[Once again, circumstances created a delay in my posting here. Hurricane Sandy provides a pretty good excuse, however: We're waiting for electricity (and thus water) to return at home, and PSE&G promises that will be by Monday, November 5. Thankfully, the college is fully functional and re-opened after two days.]
Libraries as places, as most people know them, came to exist as a consequence of physical media. Now that media is turning digital, what should happen to this physical infrastructure we have built? We are not yet completely free of the need for places to put materials and supplies, but no longer in the quantities previously required. We also still need areas for librarians and library staff involved in assisting patrons and supporting our online collections, but offices take up far less space than shelving.
During this past semester, I've seen our library used as:
-Special event/discussion space
-Student work space
Apart from student work space, all of these uses are new. Yet each seems appropriate, and I hope they call attention to the potential for the library building to be used in novel ways. If librarians and patrons want to maintain symbolic ownership of their library spaces, these are the types of applications we need to celebrate.