Library Spaces - how are they changing?

How do students use your library? Is it an oasis of quiet, or a buzzing centre of activity, or a bit of both? What is the role of your Library, and the Library staff in your school? What are the determining factors that help define the role your library plays in your school?

My situation:


I work in a 1:1 Laptop school. There is good wireless access throughout the school. Students have internet access from wherever they are, be it the classroom, the grounds or the Library. In other words, learning can happen anywhere, anytime and Google is just a click away. This presents challenges for a school library. Non-fiction, other than Art and Photography books, pretty much languishes on our shelves. We can see the dust and cobwebs forming! By contrast, fiction flies off the shelves. We struggle to keep up with the reading habits of our students and spend the majority of our budget on fiction purchases. We have a Learning Management System that has a library tab where we provide access to resources. We have just moved to a new Library system that incorporates Federated Search, allowing our databases to be accessed through our OPAC. We create wikis to support curriculum and run a Ning as a virtual space to support our Book Club. Why do we need a physical library space??

Take a look at the faces below. They are our Book Club girls and are in our temporary library as we await the building of a new library. I think their faces tell you why we need a library.

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Book Club girls from Toorak College

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The empty space that housed our old library, but soon will house our new one!


Reinvention- Stage one Blog post I wrote about our library move. Includes pictures of the spaces we have created.
Yes, we deleted the VHS collection Blog post I wrote about doing just that!

We need physical spaces because of this:


"The library is the civic and cultural symbol of access to information. As more and more books are emancipated from the shelves and digital information becomes a way of life, the library’s role begins to change and reshape its function and programs. The library must draw on concepts of hybrid public functions, creating awareness, social transparency, public space, social functions, and virtual interfaces as design generators for expressing new ways of thinking about information. The contemporary library must become a theatre of knowledge providing visitors with an immersive knowledge experience unlike any traditional library before. Within developing contexts the glossy drop-in big building library may do little to entice and unfamiliar public and may do more of disrupting contextual scale. The re-invented centre of information needs to be less intimidating yet triumph in expressing knowledge as many con- temporary libraries do. The library or public campus of information must be as comfortable and social as a market place while still being a place of retreat from urban density living and a quite space of introspection.

The library must still present a deep connection to its context and history so that communities will have a sense of loyalty and ownership. Its spaces must feel as private as a home and as dynamic as a public square or market place. The spaces outside the building hold as much gravity in stimulating awareness and engagement as the spaces inside. As structures of collective organisation the library will stage a mix of private and public functions together with virtual and physical information-scapes. This new spatial en- vironment will inspire, motivate, interact, and engage visitors to participate with a virtual extravaganza. Users and communities will be able to participate in an information age. While still upholding the old world of books, the library will show the old in new ways. In a developing context the contemporary library serves the purpose of creating an awareness and offering free access while educating its users on how to use ICTs for the purposes that suit them individually. The role of the library is now parent and playground for an information culture. For low-income communities within a developing context the library is more than a point of access, it is a point of departure."

Guy Adam Ailion Everywhere is here : Architecture and a developing information Society. (Thesis) Winner of the National Corobrik Architectural Thesis Award 2010. Guy has made the entire Thesis Document available for download here:
http://www.activeingredient.org/pdf/E... (my advice - download this and read it!)


What is a library when 'everywhere is here'? This is a video made by Guy Adam Ailion for his Architectural Master's Thesis. It won the National Corobrik Architectural Thesis Award 2010. Guy has made the entire Thesis Document available for download here:
http://www.activeingredient.org/pdf/E... I wrote a post about this video


The Future of Libraries continued... A post I wrote that includes reference to Adam Corson-Finnerty's thoughts about Academic libraries and how they should be managing collections. (Adam is Library Administrator from Pennsylvania)

Aha! Publishers respond to the changing trends - but when will we see files borrowed from libraries? Post I wrote about the difficulties of responding to digital delivery of content.

The Alexandrine Dilemma - Mark Pesce

The Alexandrine Dilemma - Mark Pesce's message for Librarians My post written in response to Mark's article.

The Alexandrine Dream - and Dilemma John Connell's response to Mark's article.

A Call for Library Future Summits: shocking ourselves together Interesting ideas raised here about the need for all library sectors to work together to grapple with the issues facing libraries today. (also interesting that there are no comments!)
Libraries lead the ebook revolution Phillip Harvey's common sense post about ebooks. Also refers to the Google Book project. Interesting comment thread.

The death of the Library - read it and weep Delia Lloyd ponders the future of libraries and their role in society in the light of budget cuts to staffing.

Some great work is being done at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) with some dynamic librarians who are pushing the thinking re Library spaces and the purpose of the Library. They have a YouTube channel that is worth checking out.

The Library...OF THE FUTURE! With Mr.Hank and his good friend Chad
. A UTS Library production.