This is a photo of the main level of Cushing Library from the early 1960s. Interestingly, there was much more study space prior to the 1980s through today, when freestanding bookcases were “tacked on” to the ends of the bookcases. Cushing Library, a 2-story facility, was designed by Milton Pfleuger. Construction completed in 1958.
Research demonstrates the importance of libraries for recruiting faculty and students. One study shows the library is the second most important facility in decisions by prospective faculty and students. While this is a public library, the principle still stands—a beautiful library builds a support base.
This is a photo of the interior of the Mulva library at St. Norbert’s University. Note the comfy chairs, tablet arms, and ottomans, plus the fireplace, handsome carpet, and floor-to-ceiling windows.
Another picture of St. Norbert’s. Note the self-serve vending machines and “café” feel of this area.
Our librarians provide expert research help for our students and faculty – particularly crucial for students who come from school systems that do not provide information-literacy skills (very common in California’s public schools, as CA has no school-library mandate).
Classroom space at CSU Channel Islands. Note the flexibility, the focus on group engagement, and the use of color.
Chad Williams, author of Torchbearers of Democracy, talking at Cushing Library in November, 2011. The library weeded 6,000 books (mostly reference) to create flexible space for events and study.
Books are not going away, but they are a much smaller component of library services than in pre-digital eras. Shelving is often shorter, more attractive, easier to access, and not the first thing a patron sees when entering a library. This is a public library in Australia; these ranges, on the second floor, are color-coded and backlit.
Note how at CSU Channel Islands the primary floor space is for computer-based research and work. The stacks are in the back. There are two service desks, which was a trend in the 1990s, but note that only one is staffed. Research help is still important, but it takes many different forms than walk-up help.
Another CSU Channel Islands photo, this time of the ceiling, which symbolically reflects CSUCI’s pride in its international “flavor.” The library can reinforce a university’s sense of what they mean to themselves and the world at large.
This is a student studying by herself—a very common scene in libraries. (The study room walls are from Steelcase; KI has a similar product called “Genuis Walls.”) Our students have commented on the need for “a clean well-lighted place” where they can quietly focus on their work.
This is the East St. Charles Parish public library. Note that the shelving doubles as art display. These photos, taken with an iPad, do not reflect the warmth of the wood or how harmonious and pretty the color scheme is.
Libraries perform significant “memory work.” Photos such as these are often digitized, organized, and made discoverable to the world.
Libraries are often lead innovators on campus. Here are two innovations in action: the creation of gallery space (where periodical indexes once stood) and new computers to support the 1/3 of our students who are Mac users.
Librarians often talk about book circulation going down (even though it is going up in our library), but our core competency of asset management make us a natural fit for lending all kinds of devices, equipment, hardware, and games. Every month we have hundreds of non-book checkouts.
The library is often the most logical site on campus for talks. This is a talk about Karen Armstron’s “Twelve Steps for a Compassionate Life” co-led by campus ministry and the library.
For our campus in particular, the library is a hub for social-justice activities. Here Pablo Serrano from SOA Watch talks about the context of his photo installation in the library depicting human-rights violations in Colombia.
This is a multimedia sound booth at the public library in Brisbane, AU. Helping patrons understand and use all forms of information is a major role for all types of libraries.
Encouraging leisure activities increases the chance that students will carry the “library habit” into their post-university life. (Here HNU students are playing a game with giant playing cards.)
Library space can be used to amaze and inspire. This is a conference room at the public library in Brisbane, AU.
One more reminder (from a quote on the website for KI, a library furniture manufacturer).
The 21st-Century Library
THE 21ST-CENTURY LIBRARYA Presentation to the Library Vision Task ForceKaren G. Schneider, Director for Library Services Holy Names University, 11/11/11
“To stay competitive in theeducation marketplace, thecollege determined thatstudents deserve a state-of the-art library that expands thecollege’s tradition of excellence.A new library often acts as adeciding factor for prospectivestudents and faculty.”