There is no class so pitiably wretched as that which possesses money and nothing else.”