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The Library as Place at the Digital Age / Laurence Favier


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II Konferencja Naukowa : Nauka o informacji (informacja naukowa) w okresie zmian, Warszawa, 15-16.04.2013 r. Instytut Informacji Naukowej i Studiów Bibliologicznych, Uniwersytet Warszawski

The 2nd Scientific Conference : Information Science in an Age of Change, April 15-16, 2013. Institute of Information and Book Studies, University of Warsaw

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The Library as Place at the Digital Age / Laurence Favier

  1. 1. LIBRARY AS PLACELaurence FavierLaurence.favier@univ-lille3.fr1WarsawConference16/04/2013-L.Favier
  2. 2. THE PROBLEMNew paradigm in libraries’ history?WarsawConference16/04/2013-L.Favier2
  3. 3. LIBRARY AT THE DIGITAL AGE “today’s information-seekers get much ofwhat they need electronically, often far fromthe physical library.(…) As discussions of library as place have madeclear, focusing on libraries solely as providersof information ignores much of the value thatthey bring to higher education today”. NancyDavenport (2006)3WarsawConference16/04/2013-L.Favier
  4. 4. LIBQUAL Libqual International method for charting library servicequality according 3 dimensions:- Affect of services- Information control- Library as place4WarsawConference16/04/2013-L.Favier
  5. 5. NEW MISSION FOR LIBRARIES The libraries should be designed as places forlearning rather than primarily as storehouses ofinformation. This thinking has given rise tomuch discussion—and to many publications—about the “library as place.” Libraries as learning centers Reshaping library’s space to achieve this new mission Is it a shift in libraries’ history?5WarsawConference16/04/2013-L.Favier
  6. 6. HOW LIBRARIES REINVENTSPATIALITY AT THEDIGITAL AGE:From the reading paradigm to the learningcommons modelWarsawConference16/04/2013-L.Favier6
  7. 7. LIBRARIES SPACE FOR READING? libraries are not a place for reading anymore; or that they are not mainly a place for reading The National Library of France (BNF) organizedan exhibition about reading in 2009. entitled“Things read, things seen” (“Choses lues, chosesvues”), was an image exploration of readingpractices. Reading supposes an object (a mobileobject like a book) and a place, which can be anyplace « Choses lues, choses vues » :  7WarsawConference16/04/2013-L.Favier
  8. 8. THE READING PARADIGM Born in the in the XIIIthcentury, the mendicantorders transformed libraries’ missions: they were devoted to cultural heritage accumulationand preserving; they became a place for reading Bibliotheconomy was born also at this periodsupported by catalogs designed to be instrumentsfor locating books and tables to note booksborrowing8WarsawConference16/04/2013-L.Favier
  9. 9. LIBRARY’S SPACE AND PLACE INTHE READING PARADIGM a long room with desks rows at each side, wherebooks, chained at each desk, were offered forreading library came out of the monastery’s solitude andgot out of the narrow space attributed to readingactivity at this period Libraries became a large and urban place This new kind of library, born in this XIIIthcentury, is defined both by the availability ofbooks, (exhibited on desks) and by silence.9WarsawConference16/04/2013-L.Favier
  10. 10. SPACE DESIGN FOR READING10WarsawConference16/04/2013-L.Favier
  11. 11. FITTED TO THE SIGHT11WarsawConference16/04/2013-L.Favier ofbooks-Nearwindows forthe sake oflight
  12. 12. THE INVENTION OF READINGPLACE Lone individuals Gathered in a same place In silence12WarsawConference16/04/2013-L.Favier
  13. 13. EVOLUTION OF THE READINGPARADIGM For Bennett (2009) the reader-centered paradigmis over. It was the first of three paradigms driven by thetransformation of information from a scarce to asuper abundant commodity. These are “the reader-centered”, “the book-centered” and the “learning-centered” paradigms13WarsawConference16/04/2013-L.Favier
  14. 14. THE 3 PARADIGMS ACCORDINGBENNETT1. Reader-centered:  « (…) books were few andprecious, the space was designed primarily forreaders: typically a reading lectern or carrel forthe monk, placed perpendicular to a window forthe sake of light”2. Book-centered:“Book space, not readers spacecame to dominate”, especially in academiclibraries “which saw over time an apparentlyunavoidable displacement of readers by books”.14WarsawConference16/04/2013-L.Favier
  15. 15. THE LEARNING CENTERDPARADIGM3. The last: the learning centered:come back to the “reader-centered” one“with the critical differences that information isnow superabundant rather than scarce and (…)increasingly resident in virtual rather than inphysical spaceThe challenge becomes to the connection betweenspace and learning, instead of interactionbetween the reader and the books15WarsawConference16/04/2013-L.Favier
  16. 16. A UNIQUE LEARNING HUB Library becomes “a unique learning hubintegrating technology, information, and expertisein order to best strengthen the teaching, researchand learning opportunities that occur within theuniversity community”, as Geoff Harder saidabout the service Knowledge Common of theUniversity of Alberta Libraries It is based on the information andcommunication technologies’ development whichis supposed to lead to autonomous learning the learning perspective lies in a new degree ofcollaboration between librarians and informationtechnologists.16WarsawConference16/04/2013-L.Favier
  17. 17. AUTONOMOUS LEARNING Autonomous learning or intentional learning,claimed by many authors including Bennett, isvery similar to information literacy: the goal islearn to learn. We can compare the information literate peopledescribed in theses texts with the autonomouslearner according to Bennett who “seeks furtherinstructions and services as another way oflearning” while schoolwork prepares a “life-longlearner who remains in some measure dependanton instructions/services”17WarsawConference16/04/2013-L.Favier
  18. 18. “STUDENT-CENTERED LEARNING”OR “ACTIVE LEARNING” Libraries are not a mere support to educationalinstitutions. Library’s staff claims to become educators,serving the new pedagogical requirements of thedigital society. More precisely, this conception of libraries’ role issupported by “student-centered learning” or“active learning” theories based on the idea thatstudents must have choice in what to study andhow to study18WarsawConference16/04/2013-L.Favier
  19. 19. COMMONS MODEL Physical Commons, the Virtual Commons andthe Cultural Commons (Beagle 2006) The first one “consists of the computer hardware,furnishings, designated space and traditionalcollections of libraries”. The second “contains the digital library collections,online tools, electronic learning tools and Webpresence (portal, website, etc.) of the library. The third element, the Cultural Commons, is made upof the workshops, tutoring programs, researchcollaborations, and so forth, which takes place as aresult of the environment created through theCommons”. 19WarsawConference16/04/2013-L.Favier
  20. 20. A RESTRICTIVE MODEL Autonomous learning is focused on the individuallearner while the studies about community of practice(Wenger 1999) have shown that learning does nothappen within an individual’s mind alone but issituated in a social context in which socialinteractions among colearners play a key role. Now this is just what libraries space plannerswant to avoid today: to come back to the “reader-centered paradigm” and remain a silent placewhich gathers lone individuals like, long ago, themonasteries. 20WarsawConference16/04/2013-L.Favier
  21. 21. TENSION There is some tension between the two purposesof space design: to be suited for autonomouslearning in a technological intensiveenvironment, and to be a social place contributing to successfulinteractions between students.21WarsawConference16/04/2013-L.Favier
  22. 22. BEYOND HYBRIDLIBRARIES :from digital social networks to real place forsocial learningWarsawConference16/04/2013-L.Favier22
  23. 23. SPACES FOR SOCIAL LEARNING The new challenge in creating the library of thefuture is not a library 2.0 response to Web 2.0 buta twenty-first Century Library in response to atwenty-first Century learning”.(Watson 2010). Many scientific studies showed the impact oflocation to maintain and sustain learningcommunities.23WarsawConference16/04/2013-L.Favier
  24. 24. EXAMPLES Stanford University libraries propose both“Academic technology” which “provide computerand multimedia resources, student and facultyconsulting, teaching and learning spaces, onlinelearning environments, and digital media literacyeducation” and “Places to study” classifiedaccording their function “ group study, individualstudy, large tables, conversation allowed etc.
  25. 25. LEARNING SPACES Tech InformationCommons Practice PresentationRoom25WarsawConference16/04/2013-L.Favier
  26. 26. GROUP SPACESGroup Space in Information Commons at (a)University of Massachusetts Amherst and (b)University of Binghamton26WarsawConference16/04/2013-L.Favier
  27. 27. “MODEL FOR MORE THAN THELIBRARY” seating, current print andelectronic newspapers, Web access to manyelectronic news resources, and a largedisplay screen featuring news from aroundthe world. Other organizations mightdevelop group study rooms for graduatestudents, incorporating electronic thesisand dissertation (ETD) software, guidelines,and other resources. I27WarsawConference16/04/2013-L.Favier
  28. 28. TRADITIONAL « HYBRID LIBRARY »28WarsawConference16/04/2013-L.Favier
  29. 29. WITH USEFUL LINKS AND TAGS29WarsawConference16/04/2013-L.Favier
  30. 30. BEYOND LIBRARIES 2.0:LINKING VIRTUAL AND PHYSICALSPACESThe Varied Nature of Blended LearningEnvironments30WarsawConference16/04/2013-L.Favier
  31. 31. « A THIRD PLACE » ,The learning paradigm leads to a redefinition tolibrary as public sphere. According Oldenburg (1999), “third places” arevenues like coffee shops, bookstores, cafés wherea community’s social vitality based onconversations, debates and controversies can bedeveloped. This kind of informal meeting places,outside work and home (the two others places)are essential to community and public life The “learning model” adopted by contemporarylibraries tries to reinvent a public sphereallowing formal and informal interactionsbetween learners31WarsawConference16/04/2013-L.Favier
  32. 32. WHICH LIBRARY’S SPECIFICITY? Elmborg (2011) ”A library is a fundamentallydifferent place than a bookstore or the cloud, andone profound difference is the presence oflibrarians”.32WarsawConference16/04/2013-L.Favier
  33. 33. FIRST DIFFERENCE: LIBRARIES’MISSIONS Freedom of information library must embrace all opinions and ideas throughdocument accession Preservation of cultural continuity it is the unique place where you find books andjournals out of print, archives and other documentsthat can’t be found on the market33WarsawConference16/04/2013-L.Favier
  34. 34. SECOND DIFFERENCE:LIBRARIANS’ EXPERTISE Librarians expertise to produce metadata thatenable everyone at anytime to use documentsappropriately Thus, their role becomes to organize knowledgeaccess and not only document access. This newmission leads librarians to claim they areeducators and not only information providers34WarsawConference16/04/2013-L.Favier
  35. 35. LIRARIES AS A « THIRD PLACE » FOR« DIGITAL ENLIGHTENMENT » To ensure cultural continuity, from an historicalpoint of view (passing on old and rare documents)and from a social point of view, bridging real andvirtual education places, learned social practicesgrounded in face to face communication withdigital practices To remain an actor of knowledge disseminationagainst belief and obscurantism expansion. Finally, to be a “Third place” serving “digitalEnlightenment” Digital Enlightenment Forum: 35WarsawConference16/04/2013-L.Favier
  36. 36. CONCLUSION The librarians’ debate about “Library as a place”is interesting because it reveals much morethan an identity problem that would answerto the question “do we need library space at thedigital age?” It highlights how real places still structure socialand intellectual links between people It underlines the importance of libraries’missions issues at the digital age36WarsawConference16/04/2013-L.Favier