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Library as Place :Rethinking Roles,Rethinking Space.

Council on Library and Information Resources

mardi 12 septembre 2006, par anass

We are still far from the day when students, researchers, and teachers can access entire research collections from their desktops. Nonetheless, a wealth of high-quality material is now accessible electronically. What does this revolutionary change mean for the creation and design of library space ? What is the role of a library when it no longer needs to be a warehouse of books and when users can obtain information without setting foot in its doors ? Few libraries have failed to consider these questions-whether they serve their collections electronically or physically, whether they serve the general public or more specialized academic users. In developing this publication, CLIR sought to explore these questions from a variety of perspectives. Authors of these essays include librarians, an architect, and a professor of art history and classics. The focus is primarily on research and academic libraries, although one essay, in describing a unique merger, challenges the boundaries that have long divided academic and public libraries. Each author brings a distinctive perspective to thinking about the use and services, and the roles and future, of the library ; at the same time, each underscores the central, growing importance of the library as place-or base-for teaching, learning, and research in the digital age.

The publication is intended to stimulate thinking about the role of the library in the digital age, about the potential-and the imperative-for libraries to meet new needs, and about how these needs will influence the design of physical space. It is written for librarians and others involved in library planning as well as for those who invest in libraries, such as provosts, presidents, and business officers. Its goal is not to catalog all the innovation occurring in libraries nationwide but rather to expose an array of perspectives on the future of the library and to describe how these visions are being manifest in spatial design. We hope that the essays will be useful as a foundation for discussion, questions, and new thinking.

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