• Library Planning Research,  work in progress

    The Library of Unborrowed Books and the Future of Learning Spaces

    In the Art of Browsing by Claire Barliant we started to reflect about the book as a trend in our quest for knowledge. We learned about the “Library of Unborrowed Books” – an art installation developed by Meriç Algün Ringborg that manifests itself in the languages and titles of each book in the collection.

    Meriç Algün Ringborg’s art installation looks at the library as a contemporary moment. The project presents hundreds of books that have never been borrowed from the Center for Fiction’s library. The framework hints at what has been disregarded, knowledge essentially unconsumed. It puts on display what eludes us.

    Librarians know that the act of browsing for a book in a large collection is an idea generator. It provides the patron that is walking in the library with an awareness and openness to new ideas, stories, history and science. Claire Barliant reflects on the real changes occuring in our world. She stated, “But with every trend, however modest, you have to wonder, why now? Is it possible that book browsing is already strange and unusual enough to be considered material for art?”

    “Everyone agrees that the future of publishing is electronic, with words beamed to us instantaneously. But in that case, what will happen to all of the books and the places that store them? When they’re gone, where will we randomly stumble on the knowledge we didn’t even know we wanted to know?”

    We believe the library will continue to represent the gaps and cracks of history through book and media circulation. We believe in the digital catalog, providing a collection where access and ownership and subscription licenses are intermixed. Most importantly, the library will provide professional support through readers advisory and information literacy.

    The library of the future will be where primary materials and extended access co-exist to create an experience that enhances our learning process and research outcomes.

    Library of Unborrowed Books

  • Library Planning Research,  Space Planning

    Learning Circle – Library as an Incubator for Online Learning

    The library is no place to dream small. It is an incubator that when heated at the right tempature evolves into a place for education in the 21st century. The “Library as place” where a new concept for online learning is emerging; the barriers to education are being lowered. The library is a universal place that lets learning grow.

    Libraries exist not just to lend books but to guarantee their continuous availability of access to information. In “Digital Education“- MIT technology Review January/February 2013 stated – “The highest ambition of any society is to educate its citizens.” Indeed, a simple group circle or shape speeds up our ability to perceive the learning space, and without realizing it, we are more productive.

    In NYTimes Article “Why We Love Beautiful Things,” German Researchers’ found that just glancing at shades of green can boost creativity and motivation. However, we know people see things differently. To get it right, Professor Sanjay Sarma at MIT will serve as a convener and synthesizer to develop and integrate elements of online education into traditional MIT courses. It will be his job to create shades of green for students to get the most out of their education.

    For example, the library of the future is an incubator: When you enter a flexible learning place—Enter—See—Access Services–Hi ceiling—Visibility–Stand-up-table–Tools—Screens—Screens on the edges.

    The Consultation Bar is in the rear—Tutoring—Workshops—Mentoring–Peer Learning—-Touch points—One too one—-a place for flexible learning—Web browser—To view video—Questions to be
    answered—Homework—Forums.

    The model is a series of circles—each circle is a learning circle a place flexible learning—–start programming.

  • Library Planning Research,  work in progress

    The Digital Kingdom – Library Concept

    What types of libraries can we envision 10, 20 and 50 years into the future? We have the luxury of being able to look back into the past, to what ACA was programming and designing 10, 20 and 40 years ago. We can do this by reviewing our library of library designs. For example in 2001, we started designing the information commons / self check out systems. In 2005, we were designing the learning commons, flexible classrooms and self check-in systems. In 1990, we were designing for automation, building large repositories of books (items). In the 1970’s, we were designing the traditional reading room and classrooms; timeless centers for study and collaboration.

    A strong past is a good foundation from which to look into the future. In that spirit, we started dreaming what the library will look like in 10 and 20 years. Will the library have computers? Will there be books? What will happen to the service desk? Will there be robots in the library? If so, does that mean that the librarian will change?

    When we worked on our first library RFID project in 2003 it looked like a new world for mobility. Certainly, options for self check out became possible. It was also possible for the librarian to check a book to see if it was re-shelved correctly. Today, many libraries use RIFD and many do not. The main reason is cost, but the real reason is the lack of a strategy to determine the benefits from using the technology. For many, the technology seems too much too fast. For those who have implemented them, they can’t remember when they didn’t have the technology humming along responding to library user needs.

    The Digital Kingdom is a place that responds to the needs of the people who use the environment. It is a library that is built one community member at a time. It is a space where the patron brings their content with them. It is an environment that can associate and respond to you, depending on your preferences, activities and location.

    In the future, the Digital Kingdom will allow patrons to share their social information connected through their smart phone. Patron’s would opt-in to preferences on how the library should respond (facebook) to information and share with them as much as they want. For others, the library will help cross the digital divide. Patron’s would opt-in to technology, connect and learn to use it in new ways. Digital literacy will continue to be the center piece of the libraries foundation.

    For the private, the library will respond to make the space more comfortable. It will only provide information that you set up to share. Remember sometimes turning off is as good as turning everything on.

    all rights Disney Corporation

    The technology of today provides opportunities to program, plan and design futurist environments. In “The Digital Kingdom“, the Disney Company plans to transform the loyalty bracelet into an RFID tool – MyMagic+. VIP experiences, lower wait times, more socializing and buying is driving the strategy. For example, Patron’s that opt-in will engage with characters that respond to your child with a personal greeting – like Happy Birthday. Disney will use the technology to enhance their legacy rides by layering new mobile and personal information into the customer experience.

    Biblio Alexandria

    From a library design perspective, Z-wave alliance is a place to start researching solutions. There are a number of products that will be used to create environments that respond to our needs. Most of the products easily track and control the temperature and humidity. Other products can be integrated with building systems to provide better energy efficiency.

    The Digital Kingdom is a place where the environment recognizes you as a person. Let’s begin to make our libraries responsive to our needs.

  • Library Planning Research

    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.

  • Library Planning Research

    The Evolving Learning Commons for Libraries

    The learning commons is a part of the academic environment that supports peer/group learning activities. There are different resources to review in order to develop the approach that best suites your library or learning environment. For example, the learning tool kit developed a set of guiding principles that will help you start:

      • Refer to expert studies. There are lots of existing experimental studies and publications out there that academic practitioners have pilot-studied. It’s good to review pre-existing materials as a starting point. (i.e. ELI etc).
      • Explore what activities need to be supported, by reviewing the research you’ve conducted in the assessment phase (interviews, surveys etc).
      • Devise an integrated space concept model that includes necessary technology and equipment as well as the furnishing parameters that supports the activity in mind. At this stage, the details can be vague.
      • Outline the environmental qualities neccessary to support the activities within the space or increase the comfort level of the users – lighting (natural and artificial), acoustics, and thermal comfort.
      • Think about the critical sight lines and proportions/scales that can influence the performance of the space type.
      • Define the stimulation factors of the space. Why would students be interested to be here set aside the function of the space? Cool furnishing? coffee availability? being able to see outside and have access to natural light?
      • Determine the flexibility of the space, and specify the critical factors that make it happen (walls, partitions, furnishings etc).
      • Ensure that collaboration is enabled through necessary support services, space and technology supported in the space. Not just being able to collaborate, but to develop, capture and present and share the ideas.