Thursday, October 6, 2011

Plenty on Place

Librarians advised attendees to pay close attention to how undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty members really use library resources, beginning with physical study space. Use that information "to realign the library to be a more obvious partner" in research and learning, said Susan Gibbons, now the university librarian at Yale University. 
The most recent issue of Library Trends is titled Library Design: From Past to Present.” From the introduction: 
The era of the hybrid library has arrived. The marriage of the traditional library to the “library without walls” is progressing happily, it seems ... Throughout history, library buildings have adapted to society’s beliefs, precepts, and aspirations. This adaptability has also been evident in the digital age.
From the first article, The Emergence and Challenge of the Modern Library Building: Ideal Types, Model Libraries, and Guidelines, from the Enlightenment to the Experience Economy, through the last, The Dark Side of Library Architecture: The Persistence of Dysfunctional Designs” (don’t miss the unfortunate sightline on page 246), this is great collection on the topic.

Finally (for now), from a fascinating study in the the latest issue of College & Reserach Libraries, Serving Higher Education’s Highest Goals: Assessment of the Academic Library as Place: 
This empirical study affirmed our hypothesis that spaces deemed as “sacred” or “sanctified” produce affective benefits for people that extend beyond attitudes and into the realm of behavior (projected library use). Circulation statistics do not measure these benefits; students may not actually use the books on the shelves, but they “sanctify” the books—being around the books makes them feel more scholarly and connected to the institution’s educational mission. ... While students clearly value computers in libraries, paradoxically they do not like tech-heavy–looking spaces; students want new technologies presented in traditional academic surroundings.