Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Library of the Future

This YouTube video, Transformation Lab - Prototyping the Future, is a very interesting look at some possibilities for the library of the future. Some of it seems a bit extreme and maybe more public library-ish, but it really gets at the idea of Library as Place, which seems to be discussed more and more these days.

I gave an informal survey to students where one of the questions asked what we can do to make their library experience better. I received suggestions that included: background music, more comfy couches, quieter work areas, allow food, wireless, best-sellers and pleasure reading, more computers, art throughout building, better computer chairs, "more help", and more signs.

Overall, it seems to be a lot about the library environment and less about library services. I'm looking into best-sellers, more comfy furniture is in our future, wireless is a campus-wide goal (I believe), and snack food will hopefully be allowed soon.

For further reading on this topic, there's a good article called "How to Evaluate Your Library's Physical Environment."


Elizabeth said...

Admitted, I didn't last through the whole YouTube clip. Sorry.

But i'm intrigued by this concept of Library as Place. I'd love to see them become more dynamic places, somewhere for social interaction as well as learning. Keep study rooms and/or entire floors quiet for those who want peace, but have a public/socializing place as well. That would be cool.

Ok, you know what I'm really saying? I want a libraries to have snack bars and coffee shops!

Kat said...

I, too, would love to see snack bars and coffee shops but for smaller libraries, it's really not feasible. We occasionally bounce around the idea of a snack machine and/or coffee machine, but the problem with that always becomes where on earth to put it where it won't make a lot of noise.

We do currently keep the main floor as a group study space and the other two floors for quiet study. We've recently added a couch, chair, and coffee table by the entrance for socializing. So we are heading in that direction but there's always much more that could be done.