Who says a library has to be the kind of place that Andrew Carnegie would have molded marble walls around or that Norman Rockwell would have memorialized with books and ladders?
Perhaps nudged a bit by current economic conditions, more and more librarians are engaged in a consideration of “space” versus “place,” form versus function, and collections versus reach.
Educational media centers have emerged on college campuses in recent years. Some stacks have, in fact, been taken down to make room for them. Gaming centers have been added to public libraries. And front-facing library services have, in many cases, become more about information discovery than resource retrieval.
For this issue, we asked our columnists to wax eloquent on the larger theme of architecting new library frameworks, and we asked our contributors for case studies on using technology to help restructure functions or deliver new services in new ways.
As a result, you’ll find tips in this month’s feature articles for using digital photo frames to communicate with library visitors, you’ll consider new uses for old library kiosks, and you’ll learn new ways to keep track of the digital content assets using a relational database.
In “Closing the ‘Digital Divide’: Building a Public Computing Center,” Aaron Krebeck talks about why your library might want to offer patrons a computing center as well as a reading room, and he shares his experience at Charles County (Md.) Public Library in developing and deploying a center … for less than $10,000.
It doesn’t always take a lot of money to put new ideas into play. With this issue, we challenge you to put a new face on your place … maybe even turn it into a new space.
The conversation continues at Internet Librarian and Internet Librarian International.
Hope to see you there.
Dick Kaser, Executive Editor