Saturday, May 14, 2016

The Future of Libraries

McGuire, Morgan

Future Rooms:  The Intelligent use of Space. (2015, January 15) Tech Learning. Retrieved from:

The Future of Libraries
Library collections today are all about strong connections.  Both collections and connections are heavily influenced by technology.  It’s not just about the books anymore.  Technology has a big influence on how people connect to information and to one another.  Successful libraries know that patrons and students want to access collections on-line. Information is being made accessible via the Internet and online catalogs.   Librarians are incorporating technology into collections, and it’s important for patrons to know that connections, to and through technology, are a big part of information services today.  When I came across this article about technology and libraries and space, I had to stop and listen.

According to author Ellen Ullman, educational trends are shifting.  Libraries, and in particular school libraries, are not what they used to be.  The days of the quiet libraries and study halls with rows of books are fading.  The library is no longer a place to sit quietly.  Rather libraries are incorporating more elements of learning commons.  Library space is less about owned items and more about shared collections and connections.  The library as place is about experimentation, creativity, collaboration, and 21st century skill sets. 

So what are 21st century skill sets?  The physical aspects of the library are no longer driven by silent reflection and study, but rather 3D printers, maker spaces, spaces for creating art with video, and music labs.   Libraries that are able, are dedicating space for patrons and students to create and learn through experimentation.  Judging from the article, school libraries will still promote reading, but the learning experience is much more tactile, much more hands on.

According the article, students, educators, and administrators that have incorporated “maker-space” and “learning common” space into the physical library have been pleased with the results.  Some school libraries have been redesigned all together and no longer appear to fit the definition of library; “other projects include turning the high school library into a media center with a TV studio, recording studio, and café”. The library of the future is not about passivity, but about engagement and hands on learning.

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