Posts Tagged design library

Thinking about libraries in new ways

The library of the future is going to be a collection of activities and books.  The book technology may change from being clay tablets to e-books.  However, learning activities are the core of any library.

When we design new libraries, we look at potential learning activities.  We examine the combinations of functions from technology to books to learning spaces. These learning activities may use print journals or computers.  The combination of access to intellectual stimulation and space, enabling us to have experiences that enrich our lives.

Charlie Bennett, an academic librarian at Georgia Tech, delivered a poetic Tedx talk.  He talked about what libraries offer and the value of thinking in new ways about technology and service.  He explored the history of libraries and the factors that lead to the development of learning spaces.  If you would like to be inspired, take 10 mins and listen here to the TED TALK LIBRARIAN.

Below is a picture of a GT library / learning space.  What does the next generation library look like?IMG_4457

 

 

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Library Learning Commons – People Tools

The library is a place that enables different types of learning opportunities. The idea that the learning environment is just about books or computers does not tell the complete story. There are many opportunities to gain knowledge in a library as well as in a formal learning space (classroom). However, the smart phones, laptops and e-book readers are changing the way we interact in our learning space. Our social environment is part of the digital continuum too, creating opportunities for library patrons to use “people tools” = applications + hardware + content.

The ability to communicate with smart boards is a strategy to improve the learning space. The future learning environment will include “people tools” to support the curriculum, formal or informal training programs and/or personal research. The opportunity to share with smart technology enables library patrons to experiment with technology, expanding the users ability to research the subject.

The Smart Technology Learning Commons is an example that gives librarians and libraries an advantage over a home or mobile connection. They provide “people tools” for the interactions to take place. They enhance the physical and virtual spaces with additional equipment.

If you are building a Khan Academy type learning environment or a library with e-content, you will need to know how to build the technology tools to communicate. There will be spaces where the public share; where people meet and collaborate on projects.

According to Today’s Public Libraries: Public Places of Excellence, Education and Innovation

“Despite the Internet, it seems, libraries persist—and even thrive. Given the wealth of information and reading material at our fingertips at all times, it’s fair to ask: why should that be? Why do people still want—and need—public libraries? There are many reasons, but the most important have to do with a couple of ideas that might sound archaic to modern ears, perhaps because in reality what they are is enduring.

  • The first is the notion of place, a thing the Internet was supposed to have obliterated. Yet a funny thing happened on the way to the digital future: place kept mattering. It turns out that people often need somewhere to go, especially people who aren’t affluent enough to live in big houses.
  • The second reason libraries persist is the notion of improvement, something that has been an article of faith among librarians and their civic backers for as long as there have been libraries in this country. We Americans were early proponents of universal education and individual initiative, and we long ago recognized the importance of giving people a chance to make their lives better by gaining knowledge and cultivating their minds—in other words, improving themselves both materially and intellectually. It’s an idea redolent of Ben Franklin and Samuel Smiles, Horatio Alger and even Dale Carnegie.”
  • Let’s improve library environments to make them more effective. The nine reasons for a library gives you some strategies to discuss, build and share.

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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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    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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