Category Archives: Buildings & Spaces

TTW Mailbox: Favorite Places to Study

Frank Haulgren, Collection Services Manager, ILL – Document Delivery  &  Assessment Cooridnator at the Wilson Library, Western Washington University writes:
Hey Michael some of your readers may be interested.
 
Each quarter The Western Libraries sponsors a mid-term Study Break.  We set aside an hour and a half in the early evening and provide food, fun and information about the library and campus activities for students.  They love the food (of course) and the crazy goggles that the Student Wellness Center has that allows you to simulate being drunk and having to walk a line.
 
This quarter we set up or video camera and asked students a number of questions.  The common thread was that The Western Libraries offers great places to study!  So 40 minutes of tape yielded this minute-forty-five promotional video.

Marketing Today’s Academic Library by Brian Mathews

mtgacademicljpghttp://www.alastore.ala.org/detail.aspx?ID=2596

I am eager to get my hands on a copy of Brian’s new book. I think it may be a perfect fit for use in LIS768. I was glad to see his reflective post about the process: (emphasis mine)

I am very grateful that ALA didn’t pressure me to write a 2.0 or social technology book. It would have been a disaster. While those elements are included in the text, the scope is much wider. I worked (struggled) on and off for 2 years on this project. It is very personal. Writing a book is very draining. You feel vulnerable—or at least I do. I spent so many mornings up at 4am gulping down Jone’s Soda, trying to get the words right. This book is really my personal handbook, my personal approach. I feel like I am in a defensive position now, waiting for all the bad reviews to come in. (I’m sure the annoyed librarian will hate it.) Oh and just a note, if you’re looking for a nice cookie-cutter, paint-by-numbers approach to marketing, this isn’t the book for you. In fact, in many ways it isn’t a marketing book at all, but a vision for public service. Here is the final paragraph that really encapsulates the spirit:

The academic library can become a place for experiences. It is not just for research and reflection, but also for creation, collaboration, design, and display. The library functions as a workshop, a gallery, a museum, a canvas, a stage, a lecture hall, a platform, a case study, and a showcase of student work. The future of libraries isn’t simply about digitizing all of our collections, but rather, it is about providing, encouraging, and staging new types of learning encounters. Instead of using marketing to try to persuade students to use our services, the library becomes the natural setting for academic activities–an environment where scholarship happens.”

I am happy we have good folks like Brian actively working to create this vision of the library of the future.

Space for the paranormal

While thumbing through my local newspaper I came across an article about the public library hosting a lecture and discussion concerning UFO sightings, particularly more recent events in observed in Tinley Park, IL.

Let’s be honest—you couldn’t have bribed me with enough cappuccinos to show up at this event.  Not my groove—for sure.  But it got me thinking about the library’s continued value as a community space.  There really isn’t any other place in town that would welcome such a controversial topic.  It could be held it in someone’s home, yes, but then it wouldn’t be a public event.  Perhaps the local café?  But then you’re obligating patrons to purchase something when the main focus is knowledge.  Where else could people openly gather for a common interest—where avid followers and curious folks could learn without being intimated by each other or their surroundings?

The library has historically been that place, and I’d like to applaud the Forest Park Public Library for continuing to provide a comfortable space for knowledge and discussion, even if the topics are quite alien.

~TTW Contributor Katharine Johnson

On the Learning/Information Commons

I’ve become fascinated with the idea and implementation of the Commons in academic libraries of late. It’s very much part of what I call The Hyperlinked Library. These past few months, I’ve wrote about the commons at ALA TechSource blog. Please take a look if you are interested.

Productivity workstations as far as the eye can see

julieshen writes:

This is the Cal Poly Pomona University Library’s brand new productivity center. It’s located next to the Reference Desk (now called the Research Help Desk), which shares space with staff providing technical help, and part of our new learning commons. It’s not open for use yet, but once it’s ready the productivity workstations will have the normal Microsoft Office software suite along with a lot of other software, including GIS and SPSS. It’s part of theexpansion we’ve been going through for the past 2 years:
www.csupomona.edu/~library/TheNextChapter/

Buildings need to Inspire

http://education.guardian.co.uk/librariesunleashed/story/0,,2274826,00.html

Colleges and universities are on a similar learning curve. Today’s student population is more diverse, it demands e-learning and online resources including Web 2.0 technologies, and has higher expectations of physical space. Meanwhile, researchers and academics are calling for better access to digital resources.

With so much information coming to students online through various fixed and mobile devices, universities and colleges need well-designed work and study spaces. Libraries are leading the way in developing innovative learning spaces in which people can make productive use of powerful combinations of information and technologies on their desktop – including communication and collaborative tools through which they discuss and develop ideas online.

Design must be flexible enough to cater ‘Buildings need to inspire’ for present as well as future needs, according to Marmot, who is also a professor of facility and environment management at the Bartlett School of Graduate Studies at University College London and whose practice is designing the new library at University of Nottingham. This library incorporates what Marmot describes as a “mini- Imax” – giant screens where students can project and work on audio-visual presentations. A member of the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (Cabe), Marmot is working on an academic library design guide for the Scottish Funding Council. Cabe has also collaborated with Jisc on its best practice guide, Designing Spaces for Effective Learning.