In previous posts, I have discussed my ideas regarding space and appearance in the library of the future. I spoke about hybrid libraries, where new space is allocated for collaboration and computer stations, while the book stacks are being preserved. In this post, I would like to discuss a few ideas where technology can make the library more compatible with our time and the future.
Libraries, usually, have a “new” section for items recently purchased. They also present some of these new items on their sites. None of the above is a bad idea. However, if I’m a user, I don’t want to go through the entire new section (if it is extensive) and read all the titles. Also, a user may not know how to use computers to check the library’s site. Here is an idea that would enhance the visitor’s experience, while it would inform on every new item in the library. A simple presentation created with a movie maker program and Expression Blend could run constantly on a number of monitors spread on the library walls. Each type of medium and genre would be presented separately. After the completion of each cycle, images of art and landscape would offer a break and make the library experience delightful. The same presentation would also run on the library’s site. What this idea requires is the creation of the presentation. Obviously, with every new order the presentation must be updated. A technologically savvy librarian or technology staff will have to be in charge of this task.
Another idea is the “documentary” room. In this room with seating for small audience (up to 30), educational documentaries on all topics would be presented on a large flat screen. Let’s not forget that one of the roles of the library is to educate. Programs would be arranged based on age groups. This idea would be extremely beneficial for young ages and not only and would require the appropriate space that all libraries do not have. However, it is a nice idea to explore.
I understand that libraries face financial hardship. Both ideas mentioned above are not really expensive and they are definitely feasible. What we must think is the impact these ideas are going to have to the community. The enhanced experience offered by these ideas will bring to the library the new generations, which seem to be distant living only in the virtual realm.