- As libraries face the challenge of defining new spaces for students, assessment of collections, especially e-resources, plays a pivotal role in re-configuring spaces and establishing new services. LLAMA MAES and LLAMA BES are co-sponsoring a panel discussion to address assessment of collections, service, and space to create a holistic approach to library design. Panel participants are Laura Newton Miller, Collections, EResources and Serials Librarian at Carleton University, who will discuss appropriate methods to assess library collections, including transitioning from print to eresources; Alex Cohen from Alex Cohen Associates will discuss methods of space assessment to transform libraries into functional and efficient facilities; and, Danuta Nitecki, Dean of Libraries at Drexel University, will discuss how her library transitioned to a student-centered service model with a new learning terrace and personal librarian service.PROGRAM DATE/TIMEAMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION ANNUAL MEETINGSaturday, June 28thfrom 1-2:30 in Caesar’s Palace Roman IV room.
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.”
A recent article from Inside Higher Education focuses on the need to balance quiet and active spaces in the library. Project Information Literacy study found that students minimize technology use and try to unplug from their overly distracting social networks when working on projects or studying for exams.
During our library planning studies, we have found that all libraries need environments that allow for social, group and individual study. The library plan should include:
- active space – information commons, learning commons, group collaboration, etc.
- quiet space – contemplative space for study.
According to “The Future of the Academic Library Symposium: Bridging the Gap, Libraries – “need to be in a state of perpetual beta to effect change.” We believe libraries need to experiment with both quiet and active space.
The University of North Carolina started a Journal of Learning Spaces that is a good place to start an analysis of library space needs. We recommend the journal as a starting point for discussion.
Additional research on the subject of academic libraries – Futures Thinking for Academic Librarians: Higher Education in 2025
The Taiga Forum developed a framework for the challenges that librarians will face in the future. The strategy developed by the group echo’s our research i.e. the changing status of library professionals and collaborative space partners.
- We recognize the work these professionals did to develop this framework.
- We appreciate that the library profession recognizes the challenges both in terms of new technology and services.
Our work focuses on the challenges outlined by the Taiga group. For example, as higher education and its’ organization flattens, radical cooperation will be possible. We have developed learning centers with IT Help-desks, Math labs and English tutoring capabilities. We have developed flexible learning spaces that reflect the different possible activities that can take place in the library.
We have been monitoring the discussion about ebooks and its impact on library space. NPRs’ report about Harper Collins and their ebook restrictions illustrated that a transformation is taking place. Some people are wondering openly about the future of the library.
We believe that it is important to develop library space that supports the ebook revolution. This includes new requirements for learning spaces and labs.
For more information about ebooks and NPR’s take on the future of the library click here.
Readers are taking advantage of the rapid expansion of digital technology and starting to use digital books or e-books. The attached diagram illustrates the projected growth of digital books. Indeed, the library’s ability to provide new digital reader services is a key to the future institution. As you can see in the image below, publishers and content providers are moving toward more digital book releases.
Some companies have started to leverage e-books in new ways. For example, Overdrive is looking to provide new ways to distribute digital / e-book service. Harper Collins is putting a restriction on using digital resources. This will be a trend to control library use, but also illustrates how libraries will be a valued venue to promote and market new titles to the community. This momentum will undoubtedly ensure that libraries are part of the marketing mix.
Below illustrates how the economics of ebook is different and how digital only copies will be difficult to market. The publishing industry should note that new ways to market their products are in their neighborhood public library. They should look for ways to partner with libraries to widen their appeal.
The Research Library needs to adapt to the current needs of the community. It’s first objective as Peter Drucker points out is to the customer.
The Association of Research Libraries is a good place to start a search. One link that supports an understanding of the changes and challenges is is entitled “Transforming Research Libraries.”
The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) developed “Value of Academic Libraries: A Comprehensive Research Review and Report.” Developed for the association by Megan Oakleaf of the iSchool at Syracuse University.
In the future, augmented reality activities will affect library design. The development of enhanced environments will be an opportunity to integrate new products.
Augmented Reality is an example of innovation that should be taken into account during planning. The new technology will require new spaces and equipment. Click below to learn about the future from Sarah Houghton-Jan.