Finding Your Way
by Dick Kaser
In recent years, more and more libraries have found themselves repurposing space. Stacks have been downsized, materials have gone digital, and the floor plan has been redrawn to support new functions. While the “library as place” remains a topic of conversation—if not heated debate—the fact remains that even in the mobile age, libraries remain not only destinations but draws. Therefore, the user experience is just as much physical as it is digital.
This issue of Computers in Libraries focuses on how technology can be applied to helping users navigate library space. Leading it off, Joe Marciniak takes you on a 90-second tour of the LaGrange College library and gives you tips on how to condense your own grand tour into a short video that will hold the attention of even the most distracted Digital Native.
Eric Johnson and Nick Andrews, of Miami University, show you how to use interactive maps to help patrons navigate your physical space, right down to which public access computer is running what particular software package.
And when space itself becomes an issue, Tina Jayroe discusses how to open a branch without building a facility. Why not take the library to where the students live? That’s what her public library did in Aurora, Colo., to support the local community college by deploying smartlocker technology.
Jessamyn West comments on geolocation services. Terence Huwe addresses the library space question in general. And Marshall Breeding talks about the systems that lead users into your physical collections by taking the pulse of ILS deployment.
All of these topics will be discussed further at our two Internet Librarian conferences this month in Monterey, Calif., and London. Hope to see you at one or both.
Dick Kaser, Executive Editor