Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Library As Place

Lately, I've blogged about how users interact with library resources and how librarians are in the best position to promote resources to enhance student comprehension.

Part of puzzle is the library as space. There is a new article in Legal Reference Services Quarterly that discusses placemaking in the academic law library.

From the abstract:
"In recent years a number of factors have coalesced to shape the future of print collections held by academic law libraries. These factors include: declining acquisitions budgets, rapidly rising print subscription costs, duplication of print materials in online databases, student and faculty preferences for electronic resources, collaborative print retention projects, changes to the American Bar Association's Annual Questionnaire and Standards, calls to produce practice-ready graduates, and the repurposing of library space for other law school functions."

Many law libraries are now storing large portions of their print collections off-site, in compact shelving, or simply discarding them. Removing redundant print materials from library collections creates opportunities for innovative uses of library space. This article will explore the benefits of applying placemaking concepts in the academic law library. Placemaking has been described as the art and science of crafting spaces in ways that transcend their physical attributes and contribute to the well-being of the occupants. This article will examine how placemaking concepts can be used to integrate print and non-print resources, to showcase subject specific collections, to encourage serendipity and collaborative learning, to build community and connect students to a law school’s values and traditions, and achieve other goals."

As the author, Lee F. Peoples, notes, placemaking encourages serendipity and collaborative learning. The understanding of how users interact with the space and the various resources within that space will help shape the librarian's role as curator and navigator into the future.

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