Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Epicentral, Emblematic, and Exciting

The college library, whether ornate or modern, digital or dusty, is in many ways the epicenter of the college experience — at least for some students. It is at once a shining emblem of vast, acquirable knowledge, a place for deep discussions and meetings of the mind, and of course, a big building full of books, which, as far as we’re concerned, is exciting enough. Colleges and universities are understandably quite proud of their libraries, which can be a selling point for prospective students and donating alumni alike, and they often become the most well-designed and beautifully adorned buildings on campus. To that end, and perhaps to inspire your studies a bit, we’ve collected a few of the most beautiful college and university libraries in the world, from Portugal to France to Boston.
Included are two libraries I've spent some time in, the Bodleian and Suzzallo libraries (the latter of which is pictured above).

Friday, December 16, 2011

Entrepreneurial Library Space

Over at the Ubiquitous Librarian, Brian Matthews considers an “entrepreneurial model” for study space. In the comments section, I highlight a collaborative work space that I find intriguing. The challenge is to incorporate ideas from non-library spaces into the unique or  “uncommon” learning spaces that libraries provide. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Don’t Forget the Books

From “We're Still in Love With Books” (The Chronicle):
Contrary to many futuristic projections—even from bibliophiles who, as a group, enjoy melancholy reveries—the recent technological revolution has only deepened the affection that many scholars have for books and libraries, and highlighted the need for the preservation, study, and cherishing of both.
Students at the University of New Brunswick in Saint John held a protest at the campus Tuesday about a lack of quiet study space … the new $25 million Hans W. Klohn Commons is more like a computer lab and cafĂ© than a library, with students clustered around tables chatting and working in groups. It also comes up short on basics, such as desk space, and even books.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Library Shenanigans

A colleague sent me an article about singing in the library, and it reminded me of an earlier post here. It also reminded me of this:

For more about the prank collective Improv Everywhere that staged this, see this TED talk:

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Library as a Site of Inspiration

Perhaps because of my fondness for Borges, I like thinking of the library as a site of inspiration. Today, a professor’s students installed site-specific sculptures in our library. Here is one called “Through the Looking Glass”: